Diversity in the Workplace Statistics: Inclusion Issues in 2024

Diversity is about going beyond stereotypes to give value to differences and promote togetherness. It is about incorporating independent thinking to reach common goals. Businesses are also starting to understand that a diverse internal workforce yields higher revenues and increases employee performance, not to mention the positive impact on company culture. 

Diversity in the workplace statistics show that nearly half of employees believe leaders have the power to boost inclusive policies and practices. For that reason, we have listed the latest stats and approaches to managing diversity in the workplace. So let’s dive in and see what’s happening on the workplace diversity front. 

Top Diversity in the Workplace Statistics: Editor’s Choice  

  • Diversity in the workplace is important to 67% of job seekers. 
  • 78% of employees see no diversity in leadership positions.
  • Only 1% of Fortune 500 companies have CEOs of color.
  • Two-thirds of women believe their company offers equal opportunities to people of all backgrounds.
  • A total of 55% of employees claim they are part of organizations that promote D&I policies.
  • Revenues of companies with diverse leadership grow by 19%. 
  • Businesses that are open to inclusion have 120% higher chances to accomplish financial goals.
  • An increasingly diverse workforce could scale up the GDP by 26%.

General Diversity Facts and Stats

1. A little over half of the US workforce are women.

The latest numbers also show that 87.3% of Americans hold a high school diploma, with 30.9% of these having at least a Bachelor’s degree. The working-age population with some form of disability is represented with 8.7%. Just over half of the American population (50.8%) are women. Women in the workplace statistics indicate that women older than 16 comprise 58.2% of the nation’s workforce.

2. The most diverse generations are millennials and Gen Z.

At present, out of the 87 million millennials, 56% are white. This compares to 76 million Baby Boomers of which 72% are white. Diversity in the US is increasing and diversity statistics anticipate that by 2020 only 63% of the workforce will be white while the number of minority workers will grow and even double.

With Baby Boomers heading towards retirement, Americans under 44 (mainly minority groups) are beginning to look for workplace diversity or companies that portray the true demographics of their nation.

3. Around 20% of people with disabilities are employed. 

Just under a fifth (19.3%) of persons with a disability are working full time, according to workplace diversity statistics. While the unemployment rates for persons with disabilities have dropped to 3.5%, there is still much work to be done to include them in the workforce. 

4. Women are the sole breadwinners in only 6.8% of the cases.

Of the total number of heterosexual married-couple families, husbands are the sole breadwinners in 19.1% of the cases, compared to 6.8% for women. This data emphasizes the traditional contrast that exists between mothers and fathers and the conservative belief that women are better off doing unpaid work. 

Diversity and Inclusion Statistics to Level Up Your Business

5. Workplace diversity is important to 67% of job seekers. 

As it appears, diversity plays a central role in attracting talent. The majority of people who are looking for a job believe diversity to be an important factor and 50% of staffers claim they want more diversity in their workplace.

A whopping 72% of women and 62% of men recognize the importance of diversity in the workplace. Plus, workplaces that promote diversity are more attractive to 89% of African Americans, 80% of Asians and 70% of Latinos, diversity facts show.   

6. 74% of millennials believe inclusion makes a company more innovative.

By 2025, millennials will comprise 75% of the workforce. This generation takes diversity to a whole new level. For millennials as the most diverse age group, workplace diversity is a given.  And as millennials in the workplace statistics inform, 83% look for jobs in companies that promote inclusive culture because it is a prerequisite for them to feel empowered and engaged in the workplace.

7. Workforce diversity is a priority for 85% of employers. 

Diversity in the workplace statistics show that although a solid 85% of managers want to focus more on diversity, 45% do not monitor employee diversity and 46% haven’t established programs to measure their organizations’ diversity.

Hiring managers are unanimous that a diverse workforce generates better outcomes and maintains happier and more productive employees. Still, the struggle to set the proper recruitment strategies to reach more diverse talent is very real. 

8. 78% of employees say there is no diversity in leadership positions.

Leadership-wise, workplace diversity statistics present some compelling data. The lack of diversity in top positions makes it less likely for the ideas of 20% of women, 24% of people of color and 21% of LGBT to be endorsed.

