Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has become increasingly important to corporate culture. How diverse a company is speaks of its gender, racial, demographic, and cultural tolerance – all of which play into the employer brand, company culture, and employee experience.
We’ve aggregated the most recent and insightful workplace diversity statistics that, we believe, business leaders should be aware of in 2023. This snapshot of where the U.S. and global workforce stands regarding diversity will serve to point out where your organization can improve its DEI efforts.
The Top 10 U.S. Workplace Diversity Statistics and Facts
As of 2022, the U.S. labor force is 77% white, 12.6% Black or African American, 18.5% Hispanic or Latino, and 6.7% Asian, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Women make up 46.8% of the U.S. civilian labor force. This includes women who are employed or actively seeking employment.
We have a new record of female CEOs. As of January 2023, there are 53 female CEOs employed at Fortune 500 companies. This number is up from 41 in June of 2021 and only 2 in 2002.
The new high for female CEOs still only translates to 10.6% representation at the top of the country’s biggest public businesses.
Looking at the S&P500, women are even less represented. As of February 2023, women hold 41 of CEO positions at these companies. That translates to 8.2% representation.
In the U.S. 4.5% of the population identifies as LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender) according to MAP. That constitutes an estimated 11 million LGBT people.
Of this group, 88% are employed.
Anti-LGBT bias is highly prevalent in the workplace and creates massive hurdles in the day-to-day. Research suggests that nearly 50% of LGBT workers remain closeted at work and fear being stereotyped or jeopardizing professional connections.
Data from 2018 to 2020 shows that companies where over 30% of board seats were occupied by women delivered higher year-over-year revenue in comparison to less gender-diverse companies.
Companies with 30% or more board seats occupied by non-white directors also delivered higher year-over-year revenue in comparison to companies with less than 20% of the board occupied by non-white directors.
Diverse and inclusive organizations outperform their competition on key HR metrics. Companies with inclusive cultures have 22% lower turnover rates, 22% greater productivity scores, and 83% higher engagement scores (in the case of millennial workers).
Statistics that Show the Benefits of Diversity for Companies
Making a case for corporate diversity is best seen as a cautionary warning of what would happen if leadership ignores its importance to workers.
According to a 2020 survey by Glassdoor, 76% of employees and job seekers in the United States say that a diverse and inclusive workplace is important to them when evaluating job offers.
However,another Glassdoor survey unveiled that 42% of employees have experienced racism in the workplace, which is certain to negatively affect employee experience and retention— bad news for your bottom line.
McKinsey reports that 3 in 20 LGBTQ women and 6 in 20 LGBTQ men are afraid their orientation will affect their career advancement.
With diversity leadership teams on the rise, companies are likely to make better DEI decisions. And with a growing number ofDEI hiring tools available, companies have no excuse not to bolster their diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts.
Statistics on Diversity in Corporate Leadership
Although cultural and racial statistics in the workplace seem to favor White workers in terms of representation, it is in line withpopulation data according to the U.S Census Bureau, if you go on “White alone” data, which includes the White Hispanic and Latino population.
Unfortunately, the figures get skewed when it comes to executive teams. Of the Fortune 500 companies, only6 have a CEO that is black.
According to a report by Catalyst, the proportion of women in senior management roles globally is 31%— the highest ever recorded.
As of January 2022, women held 29.9% of senior management roles in S&P 500 companies in the United States.
The report also shows that women held 28.8% of executive-level management positions and 35.4% of mid-level management positions.
Shockingly, 78% of employees who responded to a 2013 Harvard Business Review study said they work at organizations thatlack diversity in leadership positions.
While diversity is amuch greater priority to companies in 2023, the past decade has not solved all issues concerning leadership diversity.
Despite being the largest minority group only20 Latino or Hispanic professionals served as chief executive officers (CEOs) in 2021.
Asian Americans, who comprised 5.9% of the U.S. population at the time, had the most representation at the CEO level of any minority group. 40 during 2021 and 41 the year before.
Leadership diversity is on the rise, albeit a slow process. The graph below shows a consistent upward trend in African American, Asian American, and Latin and Hispanic leadership since the early 2000’s
It’s one thing to have a diverse workforce, but quite another to have diverse leadership. Organizations where workers can see their gender, race, orientation or culture represented in leadership trust the organization’s decision-making. These organizations are psychologically safe, and benefit from the various viewpoints diversity brings.
Important Statistics by Diversity Type
Statistics About Gender Diversity in the Workplace (International and U.S. based)
According to the 2021 Women in the Workplace report by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey, women account for 41% of all manager-level positions in corporate America.
Additionally, only 27% of senior vice president roles, 21% of C-suite positions were held by women.
