Compiled from 22 credible sources, the latest workplace diversity statistics show that the issue of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is increasingly important to employees and employers in 2023, even if the road to get there isn’t always smooth.
Diversity is the representation of multiple groups, including those defined by race, age, gender, sexual orientation, and more.
Equity is the equal treatment of all people, which in the workplace often means equal pay, access to benefits, and opportunity for promotion.
Inclusion is a feeling of belonging within an organization. In the workplace, high inclusion means all groups feel comfortable to voice ideas and be their authentic selves, and are highly engaged in the company’s mission and goals.
Our workplace diversity statistics cover the following areas:
- Benefits of diversity in the workplace
- The importance of workplace diversity to today’s workers
- The state of workplace diversity in 2023
- Efforts to improve workplace diversity
Benefits of diversity in the workplace
The effects of workplace diversity on business performance are hard to measure, with factors such as company size, industry, culture, and other factors complicating studies. Even so, researchers have shown that diversity in the workplace provides several advantages.
- Companies with the greatest ethnic diversity at the leadership level (top quartile) are 36% more profitable than similar companies with the lowest ethnic diversity (bottom quartile)1.
- Companies with the greatest gender diversity at the leadership level (top quartile) are 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than similar companies with the lowest gender diversity (bottom quartile)1.
- Executive teams with more women (equal to or greater than 30% female) are 48% more profitable than teams with less women (less than 10% women)1.
- In 2020, respondents chose the top reasons to implement DEI at work. Some of their answers included the following2:
- the right thing to do (50% named it in their top 3)
- needed to satisfy employee expectations (48%)
- helpful for attracting, engaging, and retaining talent (48%)
- providing business benefits, such as increased revenue and productivity (21%)
- 86% of business leaders say that incorporating DEI into everyday work and measuring outcomes is either important or very important to their organization’s success3.
How important is workplace diversity to workers?
Workplace diversity matters to employees, and often affects their decisions when deciding to join a new company or stay at a current one. And to minority groups and younger generations, workplace diversity is even more significant.
General views on the importance of workplace diversity
- 78% of Americans surveyed agree that it’s important to work for a company that values DEI4.
- 74% of US workers report that corporate investment in DEI is either somewhat or very important when choosing a new job5.
- 76% of females consider corporate investment in DEI to be somewhat or very important when considering a job, compared to 72% of males who thought similarly6.
- 32% of job seekers would not apply to companies lacking in diversity7.
- 93% of workers consider DEI personally important to them — not just at work2.
- 36% of 18–44 year olds believe diversity and inclusion policies are important8.
- 18–34 year olds said they would consider turning down or leaving a job if they thought5:
- their manager didn’t support DEI initiatives (72%)
- there was a gender imbalance in the company’s leadership (67%)
- the company’s leadership was lacking in racial/ethnic diversity (65%)
- 70% of employees view DEI training as important (61%) or very important (9%), compared to 30% that consider DEI training as only somewhat important9.
- 37% of employers say candidates expect to learn about a company’s DEI efforts10.
- Only 5% of recruiters consider DEI to be among their top 3 priorities11.
Views on workplace diversity by racial/ethnic group
- Racial/ethnic minorities are more likely than the aggregate (74% of all respondents) to think a company’s commitment to DEI is important5:
- Hispanics (77%)
- Blacks (79%)
- Asian American/Pacific Islanders (82%)
- 80% of Black workers surveyed said they’d consider turning down or leaving a job if their manager didn’t support DEI initiatives5.
- The importance of DEI when choosing a job matters more for6:
- younger than older white workers (77% of Millennials and Gen Zers, compared to 67% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers).
- younger than older Hispanic workers (82% of Millennials and Gen Zers, compared to 69% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers).
- older than younger Black workers (84% of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, compared to 77% of Millennials and Gen Zers).
Views on workplace diversity by generation
- Young workers are more likely than older workers to say DEI is somewhat or very important when looking for a new job (80% of 18–34 year olds, compared to 74% of 35–54 year olds and 61% of workers over 65)6.
- 53% of Gen Z recruiters emphasize building a diverse workforce10.
- Men and women differ more in their views of DEI among older than younger generations. When asked if DEI is either somewhat or very important when choosing a job6,
- 70% of women and 56% of men in the Baby Boomer generation said yes
- 76% of women and 69% of men in the Gen X generation said yes
- 79% of both Millennial men and women said yes
- 76% women and 77% men (not statistically different) in the Gen Z generation said yes
The state of workplace diversity in 2023
Several diversity landmarks have been achieved in 2022, such as the growing number of minority CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. But while the US population is becoming more diverse, diversity at companies is lacking, not to mention equity and inclusion.
