The Importance of Diversity in the Workplace: Statistics You Should Know

By Nikolina Cveticanin

February 6, 2024

Diversity and inclusion are some of the most important policies that can not only improve the working environment and enhance employee engagement but significantly contribute to all other aspects of any business. The benefits are numerous, and we will discuss them as we unveil some of the most interesting diversity in the workplace statistics.

Being a diverse company means hiring people of different ethnicities, gender, age, religion, etc. Companies that have successfully implemented D&I initiatives are often seen as more desirable for employees due to their broader perspective and the positive attitude they cherish. We have done our research, and these are some of the reasons everyone should embrace diversity.

Editor’s Choice of Diversity in the Workplace Statistics

  • In 2019, millennials accounted for 35% of the US labor force.
  • Only 8% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are female.
  • Diverse companies are 70% more likely to acquire new markets.
  • 46% of Hispanic and 39% of black women earn less than $15 an hour.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, fathers who worked remotely were promoted three times more than women in the same position.

General Workplace Diversity Data and Stats

In 2020, only 17.9% of persons with disabilities were employed in the US.

(US Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Based on the report published by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2020, the unemployment rate for persons with disabilities grew compared to the previous year. In 2019, the percentage of employed persons with disabilities in the US was 19.3. However, those numbers dropped to 17.9 the following year. 

Regarding people without disabilities, the report stated 66.3% of them were employed during 2019, but the numbers decreased to 61.8% in 2020. These rates show that there is still much work to be done to overcome the lack of diversity in the workplace, and statistics will need to include more people with disabilities in the workforce going forward.

By 2024, it’s expected that 24.8% of the US workforce will be employees older than 55.


It’s not a secret that the US workforce is aging each year. Research on shifting workforce demographics, conducted by Deloitte, suggests that by 2024 employees aged 55+ will make up 24.8% of the workforce. This might not mean much to you, but it is a severe increase if we go back to 1994 when this percentage was significantly lower, or to be precise, 11.9%.

The research also projects that the US workforce diversity statistics are about to change and, by 2024, less than two-thirds of the labor force will be defined as “white non-Hispanic.” Back in 1994, over 75% of the labor force fell into that category.

In 2019, millennials accounted for 35% of the US labor force.

(Pew Research Center)

Millennials are all those born between 1981 and 1996, and back in 2019, they accounted for over a third of the US labor force. In 2016, the millennial generation surpassed Generation Xers and became the largest population in the US labor force. 

According to research from 2019, Millennials are expected to comprise 75% of the global workforce by 2025. 

Gender Diversity in the Workplace Statistics

Only 8% of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies are female.


The gap between male and female leadership roles has always been a thing, and there are multiple statistics to confirm that. However, it looks like things are changing for the better. As Statista confirmed earlier this year, there’s been a new record when it comes to female CEOs. As of June 14, 2021, there were 41 female CEOs employed at Fortune 500 companies. According to the statistics, this wasn’t the only record that got broken. For the first time ever, two black women are running America’s 500 highest-grossing companies, giving us hope that gender diversity on executive boards might become a reality in the not-so-distant future.

In terms of the median salary in the US, women earn around 18% less than men.


The gap between the leadership roles isn’t the only hurdle that women are facing in business nowadays. PayScale, a company that helps employers and employees understand the appropriate pay for every position, reviewed these issues in its Gender Pay Gap Report for 2021. According to this report, women earn only $0.82 for every dollar a man makes. Although it might sound discouraging, this is a slight improvement compared to 2020, when they earned one cent less, as per employment diversity statistics. Also, bear in mind these are uncontrolled pay gap statistics – when doing the same job with the same qualifications, the numbers are less dire: women earn 98 cents for every dollar a man does.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, fathers who worked remotely were promoted three times more than women in the same position.


The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has affected all aspects of the business as we know it. Many had to adapt to the new reality and switch to their home offices instead. According to a CNBC report, 34% of men with children working from home received some kind of promotion during this period. 

On the other hand, women’s jobs have been hit much harder by the pandemic. According to an analysis conducted by the National Women’s Law Center, of the 1.1 million workers ages 20 and over, who left the labor force between August and September of 2020, 865,000 were women.

Racial and Cultural Diversity in the Workplace Statistics

46% of Hispanic and 39% of black women earn less than $15 an hour.

(The Washington Post)

In 2019, around 39 million people earned less than $15 per hour. These 39 million employees made about 28% of the workforce at the time, and the majority of the low-wage category consisted of Hispanic and black women. In fact, they were more than 2x as likely as white men to fall into this wage category. 

