5 Facts About Diversity in the Workplace That May Surprise You

The society we live, work and do business in is a rich tapestry of diversity – and it’s only growing more diverse by the year. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, our nation will no longer have any single ethnic or racial majorities by the year 2065! 

Despite this, many companies don’t make it a practice to implement diversity initiatives. In fact, 41% of managers said they were “too busy” for it. 

When our workforce does not reflect our population’s ever-growing diversity, it is not only a moral issue but a business issue as well.

Whether it’s diversity of race, gender, or sexual orientation, it is a key ingredient in adapting to the modern U.S. client base. To that end, it’s no surprise that businesses that embrace diversity have a better standing in the marketplace rather than those who resist it.

Here are 5 facts about the benefits of diversity in the workplace that may surprise you:

1. Ethnically diverse companies are 35% more likely to outperform their respective national industry medians.

Despite this, studies show that resumes submitted by those with non-white sounding names are less likely to get a callback.

2. Gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to outperform their respective national industry medians.

Yet there are fewer Fortune 500 CEOs who are women (4.1%) than those named David (4.5%) or John (5.3%). Two single male names outnumber an entire gender!

3. Diverse companies bring in more revenue.

15 times more sales revenue than companies with lowest levels of diversity, to be more accurate. At least, according to The American Sociological Review

4. 83% of millennials are more engaged at work when they believe their company fosters an inclusive culture.

It is worth noting that in 10 years millennials will comprise most of the U.S. workforce. On top of this, a study by Glassdoor indicates that 67% of job-seekers say that diversity is an important factor to them when evaluating companies and job offers. 

5. Diversity fosters more creativity and innovation in the workplace.

When people with different skill sets, backgrounds, and experiences are brought together in one workspace, it leads to more effective problem-solving. Similarly, diversity breeds more creative and innovative approaches to business. According to a 2011 Forbes study, 85 percent of 321 large global enterprises (companies with at least $500 million in annual revenue) agreed that diversity is crucial to creativity and innovation in the workplace.


The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is proudly committed to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion within our organization and business community – both in principle and in practice.

To be a top-of-mind region that keeps talent and grows success for all, we must be open to accepting, welcoming, and engaging all people—whatever their socioeconomic backgrounds, skin color, religious beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, or any other identifying differences.

If you want to gain a deeper understanding of the business case for diversity, look into our D.E.I. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Summit.

As of 2017 and onwards, we have combined the annual Diversity Visionary Awards celebration with the annual Diversity & Inclusion Forum to provide you with an educational experience you don’t want to miss: The D.E.I. (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) Summit. Regardless of professional role or experience, the D.E.I. Summit will have something to offer everyone.

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Samantha Suarez Administrator

Samantha is the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce’s resident Communications Specialist.

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