How diverse are workplaces today?
- Gen Z is more diverse than previous generations12.
- Gen Z is 52% white, 25% Hispanic, 14% Black, 6% Asian, and 5% other.
- When Boomers were the same age as Gen Zers are today, 82% identified as white (compared to 52% of Gen Zers today).
- 10.6% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women (as of January 2023)13.
- There are only 6 Fortune 500 companies with a Black CEO (as of 2022)14.
- Only 1 in 4 C-suite leaders is a woman15.
- Only 1 in 20 C-suite leaders is a woman of color15.
- 32% of women in technical and engineering jobs are the only woman in the room at work15.
- The average US company is projected to reach gender parity among executives in 29 years1.
How equitable and inclusive are workplaces today?
- 43% of US employees have either witnessed or experienced discrimination at work, including racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia8.
- 47% of Black and 49% of Hispanic workers have quit their job after witnessing or experiencing discrimination at work7.
- Women earn 82 cents for every dollar men earn16.
- For every 100 men who are promoted from entry level to manager15,
- 87 women are promoted (the broken rung)
- 82 women of color are promoted
- 75 Latinas are promoted
- Women in leadership are 2 times more likely than men in equivalent positions to be mistaken for someone more junior15.
- 37% of women leaders have reported a coworker taking credit for their idea vs. 27% of men leaders in the same situation15.
- 12% of women leaders (compared to 6% of men leaders) have had someone say or imply that they’re not qualified15.
- 39% of women leaders have had their judgment questioned, compared to 28% of men leaders, with the number being especially high for Black women leaders (55%)15.
- 29% of women working on-site report experiencing microaggressions, compared to 19% of women working remotely15.
- Globally, the percentage of women hired into leadership roles has increased from 33% in 2016 to 37% in 202217.
- Women in leadership are 2 times as likely as men in leadership to spend time on DEI work15.
- 52% of female leaders (senior managers or higher) are responsible for all of their family’s housework and childcare, whereas only 13% of male leaders are their family’s main caretaker15.
- The Hershey Company is a special case where women, Black, Latinx, and Asian employees earn the same salaries as white men (as of 2021)18.
- 71% of employees would be more willing to share their experiences and thoughts on diversity and inclusion if they could do so anonymously7.
- 15% of companies are extremely confident that their employees feel belonging, inclusion, and psychological safety, compared to9:
- 61% that feel only somewhat confident
- 24% that feel somewhat unconfident
Workplace diversity efforts
Workplace diversity efforts skyrocketed between 2019 and 2020 but have since either slowed or stalled in the US. These statistics demonstrate that while employers and employees have good intentions, more needs to be done to fund, implement, and track diversity and inclusion.
General status of DEI efforts
- While 21% of companies reported exceeding industry norms regarding DEI, 49% felt they were on par and 30% felt they were below industry norms9.
- In 2020, companies globally spent $7.5 billion on DEI-related efforts19.
- Global spending on DEI-related efforts is projected to be $15.4 billion by 202619.
- In 2021, workers reported on their organization’s DEI efforts, saying their company was doing4:
- “a lot” (33%)
- “some” (37%)
- “just a little” (14%)
- “nothing at all” (12%)
- When asked in 2021 how much of their company’s 2022 budget was allocated to DEI, workers responded that their company would9:
- direct fewer resources and budgeting to DEI (2%)
- direct the same amount of resources and budget toward DEI (19%)
- allocate more budget and resources to DEI (79%)
- HR professionals reported that DEI2:
- has always been important (37%)
- became important before 2020 (27%)
- became important in 2020 (18%)
- When asked how COVID-19 has affected DEI efforts, workers reported that the pandemic9:
- boosted commitment to DEI (32%)
- had no effect on DEI efforts (50%)
- negatively affected (such as by complicating or delaying) DEI efforts (18%)
- The top 5 metropolitan areas (defined by labor force size) that provide the greatest access to DEI programs are6:
- Seattle (73% of companies on Glassdoor)
- Las Vegas (71%)
- San Francisco (70%)
- Boston (68%)
- Charlotte (66%)
- 25% of business leaders feel prepared to incorporate and measure the outcomes of DEI in everyday work3.
- Most companies (60%) don’t have any workers whose primary job is to drive DEI (DEI-dedicated roles), while 25% have one and 15% have more than one DEI-dedicated role20.
