Why Attracting and Retaining Diverse Talent is a Strategic Priority

  • As of 2014, of the Fortune 500 CEOs, just over 4% were people of color, and only 24 (4.8%) were women. As Silvie Woolf said, fewer CEOs are named David than are women.
  • Google reports that 3% of their employees are Hispanic and 2% are black.
  • Apple’s employees are 70% male.
  • LinkedIn has a global employee base that is 3% Hispanic and 1% black.

Diversity Roles Future-Proof Organizations

Diversity roles are not only relevant for today’s workforce, but for the future workforce as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2012 that by 2020 more women are expected to be working than men. And according to 2012 census data, by 2050 there will be no racial or ethnic majority in the U.S. This trend will continue, because 85% of the net workforce growth over the next two decades will come from immigrants and their children.

Diversity and the Bottom Line

Here are four examples of the measurable, positive effects that employee diversity has on organizational success.

  • McKinsey quarterly reported that between 2008 and 2010, companies with more diverse top teams were also top financial performers.
  • When 321 executives at large global enterprises ($500 million plus in annual revenues) were surveyed for the Fostering Innovation Through a Diverse Workforce study, diversity and inclusion were identified as the key driver of not only internal innovation, but also business growth.

The Course of Action is Clear

Where Do Diversity Officers Fit In?

Diversity officers are often based in the human resources (HR) department. Yet HR can often be seen as more tactical rather than strategic in its thinking. Not to mention HR often doesn’t have a seat at the C-suite table. So who should claim this type of work? Who should look at trends, figure out a talent plan and advise the C-suite?

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