By comparison, the 2022 Women in the Workplace report shows 40% female representation at the managerial level. A slight step down.
An increase is however evident in C-suite positions. 2022 saw 26% of C-level posts in the U.S. held by women, which is still a fraction of the 74% of C-level positions held by men.
The report also showed that 86 women are promoted to a managerial role for every 100 men promoted to that level, and as a result men significantly outnumber women in managerial positions, causing the “broken rung” in female career growth.
In 2021, the median weekly earnings of full-time working women equaled 83.1% of the median weekly earnings by full-time working men.
Women of color (including Latino and Hispanic women) are by far the most underrepresented group in leadership. This group comprised 20.3% of the United States population in 2021, but their presence gets harshly diminished in corporate leadership.
The Women in the Workplace reports show that women of color that hold C-suite positions grew from 4% in 2021 to 5% in 2022.
A lack of female leadership is not unique to the U.S.
The 2021 Global Gender Gap Report by the World Economic Forum found that on average, only 26.5% of managerial positions in the world are held by women.
It also reports that, internationally, only 22.6% of board seats are held by women, and just 16.9% of executive committee positions are held by women.
The2022 report shows more promising data, between 2021 and 2022 the share of women in senior, legislative, and managerial roles increased by 5.4 percentage points.
The report also notes that the top 10 economies have closed at least 80% of their gender gaps with Iceland leading the global ranking at 90.8% gender parity.
Statistics About Racial Diversity in the Workplace
Although projections say that the Caucasian population in the U.S. will decline significantly over the next 4 decades (see below), it is currently a predominantly white nation.
12.6% of the current U.S. workforce identify as Black or African American according to the latest BLS data. There are however industries where Black representation is significantly more than this median.
Healthcare support occupations, for example, have an average of 25.8% Black representation, the highest segment being nursing assistants (36%).
The most outlying occupation we could identify is postal service clerks which are Black in 40.4% of cases.
Asian people, who make up 6.7% of the U.S. labor force are also disproportionately represented in some factions. Computer and mathematical occupations are held by Asian workers in 22.3% of cases. The highest segment percentage here is under software developers (36.4%).
The most outlying occupation we could identify is manicurists and pedicurists of which 65.4% are Asian.
Hispanic and Latino workers, who make up 18.5% of the U.S. labor force are significantly overrepresented in interpretation and translation services (35.8%), service occupations (26.3%), food preparation (28.1%), construction (40.3% average), and various cleaning and maintenance occupations, the average of which comes to 40.4% representation.
Statistics About Religious Diversity in the Workplace
America is a religiously diverse country, dominated by a 70% share of people who identify as Christian.
Of these people, 40% identify as White Christians and more than one-quarter identify as a Christian person of color.
23% of American people are religiously unaffiliated, and a mere 5% are practicing or identify as a practitioner of a non-Christian religion.
Despite having freedom of religion, the U.S. does struggle with religious intolerance.
According to Pew research, 82% of Americans have experienced or seen discrimination against a person of the Islamic faith.
One would think religious discrimination decreases as information and attitudes progress, but the opposite is true in reported anti-semitic behavior. Comparing statistics from 2016, when 44% of surveyed Americans said they believe Jewish people are discriminated against “some of the time” or “a lot”, we see an increase to 64% of Americans reporting this behavior.
It is unclear whether the reported increase is influenced by a lower threshold of what people consider to be discriminatory behavior or not.
Sage Journals also reports uptake in religious discrimination in the American workplace. According to their research, there was a 73% increase in charges of religion-based workplace discrimination between 1992 (the inception year of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), and 2020.
This is especially concerning the minor fluctuation the same time period saw in other forms of discrimination: Sexual discrimination decreased by 1.8%, and racial discrimination decreased by 25% according to the dataset.
Statistics About Cultural Diversity in the Workplace
Naturally, being from a different country means people have different backgrounds, views, and practices, even if they are of the same race, generation, and religion. Knowing the importance of diversity and tolerance, U.S. companies must be aware of how immigrant employees experience their working environment.
In 2021, the share of the U.S. civilian labor force that is foreign-born returned to its pre-pandemic level of 17.4%, up from 17% in 2020.
Nearly half of the foreign-born labor force is made of Hispanic people while Asians account for 25%.
The largest segmentof immigrant workers, 35%, worked in management, business, science, and the arts.
23% of immigrant workers are employed in the service industries.
Statistics About Age and Generation Diversity in the Workplace
Generational diversity is when different generations are represented in the workplace. This means Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Gen Z should ideally have members at various levels of seniority within the organization.
Millennials currently make up the largest segment of the U.S. workforce. It is predicted that this generation will see 74% representation by 2025.