Based on the Washington Post’s research on diversity in the workplace, statistics haven’t really changed since 2019. Roughly 46% of Hispanic women and 39% of Black women still make less than $15 an hour. On the other hand, only 18% of White and Asian men hover around this wage bracket.

More than 90% of all Google employees are white or Asian men.


According to Statista, the distribution of Google employees in the US from 2014 to 2021 does not look very racially or gender-diverse. The data for 2021 shows that white men account for 50.4% of employees, with Asian men following with 42.3%. On the flip side, only 4.4% of the employees are black men and women. If you look at the timeline of these statistics on diversity in the workplace, you will see the Asian population is experiencing steady growth, while the white population dropped from 64.5% in 2014 to 50.4% in 2021. 

In 2019, black people held only 3.2% of senior leadership roles in large organizations in the US.


“Being Black in Corporate America” is the name of Coqual’s intersectional exploration aimed to show if and how things have changed for the black people in the US during the past few years. The research on the representation of black adults in the US has shown that only 3.2% of black people held senior leadership roles in major companies, with just 0.8% of them being Fortune 500 CEOs.

Benefits of Diversity in the Workplace Statistics

Diverse companies produce 19% more revenue than those with non-diverse leadership.


A study by the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), published in 2018, has found that diverse leadership increases the bottom line for companies. According to the study, increasing the diversity of leadership teams can lead to improved financial performance and better innovation. The study included 1,700 companies of all sizes across eight different countries. These findings are important as they show that diversity isn’t just an inclusion metric but an integral part of any successful business.

In 2019, gender-diverse companies were 25% more likely to outperform their competitors.


Various diversity in the workplace stats show just how important diversity is and how it can help boost the overall performance of businesses of all sizes. Based on the findings from McKinsey’s research in 2019, companies with gender diversity have 25% higher chances to achieve higher profits than those with less gender diversity on the executive boards.

Ethnic diversity in leadership teams is another vital factor. According to the report, companies implementing ethnic and cultural diversity on the executive level have a 36% likelihood of outperforming the competition. 

Diverse companies are 70% more likely to acquire new markets.

(Harvard Business Review) (Josh Bersin)

Establishing a diverse workplace is vital for all modern organizations, and there are many diversity in the workplace statistics that prove this. Diverse companies also have 2.3 times higher cash flow per employee. They are also far better at capturing new markets when compared to the companies that do not practice diversity hiring. 

80% of US job candidates look for inclusion when choosing an employer.


Salary and working hours aren’t the only deciding factor when it comes to choosing a new employer. Back in 2017, Deloitte published a research paper that surveyed more than 1,300 full-time employees from a range of organizations all across the US. The paper showed just how important diversity and inclusion initiatives are by showing that four-fifths of all employees look for an inclusive workplace. 39% of respondents confirmed they would quit their current job if they found a more inclusive working environment, while 23% indicated they already left a job for that very reason.


Is diversity in the workplace increasing?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US workforce population will continue to change and improve across nearly all demographic categories in years to come. By 2024, the share of women in the workforce is projected to rise to 47.2%. This isn’t the only change that awaits us. The age diversity in the workplace statistics show that workers are getting older on average, and by 2024, the number of employees who are 55 or older will significantly increase.

What problems can arise in a diverse workplace?

Although there are multiple benefits to it, there are also some difficulties a diverse workplace might face. Some of the most common problems are communication issues, cultural misunderstandings, and lack of consensus. Building diverse organizations isn’t just important for metrics. It is supposed to bring people together and help a company grow. That is why it is crucial to implement those measures properly and provide employees with diversity training programs to help them overcome those issues.

What are the four types of diversity?

While going through various diversity and inclusion statistics, we could see that there are four different types of diversity. Those include:

  • Internal diversity – race, age, gender, ethnicity, physical ability, mental ability, etc.
  • External diversity – education, religious beliefs, citizenship, appearance, etc.
  • Organizational diversity – job function, employment status, place of work, etc.
  • Worldview diversity – moral beliefs, political leanings, etc.

How does age diversity affect the workplace?

Age diversity is one of the essential parts of an effective and inclusive workplace, and there are many benefits to it. Age diversity can reduce the employee turnover rate, improve performance and brand reputation, and offer a wide variety of skill sets. As many of the diversity in the workplace statistics we inspected in the article show, having mixed-aged work teams brings a variety of experiences and boosts innovation. Each generation brings some unique skill sets to the organization, and by combining those, you can straighten your business strategy and grow your company’s profits.

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