COTA Named to Parity.org’s Best Companies for People of Color to Advance, and for the Fourth Year in a Row, Joins the Best Companies for Women to Advance List

The Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) today announced it was named to the new 2023 Parity.Org Best Companies for People of Color to Advance list. COTA joins 17 organizations in the country recognized by Parity.org as those creating the culture and conditions in which people of color can excel.

Additionally, for the fourth consecutive year, COTA was also named to the 2023 Parity.org Best Companies for Women to Advance list. Parity.org is an impact organization working to eliminate the racial and gender gap in corporate leadership. The Parity Lists recognize organizations that are implementing cultures, policies and programs that ensure women and people of color have significant opportunities to reach their full professional potential. COTA is one of 44 companies to earn this honor and only one of 18 companies to receive both honors this year.

“Equity, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of COTA’s mission, and we are honored to receive this national recognition demonstrating our continued success in meeting our EDI goals,” said Monica Jones, COTA’s Chief Equity Officer. “COTA is built on a foundation that ensures the organization represents the community and customers it serves, and we continue looking for ways to emphasize and create a culture and operations that deliver growth and advancement to all in our organization, including the people of color and women in our workforce.”

The organizations named to both the People of Color and Women categories along with COTA include Best Buy, Clorox, Nasdaq, PepsiCo, Overstock, Ralph Lauren, Reddit and others.

“The professional achievements of our employees are the greatest satisfaction we can have as COTA leaders, and we also appreciate the recognition by Parity.org of our organizational efforts and success in advancing women and people of color,” said COTA President/CEO Joanna M. Pinkerton. “The blueprint we established in 2019 that ensures equity, diversity and inclusion are at the center of all that we do is making an impact on so many women within our organization and continues to help people of color advance at COTA. We will strive to find new ways to continue this momentum for our employees.”

Under Pinkerton’s leadership today, 65% of COTA’s employees are Black, women make up more than 35% of COTA employees, while 43% of COTA directors and 65% of COTA chiefs are women. COTA has also established workforce development initiatives that continue to provide a pipeline of talent from local communities, including a recent operator hiring event focused on New Americans. Those initiatives also include mentorship and job shadowing for women and minorities and tuition reimbursement for all full-time employees earning college degrees or other higher education that helps them advance in their careers. In 2022, 69% of tuition reimbursement program participants were either women and/or people of color.

“The parity problem is complex –– but it’s not insurmountable,” said Cathrin Stickney, Parity.Org founder and CEO. “The extraordinary performance of this year’s honorees proves that a genuine commitment and focus, coupled with the right tools, measures and practices, will absolutely move the needle toward fairness.”

For more details, visit www.parity.org/best-companies.


About Parity.Org

Parity.Org is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to closing the gender and racial gap in corporate leadership, where the gap is the widest. We take a pragmatic and research-based approach, offering a range of proven best practices and industry-leading tools for not only reaching—but sustaining—parity in leadership. Learn more at Parity.Org and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.