This lack of diversity in the workplace and especially in leadership not only limits a company’s success but seriously affects employees as they feel their contributions to the organization are irrelevant.

9. 71% of employers struggle to find diverse candidates for senior leadership roles.

One of the greatest challenges of diversity in the workplace is the shortage of diverse talent for senior-level roles. According to employers’ diversity stats and facts, 47% were unsuccessful in reaching professionals from different backgrounds due to a lack of qualified candidates.

For 35%, the problem lies in the lack of overall diversity in the particular field, while 19% of employers complained that they had to work on resolving conflicting attitudes within their organization.

10. Only 1% of Fortune 500 companies have CEOs of color.

Fortune 500 companies are generally very secretive about the diversity ratios of their internal workforce. Diversity and inclusion statistics are shared by only 3.2%, and even those that do share it are not open to management level and job category data.

The fact that CEOs of color are at the helm of just 5 of the Fortune 500 companies is alarming. Consequently, for those firms, inequalities for men and women of color are much more expressed compared to gender representation. 

11. Both women and men would rather hire a man than a woman.  

Ironic, right? Well, it’s no secret that there is a bias against hiring women but as it appears gender diversity in the workplace is being blocked by both men and women.

Gender diversity in the workspace statistics show that 40% of employees believe double standards are applied in hiring women which is probably what fosters the lack of gender diversity across businesses. To overcome the challenges of diversity in the workplace, HR leaders should focus on uprooting this inherent bias by implementing more inclusive hiring and recruiting strategies. 

12. Two-thirds of women believe their company offers equal opportunities to people of all backgrounds. 

In the matter of decision-making processes in the workplace, 54% of women believe they participate actively in this process. Facts about diversity point to a solid 66% of women feeling they can voice their different opinion without any repercussions or threats to their job.

61% of men agree their company focuses on building diverse teams as opposed to 49% of women. Also, men generally believe their workplace offers success opportunities to people of all backgrounds, and 66% of women agree on this.

13. The professional judgment of 40% of black women is questioned. 

Microaggressions in the workplace are not uncommon and often lead to higher employee turnover. During a normal course of business, the judgment of 37% of homosexuals, 40% of black women, and 36% of white women are questioned compared to 27% of all men.

Similarly, workplace and cultural diversity statistics mention that 42% of black women, 34% of homosexual women, and 36% of Asian women are often requested to provide more evidence on their professional competencies than 16% of men. Data also shows that women are more likely to be addressed unprofessionally than men.  

14. The tech sector is dominated by white or Asian American men.

Most US tech companies are known for their excellent results in areas such as growth, innovation, and employee wellbeing but there are still major disparities in their workforce in regards to gender, race, and ethnicity.

Minorities in the workspace statistics, however, indicate only 5.8% of African Americans stateside work in computer programming. Women are represented by a little over 20% in companies like Google and Facebook. 66.6% of Google’s leadership team is white, 39.8% is Asian while Facebook employs 5.2% of staff of Hispanic background and 1.5% people of color. 

15. Promotions are not being offered to 70% of employees in their 50s.

Three in four employees between 51 and 60 haven’t been offered any promotion from their current employer. Diversity stats show that a solid 37% of employees in their 50s with at least 10 years until retirement are working at intermediate management level and although they show a lot of potential for progress they are deprived of promotions.

This might be because not all employers realize these employees could hold years of untapped knowledge and experience that, if utilized accordingly, would pay off. 

16. A total of 55% of employees claim they are part of organizations that promote D&I policies.

Workplace diversity statistics indicate that 55% of the workforce in the US believes they work in organizations where everyone is respected, managers value their employees’ uniqueness and leaders do what they are supposed to do.

Unfortunately, the other half still has to attend work in environments that are not welcoming and safe which inevitably affects employee retention rates and their general wellbeing. A whopping 90% of staffers who have been undervalued say they have also experienced some form of discrimination or harassment in the workplace.

Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace Statistics

17.  Employees of diverse companies bring in 2.3 times higher cash flow. 

Money doesn’t discriminate and perhaps this is why companies who instead of discriminating, promote inclusiveness and diversity earn more. A recent study found that over the course of three years, businesses that are focused on resolving the challenges of diversity in the workplace not only outperform their competitors but get 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. 

18.   Revenues of companies with diverse leadership grow by 19%. 

Diversity in the workplace statistics indicate that diverse management teams may be a good strategy to boost revenues. Businesses led by diverse teams present growth in revenues by 19% and are 70% more likely to conquer new markets. An increasingly diverse workforce on both managerial and employee level is not only beneficial for the company’s image but earns more money and facilitates new, bold ventures. 

19.  Diversity in the workplace boosts innovation by 1.7 times.   

Diverse teams outperform individual decision-making by up to 87%, with their wide range of traits and experiences extending to innovativeness. Innovation needs diversity and facts about diversity confirm it is the reason why teams composed of individuals from different backgrounds are 1.7 times more innovative.

The benefits of D&I initiatives are manifold and if businesses want to develop innovation funnels, making sure there is diversity is an excellent starting point. 

20. Gender diversity at an executive level accounts for 21% higher performance. 

Gender diversity in the workplace leads to happier customers and better sales. Upper quartile companies that promote gender diversity in executive boards have a 27% higher chance of creating superior value for their customers.

Gender diversity in the workspace statistics reveal that executive teams where women and men are almost equally represented, perform better by 21% than homogenous teams. 

21. Women executives deliver 34% higher returns to shareholders. 

The more women executives the higher the returns for shareholders. A recent review of Fortune 1000 companies revealed that women in C-suite level positions generate 7% of the total revenues of all listed companies. Yet, only 5% of these companies are managed by women. 

22. Businesses that are open to inclusion have 120% higher chances to accomplish financial goals. 

Businesses that are facing difficulties meeting their targets might want to refer to inclusion statistics for assistance. Employees who feel included in their company’s goals and ventures will most certainly work harder to see them through and are 120% more likely to hit financial goals.

A high level of inclusiveness in the company meanwhile leads to 1.4 times higher revenues. The bottom line is that creating an inclusive workplace and corporate culture not only makes employees work harder but they do so with enthusiasm and enjoyment. 

23. The majority of CEOs of companies with established D&I cultures note profit growth. 

It is obvious that large companies have a better understanding of the facts about diversity in the workplace and how to benefit from them. A staggering 85% of CEOs who are managing companies with established diverse and inclusive corporate cultures claim that the main benefits of these good practices are evident in their increased profits. Senior management teams where women participate with 15% or more further report a 5% equity increase. 

24. A whopping 73% of employers link diversity to creative thinking. 

Companies that provide opportunities for diverse employees are most likely to reap the benefits of creativity and innovation—this is what 73% of employers say.

Workforce diversity statistics indicate that 67% of employers see diversity as essential in reflecting the community they operate in, while another 54% say it helps them do business more ethically. Just over a half (51%) agree that promoting diversity makes it easier for staff with unique skills to be introduced to the workforce. 

25. An increasingly diverse workforce could scale up the GDP by 26%.

By diversifying the workforce the GDP could grow by over a quarter. Namely, the global GDP is forecasted to increase by $28 trillion if companies would be willing to dedicate more resources to creating equal gender-diverse workplaces.

UK minority in the workspace statistics show that with every 10% gender diversity increase in senior executive teams companies make 3.5% more EBIT. 

26. Companies with high racial diversity attract more customers.  

If you are managing a business that focuses on attracting more customers, teams that are culturally and racially diverse will most certainly expand your customer service. After all, customers look for salespeople who can understand their needs.

Racially diverse teams have an average of 35,000 customers as opposed to their less diverse peers who had an average of 22,700, as suggested by ethnic and cultural diversity statistics.  

27. Blind applications increase the chances of diversity hiring.

A racial discrimination case back in the 1970s led to many orchestras performing blind auditions. Later on, a Harvard and Princeton study found out that blind auditions increase the likelihood of female hiring to 46%.

Resume screening software applied by tech companies meanwhile has improved the representation of minorities in the workforce, increasing the likelihood of offering first-round job interviews to minority and female applicants by around 40%. 

