30+ Important Diversity in the Workplace Statistics 2022

Diversity and inclusion jobs have quickly become a top priority for employers in the job market. Human resource professionals increasingly prioritize creating an inclusive and diverse job market. 

It is important to be aware of these statistics to build a better internal workforce that will yield higher revenue, boost employee performance, and promote a cohesive and inclusive work environment.

Diversity Workplace Statistics: Good and Bad

There is a rapid rise in diversity in the workplace. Here are some examples of how the world is changing.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity

White Americans create the majority of the workforce. Studies have shown that the nation’s labor force is 78 percent white, 13 percent Black, 6 percent Asian, 2 percent Biracial, and 1 percent American Indian. 

Moreover, people of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, who are of any race, represented 17% of the workforce. Moreover, 95.8 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs identify as white, non-Hispanic individuals. About 1.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are Hispanic, 0.8 percent are Black, and 1.8 percent are Asian.

Future Harmony

By 2044, groups formerly viewed as minorities will reach the majority status. Previously underrepresented groups are projected to account for most of the U.S. population. 

By 2065, the population of the United States will not have any specific ethnic or racial minorities. In the future, the majority white population will decline, underrepresented demographic populations will grow, and there will be no single ethnic or racial majority in the United States, according to research projections.

Gender Representation

According to the United States census, women represent 58.3 percent of the U.S. workforce, while men represent 41.7 percent. On top of that, women’s participation in the workforce has grown by more than 17 percent since 1950.

In 1950 women represented 29.6 percent of the American workforce. Today, they account for 47 percent of the United States labor force.

Gender and Race Discrimination

Payscale research states that black women make 0.97 dollars and Black men make 0.98 dollars for each dollar made by a white man with the same qualifications and job. For example, over a year, a White male employee makes a median salary of 74,500 dollars, a black male makes 73,000 dollars, and a Black female makes 72,300 dollars.

Age Division

Fifty-five and older people represent the biggest portion of the United States workforce age. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the U.S. labor force consists of 12.9 percent of employees aged 16 to 24, 22.7 percent of employees aged 25 to 34, 20.8 percent f employees aged 35 to 44, 20.1 percent of employees aged 45 to 54, and 23.4 percent of employees aged 55 and older.

Asian Representation

More than fifty percent of working Asians in the U.S. have executive positions. Federal workforce studies have found that 54 percent of employed Asian Americans work in management, and other related executive occupations compared to 41 percent of employed White Americans, 31 percent of employed Black Americans, and 22 percent of employed Hispanic Americans. In addition, management, professional, and other related executive occupations rank as the highest paying occupational category in the United States.

Color Discrimination 

White candidates are 2.1 percent more likely to receive an interview callback than black candidates. Researchers sent 83,000 applications to Fortune 500 companies and found that distinctively black-sounding names got fewer calls than candidates with white names and the same application information. 

That same study also found that roughly twenty percent of the companies involved were responsible for about fifty percent of the discrimination.

Pay Disparity 

Studies have found that the median weekly salary sat at $680 for Hispanics, 694 dollars for Blacks, 916 dollars for Whites, and 1,095 dollars for Asians. In addition, according to Mercer, a human resources consulting company, 64 percent of corporate workers in entry-level positions are white. Meanwhile, white individuals represent 85 percent of corporate executive positions.

Workplace Discrimination

According to research, many Black and Hispanic employees in the United States quit after witnessing or experiencing workplace discrimination.

Asian Women Successes

Working Asian women are more inclined to work in management and other related executive positions than women of different races and ethnicities. For example, approximately 53 percent of Asian women work in management or professional occupations, compared to 45 percent of employed white women, 36 percent of employed black women, and 27 percent of employed Hispanic women.

Women in Education and Health Sectors

Studies show that 40 percent of employed Black women, 36 percent of employed White women, 32 percent of employed Asian women, and 30 percent of employed Hispanic women work in the education or healthcare industries

Black Women Employment

Single black mothers are more likely to participate in the workforce than mothers of other ethnicities and races.

A BLS research that looked at working women with kids under eighteen found that 77.2 percent of Black mothers, 71.2 percent of white mothers, 65 percent of Asian mothers, and 63.9 percent of Hispanic mothers participate in the United States workforce. 

