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It’s the Small Things: Trends in Diversity and Inclusion

Women remain significantly underrepresented in the workplace, diverse organizations report better performance and other trends in diversity and inclusion.

It’s the Small Things: Trends in Diversity and Inclusion

1. Women Continue Steep Climb

According to a report of 279 companies employing more than 13 million people, women remained significantly underrepresented in the workplace in 2018. The representation of women at all employment levels grew less than 2% per year since the annual study began in 2015, and even contracted in some sections of senior management. –Lean In and McKinsey & Co.

2. Better Together

Companies with above-average diversity on their management teams reported 19% greater revenue from new or improved products and services, compared with companies with below-average diversity on characteristics like gender, age, nation of origin and education level. Diverse organizations also reported better overall financial performance and EBIT margins that were 9% higher than their more uniform peers. –Boston Consulting Group

3. Ditching the Degree

Rising tuition and decreasing value are calling into question the merits of a traditional college degree. As companies look to fill talent gaps while fostering diversity within their workforce to drive innovation, their hiring criteria is changing. In fact, 9 in 10 employers report they are ready to accept candidates with nontraditional credentials, such as certifications and online degrees from massive open online courses, known as MOOCs. –Society for Human Resource Management

4. Correcting Bias Blind Spots

As more companies use software to sort resumes, they may unwittingly open themselves up to bias. Software is not designed to factor in representation, according to experts, which could unintentionally lead to more uniform candidate pools. Some advocacy groups, such as the Algorithmic Justice League, are petitioning software companies to identify and correct these biases. –Forbes

5. Going Gray, Not Away

Workers over 50 are more engaged in their jobs than younger employees, according to a study from the AARP. According to the study, 65% of workers over 55 are considered engaged, while only 58 to 60% of younger workers are. The study also found that nearly 80% of older workers indicated they would be interested in training related to computers and other technology. –AARP

6. Brands Take a Stand

By 2020, members of Generation Z (those born between 1995 and 2012) will make up 40% of all consumers. To tap into this market, brands must adapt to their buying choices and social values. More than half of Gen Z-ers said a brand’s dedication to social impact—such as through charitable giving or sustainability initiatives—is an important factor when they make a purchase. –MNI Targeted Media

This edition of “It’s the Small Things” originally appeared in the July/August 2019 issue of Middle Market Growth. Find it in the MMG archive.