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4 Statistics Highlighting the Importance of Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Amy Watts
Amy Watts

The last few years have seen important conversations about discrimination brought to the fore - and the workplace is no exception. 

A diverse, inclusive workplace is something that every employer should be working towards. But levelling the playing field and creating a more equal work environment should not just be seen as a box ticking exercise. 

Multiple studies have proven more diverse workplaces achieve better results and have happier employees.

Diversity vs. Inclusion

Before we delve in, it’s important to understand the key difference between diversity and inclusion, and why workplaces need to have both.

While having a diverse team is a crucial first step, inclusivity is the key to curating an engaged and productive workforce. Creating a company culture in which all employees feel included and valued ensures that you are also maintaining diversity, and not just ticking a box during hiring.

As explained by diversity and social responsibility officer at ADP, Rita Mitjans - diversity is the “what”, inclusion is the “how”. That is, diversity reflects the makeup of your workforce - whether it’s gender, race, religion, ability or sexuality - while inclusion is the day-to-day workplace culture that empowers employees to thrive.

“Hiring diverse talent isn’t enough—it’s the workplace experience that shapes whether people remain and thrive.” - McKinsey

Key statistics on diversity and inclusion

We mentioned studies showcasing the positive impact of a diverse workforce and inclusive workplace - let’s take a look at some of the key statistics highlighting the benefits of diversity and inclusion at work.

1. Inclusive companies are 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders

More diversity equals more innovation according to research by Josh Bersin. In fact, companies that ranked as more inclusive were 1.7 times more likely to be innovation leaders in their market, and 1.8 times more likely to be change-ready.

The findings reaffirm that workforces built up of varying perspectives, experiences and mindsets are able to find more innovative solutions and break more barriers than teams with homogenous backgrounds. 

A report by BCG also found that this extends to leadership, as companies with above average diversity on their management teams reported greater innovation revenue.

“This finding is huge for tech companies, start-ups, and industries where innovation is the key to growth. It shows that diversity is not just a metric to be strived for, it is actually an integral part of a successful revenue generating business.” Anna Powers, Forbes

2. Companies with more diverse executive teams are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability

Beyond innovation, having a more diverse team leads to better results overall for your business.

Gender diversity among executive teams has proven to be particularly beneficial, as research by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for executive gender diversity were 25% more likely to generate greater profits. 

The report also shows that companies with more than 30% women executives are more likely to outperform those with fewer or none at all. 

In a recent study for the Harvard Business Review, Paul Gompers and Sipla Kovvali suggest that this is due to the fact that diverse teams are more equipped to deal with adversity and difficult work environments, and can perform better as a result.

“Thriving in a highly uncertain competitive environment requires creative thinking in those areas, and the diverse collaborators were better equipped to deliver it.” - Harvard Business Review

3. Inclusive teams make better business decisions twice as fast

We’ve already seen how increased diversity and inclusion can lead to better performance. Unsurprisingly, it has also been shown that a more inclusive work environment can lead to better business decisions.

A white paper by Cloverpop has found that inclusive teams actually make better business decisions up to 87% of the time, and they make those decisions twice as fast within half as many meetings. Another noteworthy statistic from the report is that decisions made and executed by diverse teams delivered 60% better results, maximizing business performance substantially.

Researchers from the Harvard Business Review found that this stems from increased cognitive diversity, which enables teams to solve problems faster and more effectively.

What is cognitive diversity? Simply put, it’s the inclusion of team members who have different ways of thinking, whether it’s due to education, class, cultural background, race or many other factors.

Improving cognitive diversity among your workforce helps to prevent ‘groupthink’: the echo chamber that arises when team members all think the same way and try to apply the same set of tools, resulting in limited solutions.

4. More than 3 in 4 job seekers are looking at diversity when deciding whether to accept a job offer

The need for diversity no longer stems solely from top-down quotas and targets. Today’s pool of job seekers are becoming increasingly more aware of social issues and how they can make a difference in their own lives - including at work.

According to a survey from Glassdoor, 76% of respondents say that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers, and nearly a third would not apply to a job at a company where diversity is lacking.

“Employers need to pay attention to how ideas about diversity are evolving, especially now that Millennials make up the majority of the workforce. These younger workers expect to work in an environment that encourages all types of voices and experiences, including their own.” ELI

What is eduMe?

eduMe is a mobile training tool used by deskless workforces around the world. Our customers include Uber, Deliveroo, Gorillas, gopuff & Wolt.

Put simply - how easy it is to use and how effective it is. Faster onboarding, quicker time to productivity and a safer workforce are all benefits our customers see. Take a look at an explanation video here.

How to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace

It’s one thing to talk about the benefits of diversity and inclusion, but how can you ensure it becomes embedded in your culture to the benefit of your business - and workforce - long-term? 

The first step is to review the policies and measures currently in place to promote diversity, and how they can be improved. Evaluate your hiring practices in addition to things like the current diversity among your management teams, anti-discrimination policies and pay gaps. Where are the weaknesses in your diversity and inclusion efforts, and how can they be strengthened?

But ensuring diversity inclusion and equity long-term requires ongoing education. Once you have a clear understanding of changes that need to be implemented, it’s all about training. 

Mobile training tools such as eduMe allow companies to roll out diversity, equity and inclusion training seamlessly and effectively to anyone, wherever they are, enabling companies of any size or kind to raise awareness, highlight and upskill individuals on new policies and ensure a company-wide commitment to creating an inclusive work environment..

Ride-sharing platform Uber recently partnered with eduMe to deliver anti-racism education to 23 million customers, drivers and delivery partners as part of their company-wide pledge to combat discrimination.

Get in touch now to find out how we can help improve diversity and inclusion in your workforce👇