- 39% of companies in 2020 (compared to 29% in 2019) offered DEI programs as a benefit6.
- Down from 43% in 2021, 41% of companies on Glassdoor provide access to DEI programs as a benefit in 20226.
- 47% of recruiters plan to increase DEI efforts in 202311.
Types of DEI efforts
- 41% of companies have a formal DEI policy20.
- 42% of companies that have a DEI policy don’t have a documented process for enforcing it20.
- 90% of companies have diversity goals21.
- 60% of companies hold DEI training20.
- 70% of companies purposefully source underrepresented candidates20.
- 18% of companies have an anonymous screening process20.
- 56% of companies have a DEI council or committee20.
- 18% of respondents named equity in compensation as one of the top 3 components of their company’s DEI strategy2.
- The main components of companies’ DEI strategies in 2021 included achieving2:
- diversity throughout the company (65% of respondents placed this in their top 3)
- equity in opportunity, contribution, and advancement (45%)
- team inclusivity (26%)
- diversity at the management level (25%)
- The top DEI priorities in 2022 were10:
- building a diverse workforce (39% of employers)
- gender pay equity (36%)
- creating systems/processes to promote DEI, such as mentorship programs (28%)
- More Boomer recruiters (46%) emphasize gender pay equity, compared to 36% across all generations10.
- 67% of Gen Z recruiters make efforts to recruit from diverse organizations, such as10:
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
- community colleges
- trade schools
- local organizations that support underrepresented groups
- Conversations advocating for increased DEI usually start with2:
- executives/management (47% of companies)
- HR representatives (17%)
- non-HR employees (16%)
- Entry level workers (29%) were more likely than executives (22%) to think that management should be accountable for DEI initiative outcomes2.
- Around 39% of workers, from entry to executive levels, believe that everyone should be responsible for DEI initiatives2.
- 24% of respondents believe that HR should be responsible for executing DEI initiatives2.
Measuring DEI progress
- When asked to name DEI metrics their organization measures, companies replied that they collect data regarding2:
- demographics of the entire company (53% of companies put it in their top 3 choices)
- employee engagement and retention (31%)
- promotions and advancement to ensure equity (29%)
- representation at the executive/management level (24%)
- Companies measure and analyze many metrics of diversity, including21:
- gender (81% of companies)
- age (65%)
- race (65%)
- disability status (42%)
- veteran status (40%)
- caretaking responsibility (12%)
- refugee status (11%)
- Companies update employees on DEI goals and progress9:
- every two years (33% of companies)
- every year (30%)
- every quarter (29%)
- more than once per quarter (8%)
- 24% of companies don’t measure the progress of their equity commitments3.
- While 93% of companies discuss meeting business goals in manager performance evaluations, only 34% of companies report progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their performance evaluations15.
- 40% of women leaders say that DEI work isn’t acknowledged in their performance reviews15.
Areas for improvement in DEI
- 11% of recruiters say that DEI programs are the first areas to be cut when reducing costs, along with company events and bonuses11.
- 30% of US employees reported that their employer doesn’t hold the same values regarding DEI8.
- 46% of companies report that leadership isn’t held accountable if workplace equity initiatives fail21.
- DEI drivers (16%), HR professionals (20%), and employees (17%) are more likely than business leaders (11%) to say that leadership communicates about DEI infrequently or not at all22.
- Most companies (89%) have a formal DEI strategy (while the other 11% don’t but plan to implement one within the next year)9.
- 43% of companies have dedicated resources and a budget for their DEI efforts while 57% do not9.
- 56% of companies recruit with DEI initiatives in mind, while 24% don’t but plan on emphasizing DEI when hiring in the future2.
- Women leaders are more than 1.5 times as likely as men in equivalent positions to have left a job to work for a company that was more committed to DEI15.
- Minority groups (71% of Black and 72% of Hispanic employees) are more likely than white employees (58%) to think their employer should do more to increase workplace diversity7.
- Women (71%) are less likely men (77%) to think that their company is making meaningful progress in DEI2.
