Getting information about ethnic diversity in Baltimore's executive suites isn't easy. Many companies simply won't say how many of their executives and managers are women or minorities.
Ten companies, including The Baltimore Sun, were randomly contacted.
Alex. Brown & Sons Inc., Giant Food Inc., CSX Corp., Westinghouse Electric Corp. and MNC Financial Inc. tersely declined comment on the gender and ethnic makeup of their managers and executives.
"In the absence of any required public disclosure, we have no comment," Daniel G. Finney, an MNC spokesman, said.
Chris Stevens, a CSX spokesman, had an equally succinct response: "It's not our policy to provide that information to the public. It's something that we don't, as matter of course, provide."
A Giant spokesman, Barry F. Scher, said that his employer "complies with all equal employment opportunity laws. We do submit the necessary government reports, as required, but we do not divulge numbers for general purposes, because they're often subject to misinterpretation."
At Crown Central Petroleum Corp., a spokeswoman said that she would like to talk about Crown's work force but couldn't because it would take "two to three weeks" to compile information about executives at Crown's Baltimore headquarters. "Currently, our figures aren't available, and I can't obtain them in a timely manner for your story -- and I regret that," Jo Bruen said.
Laura L. Paschall, who heads human relations for McCormick & Co. Inc., said that of 590 officials and managers working for her firm, 35 percent are women and 8 percent are minorities.
Of those classified as minorities, 5 percent are black, Ms. Paschall said.
"We are an affirmative action employer, and we do make sure that we comply with our affirmative action obligations," she said. "We do things to increase and improve hiring with regards to minorities.
Within The Baltimore Sun, nine executives are at the vice president level or higher, a company spokesman, David R. Belz, said. Two of the nine are women, and one is a black man, he said.
The newsrooms of The Sun and The Evening Sun have a total of 65 midlevel and senior editors. Fifteen are women, and seven are black. While The Sun recently broke new ground by hiring a female managing editor, neither paper has ever had a senior-level black editor.
"The hiring of more minorities for executive level jobs, particularly blacks and women, is a key priority for The Baltimore Sun Co.," Mr. Belz said.
Medical books publisher Waverly Press Inc. has 50 department heads, Compensation Manager Nancy J. Black said. Of those white-collar workers, 16 are women and four are black, Ms. Black said.
She added that women have risen to the level of vice president and are presidents of corporate divisions.