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28 Corporate Diversity Statistics to Inform Modern Business

In an ever-changing globalized workplace, organizations must be cognizant of the importance of inclusiveness and diversity. Many companies have made corporate diversity an increased focus in recent years, but worldwide protests in 2020 have forced the business world to put a renewed effort into diversity and inclusion.

Below are statistics and resources to help business leaders better understand the importance of corporate diversity and inclusion. It is far from an exhaustive list, so to suggest additional resources please email jrudnik @

Above: Mentions of “Diversity in the workplace” and “corporate diversity” in books, 1950-2008. (Google Books)

Table of Contents


Business Impact of Corporate Diversity

  • Companies with more diverse executive boards had 53% higher returns on equity (ROE), as well as higher earnings (McKinsey, 2012) 
  • Ethnically diverse organizations are more likely to have a 35% better performance (Forbes, 2015) 
  • Gender-diverse organizations are more likely to have a 15% better performance (McKinsey, 2015) 
  • 85% of CEOs reported that having a diversity strategy has enhanced business performance (PWC, 2015)


Leadership Diversity and Inclusion

  • 77% of CEOs plan to adopt a strategy that promotes diversity and inclusiveness (PWC, 2015) 
  • More than two-thirds of executives rate diversity and inclusion as an important issue (Glassdoor) 
  • Inclusive leaders can drive up to a 70% increase in individuals’ feelings of inclusion (Deloitte, 2018) 
  • A study of more than 20,000 firms in 91 countries found that companies with more female executives are more profitable (ScienceDirect, 2016) 
  • Women account for 39% of the total supply chain workforce, and only 11% of the executive leadership positions (Gartner, 2019)


Corporate Diversity and Financial Impact

  • “Highly inclusive” organizations generate 2.3 times more cash flow per employee (Glassdoor) 
  • Organizations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial targets (Catalyst, 2018) 
  • Companies in the bottom-quartile of both gender and ethnic diversity were 29% less likely to achieve above-average profitability (McKinsey, 2017)


Importance of Diversity and Inclusion to Employees

  • Women consider workplace diversity (72%) more important than men (62%) (Glassdoor, 2014) 
  • 80% of respondents rate inclusion as an important issue and 39% said they would leave their current organization for a more inclusive one (Deloitte, 2017) 
  • 23% of respondents said they have already left an organization for a more inclusive one (Deloitte, 2017) 
  • 12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 by improving gender equality (McKinsey, 2015) 
  • By 2044, traditionally unrepresented “minority” groups will reach majority status (SHRM, 2017)


Additional Benefits of Inclusiveness

  • Inclusive businesses are 1.8 times more likely to be change-ready and are 1.7 times more innovative (JoshBersin, 2015) 
  • Millennials are 83% more actively engaged in their work when they believe their organization is inclusive (Deloitte) 
  • Minority workers can enjoy a greater job satisfaction when representation exceeds 15% of the workforce (McKinsey, 2015) 
  • Diverse teams make 87% better business decisions when compared to individual decision makers (Cloverpop, 2018)


Corporate Diversity Areas of Improvement

  • 40 countries out of 95 have extremely high levels of economic gender-inequality (McKinsey, 2015) 
  • Women of color potentially suffer from a double burden of bias, therefore they hold the smallest share of leadership roles (McKinsey, 2017) 
  • Only 4.1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women (Fortune, 2016) 
  • Only 3.2% of Fortune 500 companies share diversity data (Fortune, 2017) 
  • 57% of employees think their company should improve diversity (Glassdoor, 2014) 
  • Diversity programs have a high failure rate (70%), mainly because management does not make them a priority, or does not believe in them (McKinsey, 2015) 
  • The labor force participation of workers who have professional certification is significantly higher (87.7%) than those without them (57.8%) (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2019)


Corporate diversity has proven to benefit a company’s bottom line, but its benefits go far beyond profit margins. It improves employee happiness, encourages innovation, provides equal opportunities, and more. For companies in need of training, we provide a list of corporate diversity and inclusion training programs.