80+ Diversity in the Workplace Statistics You Should Know

Bailey Reiners
December 14, 2020
Updated: May 4, 2021
Bailey Reiners
December 14, 2020
Updated: May 4, 2021

Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace are arguably two of the most highly discussed and debated topics in the HR and recruiting realm. Companies are asking questions like 'what really is diversity?' and 'how does building a diverse and inclusive workplace impact business?' Well, we've got the answers for you.

This article covers a wide range of statistics related to diversity and inclusion in the workplace that will help your team better understand the complex nature of the topics. It will also help you learn the importance of prioritizing diversity and inclusion to build a better internal workforce that will ultimately yield higher revenue and boost employee performance, which we'll get to in a bit.

Notable Diversity in the Workplace Statistics

  1. By 2044, groups formerly seen as "minorities" will reach majority status
  2. By 2025 Millennials are predicted to make up 75% of the workforce
  3. Diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee
  4. 43% of companies with diverse boards noticed higher profits
  5. Racially & ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform better



Feel free to click on the links below to skip ahead.

Table of Contents


The United States Census Bureau

Before we get into each section, we wanted to share information from the United States Census Bureau to give you a source of reference for the general diversity of the U.S. population. Keep in mind, there are a lot of discrepancies around the U.S. Census and they note, "Some estimates presented here come from sample data, and thus have sampling errors that may render some apparent differences between geographies statistically indistinguishable."

  • White: 76.5%
  • Hispanic or Latinx: 18.3%
  • Black or African American: 13.4%
  • Asian: 5.9%
  • American Indian or Alaska Native: 1.3%
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander: 0.2%
  • Two or more races: 2.7%

Additionally, here are a few more statistics that may be helpful to reference as you read the statistics throughout this article:

  • Women make up 50.8% of the U.S. population.
  • 58.2% of the civil labor force is made up of women aged 16+.
  • 87.3% of people have graduated from high school.
  • 30.9% of people have at least a bachelor's degree.
  • 8.7% of people under the age 65 are a person with a disability.
  • People between the ages of 18 and 65 (working age) make up 38.4% of the population.


Diversity of the General Population 

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By 2020, the caucasian population is anticipated to drop to 63% of the total u.s. population

The caucasian population is less than one year away from dropping to 63% of the total U.S. population at this point. Not only that, but the minority working-age demographic of the workforce is predicted to increase to 37% of the U.S. population — up 19% since 1980.

by 2044, groups formerly seen as “minorities” will reach majority status

And within the millennials working lifetime, groups that were historically underrepresented populations will reach majority status

By 2065, the U.S. population will not have any single ethnic or racial majorities

In the not-too-far future, as the majority white population declines and underrepresented demographic populations grow, there will eventually no longer be a single ethnic or racial majority in the United States.

By 2025, millennials are predicted to make up 75% of the workforce

In just a few years, the same amount of time it takes to obtain a standard bachelor’s and master’s degree, millennials will make up more than three-fourths of the U.S. workforce

44.2% of Millennials classify themselves as non-caucasian 

One report found millennials are by far the largest and most diverse generation in American history, with 44.2% of millennials classifying themselves as non-white.

Millennials are 16% more diverse than Baby Boomers

Only 56% of millennials are white. Not only that, but there are 11 million more millennials than there are baby boomers.


Unemployment Rates of Diverse Demographics

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In 2018, the unemployment rate for veterans hit an all-time low

For female veterans, the unemployment rate dipped to just 3% and for male veterans 3.5% — down from an average of 5.1% for both genders in 2016.

In 2018, the unemployment rate for persons with a disability rose to 8% 

Compared to the unemployment rate of people without a disability, which was just 3.7% in 2017, the unemployment rate is more than double for persons with a disability.

The average unemployment rate in the United States in 2018 was 3.8%  

But the United States unemployment rate varies significantly by race and ethnicity.

  • Black or African American: 6.5%

  • Hispanic or Latinx: 4.7%

  • White: 3.5%

  • Asian: 3.0%

The unemployment rate for people with less than a high school diploma was 5.6%

The unemployment rate for people with less than a high school diploma also changed by race and ethnicity.

  • Black or African American: 10.4%

  • Hispanic or Latinx: 4.6% 

  • White: 4.1% 

  • Asian: 2.9% 

As of 2018, 19.2% of families don’t have a single family member who is employed

And when you look at families who don’t have a single family member employed by race and ethnicity, the statistics are drastically different.

  • Black or African American families: 20.7%

  • White families: 19.6% 

  • Hispanic or Latinx families: 12.5% 

  • Asian families: 11.7% 

In 19.1% of heterosexual married-couple families, only the husband was employed

That means nearly one in five heterosexual married couple families are surviving on a single income brought in solely by the head man of the family.