Black Women Pay Gap

Hispanic women earn 66 percent of the average earnings of Asian women. Statistics depict that the average earnings of the week for white, black, Hispanic, and Asian women are $817, $654, $617, and $937, respectively.

Power Gap

Less than five percent of CEOs of Fortune 500 companies are women. Moreover, according to workplace diversity research, only 3.6 percent of individuals leading America’s Fortune 500 companies are women, compared to 96.4 percent of men.

Class and Gender Wage Gap

Working-class women earn 65 to 81 percent of the wages of working-class White men. However, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute, working-class White women earn 19% less than working-class white men. In comparison, working-class Black women and working-class Hispanic women earn 30 and 35 percent less than white men.

COVID Promotion Disparity

During the pandemic, men working from home and looking after children had more chances to receive pay increases and promotions than women in the same position.

According to a CNBC report, 34 percent of men working remotely around children received a promotion, compared to just 9 percent of women. Similarly, 26 percent of men working at home around children received a pay raise, compared to just 13% of women.

LGBTQ Representation

The LGBTQ+ community makes up 6.28 percent of the United States workforce. It is estimated that seven million LGBTQ+ people are employed in the private sector, and more than one million are working in the country’s public sector.

Lacking Workplace Discrimination Laws

Seventeen states in the United States have no state protections against workplace discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity.

Although 4.5 percent of the American population identifies as LGBTQ+, approximately 34 percent of the country doesn’t have laws protecting against workplace harassment and discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity.

LGBTQ Community Underrepresentation 

Workforce research showcases that LGBTQ+ women represent 2.3 percent of entry-level employees and 1.6 percent of management-level employees. In comparison, LGBTQ+ men represent 3.1 percent of entry-level employees and 2.8 percent of management-level employees.

Discrimination Against Bisexual Women

Bisexual women are more likely to face microaggressions at work. Compared to straight women, bisexual women are thirteen percent more likely to experience workplace microaggressions. Compared to straight men, they are 28 percent more likely to experience workplace microaggressions.

Workplace Insecurity

The LGBTQ+ community believes their sexuality or gender identity will negatively affect their careers.

Three in twenty LGBTQ+ women reported that their sexual orientation negatively affects their career prospects. Meanwhile, six in twenty LGBTQ+ men have reported feeling their sexual orientation will negatively affect their career prospects.

Transgender Minority

Transgender individuals are more likely to consider leaving their company after six months than cisgender people.

According to McKinsey Company, thirty-two percent of trans people frequently think about leaving their company, and 18 percent expect to stay at their current company for less than 12 months, compared to 21 and 8 percent, respectively, of cisgender people.

Demands for Inclusivity 

Forty percent of employees want their companies to be more inclusive in hiring members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Many employees feel that their companies don’t do enough to increase diversity in sexual orientation.

The Future Generation

By 2050, immigrants and their children will represent approximately 83 percent of the working population in the U.S.

Research suggests that the ratio of non-white people participating in America’s labor force will increase as the nation becomes more diverse. Yet, according to census data, there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the United States by 2050.

Growth in Diversity

The percentage of female, Black, and Hispanic employees increased significantly between the span of 1999 to 2019.

As per BLS, between 1999 and 2019, black employees grew by twenty-six percent, Hispanic employees grew by 98.1 percent, and female employees grew by 18.5 percent.

The Positive Outliers

Thirty-three percent of organizations in the U.S. are more ethnically and racially diverse than the national average.

This number dropped a little between 2015 and 2018, but it is expected to rise due to current workplace racial equality issues.

Results from Female Leadership

Companies with women executives outperform organizations without women executives in terms of monetary growth. According to McKinsey Company, businesses with more than thirty percent female executives are more likely to outperform companies with just ten to thirty percent female executives.

Younger Generation’s Power

Thirty-seven percent of job seekers and employees have reported that they would not apply for a job with a company with negative ratings among people of color. In addition, studies show that workplace diversity is especially important to young job seekers in the Gen Z and Millennial generations.

Charged Political Environment

Forty percent of workers surveyed by CNBC mentioned that the last year’s events had made diversity more of a priority at their companies. In addition, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement has been a driving force for many new diversity and inclusion efforts in American businesses. 

Seventy-six percent of American workers surveyed in July 2020 thought racism was a problem in workplaces across the United States. In the same survey, 64 percent of Black employees expressed that racism was a problem in their workplace.