Generational diversity has immense benefits for a company. Age-diverse teams make better decisions than a uni-generational counterpart. This benefit stems from being able to tap into institutional experience, and current innovation.
Statistics About Political Diversity in the Workplace
According to 2021 data from Gallup, American people identifying as Democrats or that are leaning Democratic constitute 46% of adults. This is slightly more than the 43% of adults who identified as Republicans or leaned toward Republican support.
Despite a reputation for being conservative, the Wall Street banks are highly politically diverse with almost all firms hovering around a 50/50 split between Democratic and Republican support.
U.S. tech companies have the least political diversity— varying between 0% and 30% conservative support.
Global Workforce Diversity Statistics
An employee prevention survey ran in 2021 among over 12,000 employees around the world revealed that 49% of workers believe their organization is “very” or “extremely” diverse.
In the same study, 44% of respondents said their teams are “very” or “extremely” diverse, and 36% said leadership at their organization is “very” or “extremely” diverse.
Alarmingly, racial, gender, and other microaggressions are still common in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia— some of the world’s leading economies.
In the UK, for example, 51% of workers who fall into an ethnic minority group reported suffering a microaggression in the workplace during 2021.
In the U.S. 46% of minority workers reported microaggressions while 42% of Canadian and 36% of Australian minority groups experienced these common discriminations that generally stem from unconscious bias.
It’s no surprise then that, according to a 2022 report released by the International Labour Organization, one-in-four people do not feel valued at work.
The report, aggregated from over 12,000 survey responses, points to a common trend— of those who do feel included at work, the greater share are in more senior (managerial and executive) roles.
Why Workplace Diversity Matters
Statistics About How Workplace Diversity Affects Profitability
Data from McKinsey shows that companies that champion diversity have a 25% higher chance of financially outperforming those that don’t. Having a dedicated diversity leader on the C-suite payroll ensures that funding and effort are a reality and not just an empty promise.
Companies with highly diverse teams earn 2.5 times higher cash flow per employee.
Inclusive teams have also been found to be more productive than teams who are not inclusive. The difference in productivity is reported to be over 35%.
According to research published by McKinsey, companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.
The report also found that companies with high ethnic and cultural diversity are 36% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the bottom quartile.
The trend carries through to leadership. A study by the Boston Consulting Group found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenue due to innovation.
In the study companies with above-average diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation. In these companies, 45% of total revenue came from innovation. This is compared to companies with below-average diversity where 26% of revenue came from innovation.
Statistics About How Workplace Diversity Affects Employee Experience
Glassdoor reports that 72% of employees and job seekers say they would consider leaving their current job for one with a more inclusive culture.
ADP reports that employees who are satisfied with their organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion are twice as engaged as dissatisfied employees.
They also highlight research showing employees at diverse and inclusive organizations work 12% harder, are 19% more likely to stay longer with the organization, and collaborate 57% more effectively with peers.
The engagement incited by prioritizing diversity is imperative to success. Engaged employees deliver 57% more effort than uncommitted ones, and businesses with diverse teams tend to see greater engagement, innovation, and productivity.
Despite this, 41% of managers andleaders say they’re “too busy” to implement diversity initiatives or hire diverse employees in their company.
The Future of Workplace Diversity
The racial landscape in the U.S. is set to look very different in the coming years. This is because racial diversity is on the rise.
People in the Baby Boomers generation are around 75% white.
Millennials, the largest generation group in the country, are approximately 56% white.
Millennials are also the most religiously diverse generation in the current U.S. workforce as shown in the breakdown below.
Generation Z is the most racially diverse U.S. generation. Over48% identify as non-white.
Caucasian people who identify as White and non-Hispanic are currently the largest U.S. racial group, but their numbers are declining.
In 2020 this group represented57.8% of the country’s population for that year. This is a sharpdrop from 63.7% in 2010.
By 2044,over 50% of all Americansare projected to belong to a minority group.
The idea of a single ethnic orracial majority in the U.S. population should be obsolete by 2065, according to Pew Research Center projections.
Workplace Diversity Statistics by Industry
Workplace Diversity in Technology
In a 2021 study about inclusive companies, Zoom Video Communications was ranked the highest company for diversity and inclusion among the leading U.S. tech firms, according to source’s sentiment analysis.
The ranking is based on a 0 to 10 scale on which Zoom scored 9.46.
At the bottom of the list for diversity and inclusion were Uber, Amazon, and PayPal with a scoreof 4 or below.
How diverse a tech company is matters greatly in establishing a positive employer brand. 73% of female and 58% of male tech workers say an employer’s reputation regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion is “extremely”, “moderately”, or “somewhat” influential in their decision to work there.