Compared to 6.8% of heterosexual married-couple families, where only the wife was employed

This highlights the perpetual contrast between mothers and fathers in the workforce and how domestic roles continue to fall more traditionally on mothers.

25.9% of heterosexual married-couples survive on a single income

If you add the two percentages together, 25.9% of heterosexual married-couple families are surviving on a single income with either the mother or father staying home with the children. 

As of August 2019, the unemployment rate of foreign-born workers was 3.1%

That’s actually quite a bit lower compared to native-born workers, where the unemployment rate is 3.9%.


How Diversity and Inclusion Impacts Revenue and Profits

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Diverse companies enjoy 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee

One study found that over a three-year period, companies with a diverse set of employees notice a significant increase in cash flow, not just overall, but among individual contributors at the company. 

Diverse management boosts revenue by 19%

Another study looked at companies with diverse management teams and found that, on average, they enjoyed a 19% increase in revenue compared to their less diverse counterparts. 

43% of companies with diverse boards noticed higher profits

Not only is it beneficial to have diverse employees and management, but companies with diverse boards also noticed significantly higher profits.

Companies with highly gender-diverse executive teams perform significantly better 

Executive teams that are highly gender-diverse are found to be 21% more likely to outperform on profitability

Plus, companies that are highly gender-diverse notice exceptional value creation.

Gender-diverse companies that are in the top-quartile for gender diversity on executive boards are 27% more likely to have superior value creation.




How Diversity and Inclusion Boost Employee Performance

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Racially & ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to perform Better

Companies with significantly more racial and ethnic diversity, when compared to other similar companies, are much more likely to outperform competitors.

Gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to have higher performance

In addition to racial and ethnic diversity, gender diversity is a key player in boosting performance in the workforce.

Diverse companies are much more likely to capture new markets

Diverse companies are significantly better positioned, 70% moreto capture new markets. And with more markets comes higher performance and more money.

diverse teams are 87% better at making decisions

Compared to individual decision makers, diverse teams make better decisions 87% of the time.


Why Inclusivity Matters in the Workplace

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We really can't emphasize enough the importance of inclusion as an essential component of any workforce diversity strategy. Sure, you can hire a wide range of diverse employees but if they don't feel included and equal, they aren't going to contribute their diverse ideas and experiences equally. And, more likely than not, they won't to stay at your company for very long, nor will they recommend your company as an employer of choice. Here are a few reasons why inclusion is critical in your workplace:

Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more innovative

When compared to other companies in the same industries, those that are not only diverse but inclusive are much more likely to be leaders of innovation.  

Inclusivity leads to significantly higher cash flow per employee

Over just three years, companies that have a highly inclusive culture notice 2.3 times more cash flow per employee

Inclusive companies are 120% more likely to hit financial goals

When people feel included at work, they’re better able to band together and are much more likely to meet their financial goals.

Plus, highly inclusive companies see 1.4 times More revenue

All that talk about bringing people together and building an inclusive workplace culture actually does pay off — who knew people really do work harder when they enjoy being at work!

Inclusive company cultures lend to Millennials being more engaged with their work

When companies foster a more inclusive work environment, a whopping 83% of millennials are found to be actively engaged in their work


Gender Diversity in the Workplace

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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that different genders are far from equal when it comes to workplace opportunities and pay. Across the globe, the average gender pay gap is 17%, and it ranges from 3% to 51%. And in recent years, women’s participation in the workforce has dropped drastically to below 50% — for reference, their participation was above 80% in 2010. 

It's also important to keep in mind that while gender inequalities and diversity are some of the most commonly discussed and debated topics in the HR and workplace industries, gender diversity is just one facet of building a diverse and equal opportunity workplace. Here are a few reasons why it is an important component of diversity and inclusion:

The GDP could increase 26% by equally diversifying the workforce

Aside from gender equality being an ethical and moral obligation, it also has significant monetary gains. If the global workforce became equally gender-diverse, the global GDP could increase by $28 trillion.

In the UK, companies with gender-diverse senior executive teams notice a 3.5% increase in EBIT

For every 10% increase in gender diversity among senior executive teams in the United Kingdom, companies earn 3.5% more in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT)

Companies with equal men and women earn 41% higher revenue

When men and women are treated equally at work, they perform better. In fact, they perform significantly better than companies who perpetuate gender inequalities.

Gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to notice higher financial returns

When compared to other companies in the same industries, companies that are highly gender-diverse are much more likely to gain higher financial returns than their competitors.

Nearly half of people notice a double standard against women candidates 

Of both men and women, 40% believe there is a double standard when it comes to hiring men versus hiring women. 

Men are twice as likely to be hired, regardless of the hiring manager’s gender

A study found that hiring managers — both men and women — are twice as likely to hire male candidates.

It’s more likely to have a CEO named John or David than to have a CEO who is a Woman

Out of all the Fortune 500 CEOs, 5.3% are named John and 4.5% are named David. The fact that two male names make up nearly 10% of CEOs, you can’t help but notice a slight bias... 