Although most Americans endorse diverse businesses, racial inequality persists in hiring processes in the U.S. According to research, white employees represent the highest portion of corporate executives in the nation. Although 13.4 percent of the U.S. population is black, only two percent of executives are Black. Similarly, although 18.5 percent of the U.S. population is Latinx, only three percent of executives are Latinx.

Educational Degrees

More than ninety percent of whites, Blacks, and Asians in the American workforce are twenty-five years old and have a high school diploma.

Seventy-six percent of Hispanics have a high school diploma among the same age group. However, higher education was most prevalent among Asians aged twenty-five years and older, with sixty-three percent of Asians holding a Bachelor’s degree or higher.

Age Disparity

Between 2019 and 2029, the number of employees over the age of 75 is expected to increase, while the number of employees aged 16 to 24 is expected to decrease.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the amount of employed individuals aged 75 and older is expected to grow by 93.7 percent. However, the employment rate for people between 16 and 24 is estimated to drop by 7.7 percent. 

People aged fifty-five and older represent the largest portion of the United States workforce age. For example, data shows that the U.S. labor force consists of 12.9% of employees aged 16 to 24, 22.7 percent of employees aged 25 to 34, 20.8% of employees aged 35 to 44, 20.1 percent of employees aged 45 to 54, and 23.4 percent of employees aged 55 and older.

Age and Race

Between 1999 and 2029, the percentage of United States workers aged 75 and older is expected to grow by 12.5 percent, while the employment percentages of all other ages are expected to decrease.

As per labor statistics, by 2029, there will be 4.6 percent fewer employees aged 16 to 24, 1.6 percent fewer employees aged 25 to 34, 4.7 percent fewer employees aged 35 to 44, and 1.6 percent fewer employees aged 45 to 54 than there were in 1999.

Unemployment Rate

In 2021, the national unemployment rate was 5.2 percent. The unemployment rate was 8.4 percent for Black Americans and 6.2 percent for Latino Americans and Hispanics.

The rates were significantly lower for white people, at 4.6 percent, and for Asians, at 4.7 percent. Fortunately, all of those unemployment rates are down significantly from the same time in 2020.

Unemployment and Race

The average unemployment rate for Hispanics or Latino ethnicity is 1% point higher than for those who are not.

As per BLS reports, the national unemployment rate for Hispanics and Latinos was 4.7 percent in 2018, while the number for non-Hispanics was 3.7 percent.

Unemployment, Race and Gender

Unemployment rates differ by gender, but more so among Hispanic Americans and Black Americans than Whites and Asians.

A federal employment study analyzed average unemployment rates between 1973 and 2018 and found that the unemployment rate for Black men of twenty years and higher was 6.2 percent, while the unemployment rate for Black women twenty years of age and older was 5.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for Hispanic men was 3.8 percent, lower than the 4.7 percent unemployment rate recorded among adult Hispanic women. However, unemployment rates for Asians and Whites showed little to no difference between men and women.

COVID and Gender

Most people unemployed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic were women. Approximately eighty percent of the 1.1 million American workers who left the labor force in September 2020 were women.

COVID and LGBTQ

Amid the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, the LGBTQ+ community faced more unemployment than the general public. According to an LGBTQ+ advocacy group poll, seventeen percent of gay, bisexual, lesbian, and queer Americans lost their job due to COVID-19, comparatively to thirteen percent of the general population.

The unemployment rate was relatively higher for LGBTQ+ people of color, with twenty-two percent reporting losing their jobs because of the global pandemic.

Unemployment and Age

In 2021, the unemployment rate will be higher for middle-aged people than for those over fifty-five.

According to last year’s labor statistics, the June 2021 unemployment rate was 9.9 percent for people aged 16 to 19 years old, 9.1 percent for people aged 20 to 24 years old, 5.5 percent for people ages 25 to 54 years old, and 4.9 percent for people aged 55 and older.

Disability and Diversity

In 2020, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities rose to 7.9 percent. In addition, across all age groups, disabled people are less likely to be employed than people without disabilities.

Takeaways

Diverse companies are thirty-five percent more profitable than non-diverse companies. In addition, research shows that companies with diverse leadership teams and employees have more money than companies without diversity.

