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April 12, 2021

Reading and resources: Find the facts about diversity in the workplace

Iconography of a woman with magnifying glass and a woman in a wheelchair investigating a document in search for DEI in the workplace facts.

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Any worthy leader will agree that creating a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace is the right thing to do. But when it comes to convincing them to make it a priority, you’ll need to have more than just a moral argument to hand. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources full of facts about diversity in the workplace that you can share to support your business case.  To save you time scrolling to find the most up-to-date and reliable diversity in the workplace facts, WORK180 has created a handy reading and resources list. From Ted Talks and books to surveys and reports, you’re sure to find the facts presented in a format that will work for your audience. That means you can spend less time searching for sources and concentrate on changing the working world for all women!  Please note: To ensure you’re reading and sharing the most relevant facts about diversity in the workplace, this list is updated regularly. To recommend a resource, please reach out to us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Contents:

Six places to find hard facts about diversity in the workplace

1. You can always depend on McKinsey & Company for clear and comprehensive data, insights, and reports on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): 
Companies with more than 30 percent women executives were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 to 30 […] In the case of ethnic and cultural diversity, our business-case findings are equally compelling: in 2019, top-quartile companies outperformed those in the fourth one by 36 percent in profitability.
2. From promoting gender equality to normalizing neurodiversity, Deloitte regularly publishes a wide range of well-researched articles supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. 3. Released in 2020, the groundbreaking BCEC WGEA Gender Equity Insights 2020 is packed with research that empirically proves the link between women in leadership and profitability.
An increase of 10ppts or more in female representation on Boards leads to a 4.9% increase in company market value.
4. The Forbes Insights survey named Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce is a great place to find facts supporting diversity in the workplace. Forbes also released an article in 2020 full of information that, yet again, confirms that diversity boosts innovation and financial results. And, in 2021, its Human Resources Council shared 15 Key Benefits Of DEI To Communication With Team Members.
Companies with above-average diversity produced a greater proportion of revenue from innovation (45% of total) than from companies with below average diversity (26%). This 19% innovation-related advantage translated into overall better financial performance.
5. With a database of over 800 organizations in 55 countries, Mercer’s When Women Thrive, Businesses Thrive global report is said to be the world’s most comprehensive research on women in the workplace. 6. Watch or read the results of Boston Consulting Group’s survey, which reveals data that dispels the “ambition gap” and explains what companies can do to avoid the damage it can cause.
Data from one of our surveys tells us that both men and women view flexible work as the most effective way to improve diversity. The data also shows that the main reason both men and women may be reluctant to advance at their company—cited by nearly 60% of both genders—is the challenge of meeting increased job responsibilities while managing outside commitments.
Bonus fact-finding resource: Want to make the data personal to your workplace? Why not calculate your company’s current pay gap data with the Advancing Equality Calculator.

Five videos to share about diversity in the workplace

1. How diversity makes teams more innovative

Rocío Lorenzo and her team surveyed 117 companies to find out whether diversity really gives companies a competitive advantage. The answer was of course ‘yes’, and you can discover more about the fascinating data by watching her Ted Talk.

2. What Diversity & Inclusion is REALLY about | Simon Sinek 

Talking to someone short on time? Simon Sinek summarizes the importance of diversity to an organization in just over four minutes.

3. How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace

For company leaders and coworkers that believe in the benefits of diversity but don’t see it as a priority, point them in the direction of Janet Stovall’s Ted Talk.

4. Women at Work Research

This video revealing the recent myth-busting research from The Female Lead is sure to inspire any respectable leader to make a real commitment to women in the workplace.

5. Why Gender Equality is Good for Everyone — Men Included

In another great Ted Talk, sociologist Michael Scott Kimmel clearly articulates how gender equality can benefit women, men, businesses, and beyond.

Eight influencers and thought leaders to follow for more facts about diversity

Janice-Gassam-Asare-Headshot 1. From her podcast to her Forbes articles, Janice Gassam Asare provides a wide range of resources to help companies create diverse, equitable, anti-racist, and inclusive working environments. Shani Dhanda 2. From her podcast to her Forbes articles, Janice Gassam Asare provides a wide range of resources to help companies create diverse, equitable, anti-racist, and inclusive working environments. Sheree-Atcheson-Headshot 3. As well as being a member of the WORK180 DEI board, Sheree Atcheson is an award-winning DEI leader, Forbes contributor, author, and all-round wealth of HR knowledge. Sadiq-Asif-Headshot 4. Asif Sadiq MBE is another member of the WORK180 DEI board whose decades of experience make him an invaluable source of insights. Follow Asif on LinkedIn for regular DEI updates and information. Professor-Iris-Bohnet-Headshot 5. Professor Iris Bohnet is a behavioral economist who is all about bringing data into HR and ultimately improving organizations for everyone. To understand the importance of investing in DEI properly, we recommend watching her interview with McKinsey. 6. WORK180 DEI board member Andréa Long is an entrepreneur andI thought leader, working on DEI initiatives for top tech companies including DoorDash, Twilio, Lyft, and Rakuten. Catch her shedding light on DEI best practices and policies at events such as SaaStock and on channels like CareerTalks. Cynthia-Owyoung-Headshot 7. Cynthia Owyoung is both the vice president of diversity and inclusion at Schwab and the founder of Breaking Glass Forums, which helps companies increase diversity and inclusiveness. For regular articles and insights, follow Cynthia on LinkedIn. 8. Aaron Limonthas is a highly respected diversity and inclusion strategist and practitioner with experience leading DEI teams at Reebok, Adidas, and Dropbox. Joining the WORK180 DEI Board in 2021, you can also find his insights in our articles or across his LinkedIn

Five books about diversity in the workplace

1. Diversity in the Workplace: Eye-Opening Interviews to Jumpstart Conversations about Identity, Privilege, and Bias, by Bärí A. Williams

Made up of 25 real-life interviews, this book provides an insight into the working world for underrepresented individuals. From race and gender to sexuality and age, each valuable story is summarised with advice for action.

2. The Economic Case for LGBT Equality by M. V. Lee Badgett

Homophobia and transphobia is morally abhorrent, and it’s also impacting business’ bottom line; a fact that economist M. V. Lee Badgett presents through a beautiful blend of relevant research, statistics, and first-person perspectives.

3. Demanding More: Why Diversity and Inclusion Don’t Happen and What You Can Do About It, by Sheree Atcheson

Struggling to make your existing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives (DEI) stick? In her brilliant new book, global diversity leader and WORK180 DEI board member Sheree Atcheson explains why and what you can do about it.

4. Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, by Cordelia Fine

With humor and science in hand, Cordelia finally busts the belief holding back humans and businesses alike: the brains of men and women are not intrinsically different.

5. #MeToo in the Corporate World, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett

The economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett blends vivid stories with powerful new data, and ultimately provides concrete action for companies to take against workplace harassment of any kind.

Find even more insights and DEI resources

From blogs and podcasts to webinars and our 2021 What Women Want Report, the WORK180 team is dedicated to delivering a wide range of resources to help your DEI efforts. In fact, this list of reading and resources is part of our Business Case for DEI Toolkit — a free pack of tools and templates to help you gain genuine buy-in for your all-important initiatives. 

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About the Author
Sophie Main is WORK180's Brand and Content Manager, with a background in business improvement and a determination to make the working world a better place. She regularly collaborates with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) experts to create content that will help companies support the careers of all women.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job.