Even worse, Just 4% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women

If you thought last statistic was shocking, get this — only 4.1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.

Women are much more likely to be hired with blind applications

One study found that when men and women submitted blind applications or auditions for a job, a woman’s likelihood of getting the job increased by 25-46%. Not only that, women were actually more likely to be hired than men. 

Since 2014, more women have obtained 4-year college degrees each year than men

More and more women are gaining degrees of higher education, making them more competitive candidates in the workforce compared to their counterparts who do not have a degree. 

At work, half of men believe women are well-represented 

At companies where 10% of senior leaders are women, half of men see women as being well-represented at their company.

If 10% of leaders are women, how many leaders are men?

Again, take note from the previous statistic that if 10% of leaders are women, that means 90% of senior leaders are men at the companies where men believe women are well-represented.

Shockingly, 34% of people believe executives who are men are better at risk assessment

A little over a third of respondents to a study said that they see male executives as more apt at assessing risk

only 23% of C-suites are made up of women

Across the board, women make up less than a quarter of all CEOs.

Yet only 4% of C-Suites are made up of women of color

And of the 23% of women in the C-Suite, just 4% of those leaders are women of color. In nearly every category, women of color are the most underrepresented population in the workforce, compared to white women, men of color and white men.

Men are 30% more likely to be promoted to a managerial role

It makes sense that there are so few women in the C-Suite, when you know men are 30% more likely to be promoted from an entry-level position to a managerial position. If women struggle to obtain a promotion early in their career, it’s going to be much more difficult for them to reach C-Suite level roles later on.

Women ask for pay raises at the same rate as men

Contrary to popular belief, women actually ask for pay raises just as often as men at the same levels.

But women receive pay raises 5% less often than men

Even though women are asking for pay raises just as much as men, women are slightly less likely to receive a pay raise.


Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Workplace

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A much more challenging topic for most companies to thoughtfully and critically discuss is that of racial and ethnic diversity in the workplace. While this may be a challenging topic, it's certainly not an excuse to avoid it altogether, especially with the abundance of resources readily available online and in your local community. 

Plus, the benefits of hiring a truly diverse and inclusive workforce significantly outweighs the challenges that come with tackling unfamiliar responsibility. Don't just take our word for it, check out these true facts on the matter:

Minorities are expected to make up 37% of the workforce by 2020

In 1980, working age minorities made up 18% of the workforce. By 2020, it is predicted that minorities of working age will make up more than a third of the workforce. 

Hispanic and Latinx workers made up 16.8% of the U.S. workforce in 2016

Over the past 30 years, the percentage of Hispanic and Latinx workers in the U.S. population rose from 7.4% in 1980 to 16.8% in 2016.

Only 1% of Fortune 500 companies have African American or Black CEOs

Earlier we shared statistics about gender inequalities among senior leadership at Fortune 500 companies. For men and women of color, the inequalities are significantly greater. Out of all Fortune 500 companies, just 5 have African American or black CEOs.

Only 3.2% of Fortune 500 companies release race & gender data

Companies are eerily secretive when it comes to the diverse — or not so diverse — makeup of their internal workforce. Just 3.2% of Fortune 500 companies openly share race and gender demographics of their employees. And the companies that do also break up the data by job category and management level. 

Racially diverse teams perform 35% better

In 2015, McKinsey & Company conducted a study that found companies with high racial and ethnic diversity among their employees outperformed their counterpart companies by 35%

A 10% increase in racial and ethnic diversity on senior executive teams leads to increased EBIT

Teams notice a 0.8% increase in earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT) when they increased racial and ethnic diversity on senior executive teams by 10%.

Sales revenue increases 15 fold among companies with high racial diversity 

Another study found companies that report the highest levels of racial diversity saw 15 times the sales revenue compared to companies with the least racial diversity among their employees.


Importance of Diversity Among Job Seekers

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Not only is diversity and inclusion important for business, it's important to candidates. More and more candidates are researching a company’s internal race, ethnicity and gender data. They’re also not afraid to ask the tough questions during interviews, inquiring about diversity and inclusion initiatives and upcoming goals for improvement.

Think about it, if you’re planning on spending 40+ hours a week working for a company, you want to know if it’s a place that is welcoming of diverse individuals. Here's what we know about candidates:

67% of candidates seek out diverse companies 

Didn’t believe us? Well, it’s true. Two out of three candidates actively look for companies that are distinguished as diverse workforces, and they take this into account when accepting job offers. 

Industries continue to exclude diverse candidates by recruiting exclusively from elite universities

Unfortunately, companies still place a high value on candidates who obtained a degree from a pedigree university or college. The recent college admissions scandal is a solid example of how privilege and opportunity — rather than merit — can provide some individuals with more highly regarded experiences than others.