Workplace innovation and diversity attract a larger pool of candidates during recruitment. As per the National Association of Colleges and Employers survey, seventy-nine percent of new graduates rate work diversity as important.

Diverse companies have happier and more satisfied employees than companies with low diversity levels. Companies in the U.S. with greater ethnic and racial diversity have higher performance rates. For example, businesses with more diversity among staff perform 35 percent better than companies whose employee demographics only match the national average. 

Diverse companies are more equipped to capture a bigger market and generate more cash than companies without inclusion and diversity campaigns. For example, the entertainment industry is losing a projected 10 billion dollars yearly because of inclusivity and systematic issues, and the lack of representation of Black populations in T.V. and film. 

Diverse businesses are seventy percent more likely to capture new markets. According to Harvard Business Review, diverse teams are also forty-five percent more likely to grow their company’s market share.

Although most of the United States’ current labor force is White, the country’s diversity is increasingly reflected in businesses across the fifty states. Females represent the majority of America’s workforce today, and population statistics estimate that people of color will represent the majority of the working class by 2032.

Over the past few decades, diversity in the U.S. workplace has drastically improved, with the percentage of Black, Hispanic, and female employees growing by 26 percent, 98.1 percent, and 18.5 percent, respectively, between 1999 and 2019.

As of 2022, immigration reform is a factor in workplace diversity, with children of immigrants expected to represent eighty-three percent of the working population in the U.S. by 2050.

With profit margins growing among firms with diverse staff and seventy-six percent of employees and job seekers prioritizing workplace diversity, the future of diversity in the United States labor force looks bright.

FAQs

Does diversity in the workplace make a difference?

Yes, diversity in the workplace makes a difference. For example, companies with ethnically and racially diverse leadership teams are thirty-five percent likely to outshine companies with less diversity. Equal gender diversity has been shown to have a twenty-one percent impact on revenue compared to companies that heavily favor one gender.

Additionally, sixty-seven percent of job seekers prioritize diversity when considering employment. In other words, companies that do not prioritize diversity miss 2/3 of the best talent the country offers.

What are examples of diversity in the workplace?

Prominent examples of diversity in the workplace include:

  • Race
  • Age
  • Sex/Gender
  • Sexual orientation
  • Culture
  • Socioeconomic
  • Religion
  • Disability
  • Nationality

By including people from different backgrounds along these vectors, a workplace benefits from a greater number of voices, life experiences, and opinions.

What is the benefit of diversity in the workplace?

There are many benefits to having diversity in the workplace. First, a company benefits by having access to a variety of backgrounds, life experiences, and opinions that can help create an organization that’s inclusive and respectful of all people.

People who all come from the same background might have an easier time making a cohesive company culture, but they’re also more likely to share the same blind spots. If a company wants to succeed in multiple markets, leadership needs to hear and respond to the diverse voices that make up the community they hope to engage with.

How do you show that you respect and value diversity in your workplace?


To show that you respect and value diversity in your workplace, start by taking an honest inventory of the unconscious bias in the company’s leadership. Then, invite honest feedback from employees on where they would like to see improvement.

There are clear steps that every employee appreciates, like promoting pay equity and transparency, creating a strong policy on cases of identity-based harassment and bullying, and acknowledging holidays outside of the corporate calendar. 

As far as hiring practices go, you do not have to go out and hire diverse people as a facade. Instead, adjust your hiring process to consider the need for culture addition and fit. As the statistics above show, hiring for cultural fit alone will inevitably lead to a monolithic team that will likely perform worse.

Diversity is not something that you perform to improve your corporate image — it takes genuine and consistent dialogue between a diverse leadership team and the diverse employees who comprise the company.

Is diversity in the workplace increasing?

Yes, diversity in the workplace is increasing. Over the next six years, the BLS predicts that diversity across almost all demographics will increase in the U.S. For example, forty-eight percent of Gen Z, the latest generation to enter the workforce, are racial or ethnic minorities. 

Comparably only twenty-nine percent of Baby Boomers are, which means Gen Z is 65.5 percent more diverse—knowing that it is easy to see how the workforce will become progressively more diverse over time.

 

Josh Fechter
Josh Fechter is the founder of HR.University. He's a certified HR professional and has managed global teams across 5 different continents including their benefits and payroll. You can connect with him on LinkedIn here.