28.  78% believe there is a competitive advantage to diversity and inclusion. 

The majority of employees agree that companies that welcome people of all backgrounds take advantage of the strategic perspectives. Diversity statistics meanwhile show 13% of employees monitor their senior managers on how often they discuss diversity and inclusion in meetings and what actions are taken within the company to promote D&I.  

What Are the Best Approaches to Managing Diversity in the Workplace?

29.  56% of businesses believe diversity strategies should be developed by senior management.

Gender, ethnic, or racial diversity in the workplace cannot possibly exist unless the management agrees to dedicate time and resources to develop the necessary strategies that will welcome employees of all backgrounds.

Workplace diversity statistics mention 9% of businesses believe this should be done by the marketing department while 35% believe it should be under the hood of HR departments. The general opinion of businesses, however, is that the principles and processes for implementing diversity should be developed by the senior management. 

30. 86% of employers believe managers should undergo anti-bias training. 

Employers who appreciate the added values of gender, ethnic and race diversity in the workplace agree that to ensure progress and growth, the appropriate strategies for minimizing unconscious bias should be set in motion.

Diversity training statistics indicate that the percentage of managers who get any training on the topic is low at 36% although the majority believe that they would benefit from it. In addition, only 17% of employers remove personal information from CVs to provide unbiased hiring while 76% believe this would be a good step towards increasing diversity in the labor force. 

31. Company-organized social events are an excellent way to promote diverse workforce collaboration. 

One of the disadvantages of diversity in the workplace is that a diverse workforce might need a nudge to start collaborating as a team. This is why employers focus on collaboration strategies and 78% report corporate social events are the real deal in ensuring effective collaboration and overcoming challenges of workplace diversity.

Workforce diversity statistics show corporate mentoring programs and humanitarian projects have provided solid results in 58% and 47% of the cases respectively. Another 34% say diversity training shows promising results.

FAQs about Diversity in the Workplace

What is diversity and why is it important in the workplace?

The inclusion of individuals of all races, gender, age, sexual orientation, cultural background, and abilities is what defines diversity. Ideally, workplace diversity means the company embraces the unique characteristics of each and every individual both within and outside the company. 

Companies that provide opportunities for diverse employees are most likely to be more innovative and profitable, build a great reputation, and outperform competitors. 

What are the 6 key areas of diversity?

The key areas of diversity are age, race, national origin, disability, religion, and gender. Discrimination against any of these characteristics, especially in the workplace, is punishable by law. 

What are the 4 types of diversity?

There are four dimensions or types of workplace diversity:

  1. Internal which refers to characteristics people are born into and cannot change such as race, age, gender, national origin, ethnicity, sexual appearance, physical and mental ability.
  2. External or referring to characteristics that define a person but can be changed such as interests, citizenship, education, religious membership, relationship status, socioeconomic status, etc. 
  3. Organizational referring to the organization a person belongs to and the factors that are part of it which may include but are not limited to job function, management status, work location, department, seniority, union affiliation, etc.
  4. World Views or how our observations, experience, and feelings shape our world which are related to politics, history knowledge, and cultural events. 

How do you promote diversity in the workplace?

For companies who truly understand the value of diversity, there is an abundance of options available to promote it. Creating diversity-friendly policies that will build diverse teams is a solid step forward. This means diving deep into reviewing employee benefits and providing diversity training or mentorships. In fact, 42% of senior managers use inclusion strategies and offer managers training so that they can gain knowledge on how inclusion and diversity benefit the business, diversity in the workplace statistics confirm. Other possible options are offering days off on religious holidays, flexible working hours, on-site daycare, etc. but ultimately it all begins and ends with the will to embrace diversity. 

Final Remarks

Creating a company culture that fosters an environment where employees of different races, ethnicity, age, gender, and sexual orientation feel their voices are welcomed, heard, and respected starts by recognizing the many benefits and numerous advantages that come with it. Diversity is not just a smart business decision, it is a necessity. Diversity in the workplace statistics not only demonstrate the importance of diversity in the workplace but prove that employees actually want to be part of diverse organizations. 


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