Workplace Diversity in Healthcare
Most active physicians are White men and more nursing and rehabilitative positions are held by women. People of color are still vastly underrepresented in healthcare.
Only an approximate 5% of physicians identify as Black or African-American.
Less than 6% of physicians in the U.S. health sector identify as Hispanic.
28% of physicians and surgeons in the United States are immigrants, with doctors from India and China making up the largest groups.
Some healthcare professions, such as nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, are female-dominated. 91% of nurse practitioners and nurse midwives are female, but only 25% of this group identify as non-white.
Workplace Diversity in Finance
Finance is known for its leaky pipeline of female representation. Although entry-level positions in finance are held by women 52% of the time, female representation falls drastically throughout the ranks.
Women of color are 80% less represented in the C-suite than in entry-level positions.
64% of financial-services C-suite executives are White men, and 23% are White women.
By comparison, a mere 9% of C-suite positions in finance are held by men of color and 4% by women of color.
Statistics on Diversity and Inclusion Efforts
More than half of people who took part in a Glassdoor survey mentioned previously think their company should be doing more to increase diversity among its workforce. This belief was especially prevalent in respondents that belong to under-represented groups.
71% of Black employees and 72% of Hispanic employees said their employer should be doing more to increase the diversity within the company. By comparison, 58% of white employees shared this sentiment.
Publishing false or inflated information about diversity at a company does not serve anyone’s employer brand. Jobseekers trust social proof more than recruitment marketing with 66% of job seekers turning to employee reviews to understand what diversity and inclusion really look like at a company.
By comparison 19% of job seekers and employees trust senior leaders to convey this information truthfully, 9% turn to the company’s website, and 6% trust recruiters.
White employees are more likely to believe a company prioritizes diversity. According to Glassdoor data, this group gave a significantly higher rating for their company’s DEI practices (3.74 stars out of 5) than African American employees (3.49 stars out of 5).
According toHarvard Business Review, 60% of organizations report that they have a DEI strategy in place.
Of these companies, only 26% said they have gender representation goals, and 16% have race representation goals.
28% of companies hold their C-Suite executives accountable for progress regarding their strategic DEI goals.
Furthermore, 23% of companies hold C-Suite leadership accountable for pay equity, 12% look to them to drive gender diversity, and 5% are held accountable for racial and ethnic diversity.
Of the C-level executives in companies that say they prioritize diversity, 7% are held accountable for gender diversity in promotions, and 5% are held accountable for racial and ethnic diversity in promotions.
The report also notes that a mere 12% of DEI leaders have a team under them dedicated to DEI work.
Furthermore, only 9% of companies have a DEI leader who is at the same level as other executives.
To quote the report, “These data help us understand why so many organizations may be experiencing stalled DEI progress in the face of what they believe is an otherwise strong strategy.”
HR Tech’s Place in Creating a Diverse Workplace
According to the Harvard Business Report cited above, more than 90% of companies collect gender data in their HRIS (Human Resources Information System).
Of the companies surveyed, 88% also collect race and ethnicity data in this way.
Most organizations are tracking this information in their talent pipelines as well by using their ATS (Applicant Tracking System). 75% of companies collect gender data and 69% collect race and ethnicity data in their hiring pipeline.
While capturing this diversity data allows for representation to form part of organizational analytics, it is underutilized. Of the companies surveyed, 52% of companies analyze employee attrition by gender, and 40% by race and ethnicity.
These companies look at promotion and inward mobility data by gender in 46% percent of cases, and by race and ethnicity in 33% of cases.
Diversity in hiring outcomes is tracked by 40% of companies according to gender, and 31% of companies according to race and ethnicity.
What can Employers Do to Improve Workplace Diversity?
Given the degree to which workers prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion at work, companies risk hemorrhaging top talent and profits unless they prioritize it as well.
Luckily there are many tools available to aid in the task of creating a DEI-focused working environment.
As a first step, diversity hiring tools can aid in creating a candidate pool that represents minorities and women.
Consciously putting in place diversity and inclusion initiatives signals to existing employees that their DEI is an organizational priority.
Having tools and initiatives in place is not enough. Periodically test your diversity and inclusion strategy to ensure it is robust, sustainable, and making a tangible difference. A good way to track this is through pulse surveys through an employee engagement tool.
Bear in mind that, despite common misconceptions regarding DEI, diversity does not end with gender and race. A truly diverse and inclusive corporate environment also has representation of varying age groups, sexual orientations, gender identities, and disability statuses.
With a sensible plan in place to action diversity and inclusion efforts, and treat employees with sensitivity, companies will not only improve the employee experience they offer, but also their employer brand and reputation as a modern, inclusive place to work.