- Dixon-Fyle, S., Hunt, V., Dolan, K., and S. Prince. (2020). Diversity wins: How inclusion matters. McKinsey & Company. https://www.mckinsey.com/~/media/mckinsey/featured%20insights/diversity%20and%20inclusion/diversity%20wins%20how%20inclusion%20matters/diversity-wins-how-inclusion-matters-vf.pdf
- MacKenzie, K. (2021). Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace: 2021 HR survey. Workable. https://get.workable.com/dei-workplace-survey-report
- Hatfield, S. and L. Kirby. (2023). Taking bold action for equitable outcomes. Deloitte. https://www2.deloitte.com/uk/en/insights/focus/human-capital-trends/2023/diversity-equity-inclusion-belonging.html
- CNBC. (2021). CNBC and SurveyMonkey release latest workforce happiness survey. CNBC News Releases. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/30/cnbc-and-surveymonkey-release-latest-workforce-happiness-survey.html
- Indeed & Glassdoor. (2023). Indeed & Glassdoor’s hiring and workplace trends: Report 2023. Indeed & Glassdoor. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/app/uploads/sites/2/2022/11/Indeed-Glassdoors-2023-Hiring-Workplace-Trends-Report-Glassdoor-Blog-1.pdf
- Terrazas, A. and R. Johnson. (2022). Who cares about diversity, equity, and inclusion? Glassdoor. https://www.glassdoor.com/research/who-cares-about-diversity-equity-and-inclusion/
- Glassdoor. (2020). Diversity and inclusion workplace survey. Glassdoor. https://b2b-assets.glassdoor.com/glassdoor-diversity-inclusion-workplace-survey.pdf
- Glassdoor. (2022). Glassdoor launches advanced filters to find companies highly rated for work/life balance, diversity & inclusion, and more. Glassdoor. https://www.glassdoor.com/about-us/glassdoor-launches-advanced-filters-to-find-companies-highly-rated-for-work-life-balance-diversity-amp-inclusion-and-more/
- Traliant and WBR Insights. (2021). How to build an effective DEI program. Traliant and WBR Insights. https://www.traliant.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Traliant_How-to-Build-an-Effective-DEI-Program.pdf
- Monster. (2022). The future of work: 2022 global report. Monster. https://media.monster.com/marketing/2022/The-Future-of-Work-2022-Global-Report.pdf
- Monster. (2023). 2023 Monster work watch report. Monster. https://learnmore.monster.com/monster-work-watch-report
- Parker, K. and R. Igielnik. (2020). On the cusp of adulthood and facing an uncertain future: What we know about Gen Z so far. Pew. https://www.pewresearch.org/social-trends/2020/05/14/on-the-cusp-of-adulthood-and-facing-an-uncertain-future-what-we-know-about-gen-z-so-far-2/
- Hinchliffe, E. (2023). Women CEOs run more than 10% of Fortune 500 companies for the first time in history. Fortune. https://fortune.com/2023/01/12/fortune-500-companies-ceos-women-10-percent/
- McGlauflin, P. (2022). The number of Black Fortune 500 CEOs returns to record high — meet the 6 chief executives. Fortune. https://fortune.com/2022/05/23/meet-6-black-ceos-fortune-500-first-black-founder-to-ever-make-list/
- Thomas, R., Cooper, M., McShane Urban, K., Cardazone, G., Noble-Tolla, M., et al., (2022). Women in the workplace 2022. McKinsey & Company. https://wiw-report.s3.amazonaws.com/Women_in_the_Workplace_2022.pdf
- Jones, J. (2021). 5 facts about the state of the gender pay gap. US Department of Labor Blog. https://blog.dol.gov/2021/03/19/5-facts-about-the-state-of-the-gender-pay-gap
- World Economic Forum. (2022). Global gender gap report 2022. World Economic Forum. https://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GGGR_2022.pdf
- Petross, A. (2021). How we’re holding ourselves accountable and being transparent in our diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. Hershey. https://www.thehersheycompany.com/en_us/home/newsroom/blog/how-were-holding-ourselves-accountable-and-being-transparent-in-our-diversity-equity-and-inclusion-goals.html
- Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (2021). With global spending projected to reach $15.5 billion by 2026, diversity, equity, & inclusion takes the lead role in the creation of stronger business. Cision PR Newswire.
- Blanche, A. Woo, V., Jackson, F., Martinez, P., Luc, K., et al. (2022). Workplace diversity, equity, and inclusion report: Understanding the DEI landscape. Culture Amp. https://careers.uiowa.edu/sites/careers.uiowa.edu/files/2022-03/2022-workplace-dei-report.pdf
- Syndio. (2022). The 2023 workplace equity trends report. Syndio. https://synd.io/workplace-equity-trends-report/#pdf
- PwC. (2022). Global diversity, equity, and inclusion survey. PwC. https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/services/people-organisation/global-diversity-and-inclusion-survey.html