Companies that hire for “culture fit” fail to hire diverse candidates

For a while, the term “culture fit” was all the rage among the recruiting industry. However, among further inspection of the phrase and practice of hiring for culture fit, people discovered they were actually just hiring people who were similar to their current team. Instead, companies should think about “culture add” as a recruitment strategy for hiring diverse people with different experiences that can add to the existing culture. 

Resumes with African American-sounding names receive 14% less call-backs for jobs than white-sounding names

A study done by the University of Wisconsin found that resumes submitted by people with African American-sounding names were 14% less likely to receive a call back for a job than resumes submitted by people with white-sounding names.

Caucasian candidates are 50% more likely to receive callbacks for a job than African Americans

Building off of the previous statistic, another study found that Caucasian candidates got 50% more callbacks for jobs than African American candidates.


Importance of Diversity Among Employees

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In addition to candidates, people who are already employed are also concerned about the diversity of their own companies. Companies that don’t prioritize diversity and inclusion in all senses of the words may see their employees quickly turn into active job seekers. 

More than half of employees want their employers to improve diversity 

57% of employees say they believe their companies should improve diversity among the internal workforce. 

78% of people believe Diversity and inclusion offers a competitive advantage

Even employees understand the importance of diversity and inclusion from a strategic perspective. The same study found that 39% of respondents believed diversity and inclusion offer a significant competitive advantage over their competitors. 

Employees actually keep track of how focused senior managers are on diversity & inclusion

Some employees actively keep tabs on diversity and inclusion efforts within their companies. In fact, 13% of employees monitor how often senior managers discuss the topics during meetings. 

Nearly half of employees believe their company needs to improve diversity of gender, race and ethnicity

Employees aren’t just looking at one facet of diversity. One study of 1,500 employees found that nearly half said their companies could improve diversity of gender, race and ethnicity.

And 40% believe their companies should increase diversity in terms of sexual orientation

In the same study of 1,500 employees, 40% of respondents noted their company could improve diversity of sexual orientation. 

24% of employees have experienced discrimination at work

Nearly one fourth of employees shared they have experienced discrimination at their current place of work.

Even worse, 40% of employees leave a company after experiencing harassment, bullying or stereotyping

Another study found 40% of employees who have experienced harassment, bullying or stereotyping led them to quit their job and seek alternative employment opportunities.


Importance of Diversity Among Managers and Executives

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While every single employee can play a hand in building a diverse and inclusive workplace, the leadership team has significantly more resources and leverage to prioritize these initiatives. From hiring new talent to allocating budget for diversity and inclusion trainings to organizing team building activities, managers and executives are critical for boosting diversity and inclusion at any company. And yet, here are a few statistics that might surprise you:

41% of managers are “too busy” to prioritize diversity

Unfortunately, almost half of managers have higher priorities than creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. And unfortunately for them, they’re not doing their team or the company any good by pushing these efforts aside. 

Diversity & Inclusion is an important issue for nearly 70% of executives

Interestingly enough, the vast majority of executives state that diversity and inclusion are important issues to them. Clearly there’s some disconnect between managers and executives given the previous statistic. 

45% of employees believe managers have the highest potential to boost diversity 

Even more so than the C-Suite or HR department, 45% of people believe managers have more opportunities to increase diversity. If you think about it, managers are typically the ones hiring and mentoring employees, so they have plenty of opportunities to improve diversity within the company.

Senior management teams with 15% or more women notice a 5% increase in equity

Having a diverse senior management team is also a benefit to companies. One study found that companies with 15% or more women in senior management roles benefit from a 5% increase in equity

since 2014, 32% more executives care about Diversity & Inclusion

Diversity and inclusion are quickly on the rise as issues of increasing importance in the workplace. Since 2014, there’s been a 32% increase in executives prioritizing diversity and inclusion at their companies. 

And 38% of executives believe CEOs are primarily responsible for Diversity & Inclusion initiatives 

While diversity and inclusion seems to consistently be important topics to employees at each seniority level, there isn't a consistent viewpoint on who is responsible for taking action on diversity and inclusion initiatives. Even though the majority of executives believe diversity and inclusion are important issues, 38% also believe CEOs are responsible for taking action

85% of CEOs with diverse and inclusive cultures notice increased profits

A significant percent of CEOs notice a difference in their bottom line when their teams are diverse and inclusive. 

86% of women seek employers with diversity and inclusion strategies

Not only that, but 74% of men also seek employers with diversity and inclusion strategies in place. This can be a significant factor for candidates when deciding which companies to apply for and accept job offers from.

Larger companies are more likely to have diversity & inclusion programs

With more money and resources, larger companies tend to have more diversity and inclusion programs than smaller companies. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. There are countless diversity and inclusion initiatives that take little effort and money to help improve a company no matter their size or available resources.







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