Diversity in the workplace statistics expose the level of progress in society and the evolution of a nation’s perception of individual differences. This means that workplaces should ideally reflect the communities they are a part of. The extent to which this claim is true, especially in terms of diversity, is a clear indicator of the development level that the community has achieved.
The US is a melting pot of cultures, ethnicities, religions, and nations. These and other distinctive demographic characteristics such as sex, age, sexual orientation, seniority, or educational level, contribute to a workforce that is rich in different skills and abilities.
A good workforce diversity, statistics suggest, brings prosperity and innovation in US companies, while at the same time, offering them a better ranking on the global market.
Decision-making, productivity, and sales are some of the many business-related things proven to be positively affected by diversity. In contrast to this, the uniformity of a workforce can bring disadvantages, which in sectors such as healthcare, can have an enormous impact on the quality of services.
Today, the US population statistics point to a country that is becoming more culturally diverse, and this intensive diversification is closely followed by the US labor force.
The workplace diversity statistics should reflect this evolution in order to provide optimal labor force distribution that will, in turn, enable the maintenance of the quality of services.
The following figures show the present situation, the importance, evolution, and the future picture of the US workforce and workplace in terms of diversity.
Top 10 Workforce Diversity Statistics and Facts
- 32.2% of workplace discrimination charges in 2018 were based on racial discrimination.
- 20% of LGBTQ job-seekers in the US in 2017 experienced discrimination when applying for a job.
- The job market demand for bilingual workers doubled since 2010.
- Increased diversity in the top income group means a 16.2% higher salary for low-income workers.
- Diversity improves problem-solving abilities when working in a team.
- Diversity in the workplace statistics shows that the Hispanic workforce has grown more than six-fold since 1976.
- Age diverse teams make better business decisions 87% of the time.
- In 2013, female podiatrists earned only 67% of the wage of their male counterparts.
- Less than 20% of patients with limited English proficiency use trained interpreters.
- Patients show greater confidence and satisfaction with the healthcare providers that belong to their race and ethnicity.
Racial and Ethnic Workforce Diversity Statistics and Facts
1. 32.2% of workplace discrimination charges in 2018 were based on racial discrimination.
The Annual report of the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for this year counted 76,418 discrimination complaints, which included racial discrimination charges in 32.2% of the total charges.
In addition, age discrimination cases constituted 22.1%, while national origin, color and religion charges constituted 9.3%, 4.1%, and 3.7% respectively. All in all, there were 103,902 diversity-related workplace charges in 2018, or 48.4% of the total number of charges for this year.
2. Race diversity in the workplace shows that the Hispanic workforce has grown more than six-fold since 1976.
By 2026, the Hispanic portion of the labor force is expected to increase more than the labor force of any other race or ethnic group. Over the last 40 years, the share of workers of Hispanic origin has increased by 600% from 4.3 million in 1976 to 26.8 million in 2016.
By comparison, all the other ethnicities increased their presence in the workforce by less than 50% for the given period. In 2028 the Hispanic share of the labor force is expected to attain 20.9%.
3. 83% of the Hispanic or Latino labor force is concentrated in 14 states, diversity in the workplace statistics from 2019 show.
In 2015, there were 26.1 million Hispanics or Latinos in the US workforce. 14 states counted more than 400,000 of them, representing 83% of the total Hispanic or Latino workforce. The states of Georgia, Colorado, Florida, Texas, and Washington had the highest employment rate of Hispanic and Latino workers for that year.
4. African American participation in the workforce in 2016 was highest in the District of Columbia.
The portion of the workforce that is of African origin varies greatly by geographic location. In 2016, the District of Columbia had the highest share of the African American workforce of 37.2%, while the lowest participation was recorded in Idaho and Montana – less than 1% of the total workforce.
5. In the case of cultural diversity in the workplace, statistics from 2018 suggest that African Americans will make up 12.7% of the US workforce in 2026.
In 2016, nearly 1 out of 8 workers in the labor force was African American. Estimations show that by 2026, approximately 21.6 million people of African origin will be included in the labor force. This means that the percentage of African Americans in the workforce is expected to increase by 0.4% since 2016.
6. Projected workforce diversity statistics suggest the decline of the Caucasian workforce.
The percentage of Caucasian non-Hispanic workforce decreased by 5.7% in the period from 1990 to 2000, and by 4.5% in the next decade, from 72% in 2000 to 67.5% in 2010. BLS projects that Caucasians will comprise around 62.3% of the workforce in 2020, and only 50.1% of the workforce in 2050.
7. In 2016, Mexican Americans represented 61% of the Hispanic workforce in the US, workforce diversity statistics show.
The share of Mexican Americans in the Hispanic US workforce remains almost unchanged since 1988, accounting for 61% of the total Hispanic or Latino workforce. Similarly, all the different ethnicities in the Hispanic labor force are nowadays present in portions comparable to the ones from 1988.
In 2016, Hispanic labor force with origins in Central or South America, excluding Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Mexico, made up 26% of the total Hispanic workforce; Puerto-Ricans accounted for about 9% and Cubans for 4% of the labor force in 2016.
Other Diversity in the Workplace Statistics
8. In 2016, foreign-born workers earned 83.1% of the average wage of their native-born counterparts.
In 2016, there were 27 million foreign-born employees contributing to the US workforce, representing 16.9% of the total workforce.
The median weekly earnings of full-time foreign-born workers were $715, or 83.1% of the earnings of those born in the US, who earned $860.
This difference was not equally dispersed between both genders; while foreign-born men made 21% less, women made 14% less than their native-born counterparts. These differences are partly attributed to their education attainment and geographic location.
9. Foreign-born workers are more likely to be employed in service occupations than native-born workers, minorities in the workplace statistics show.
In 2016, BLS stats show that foreign-born workers were more likely to be employed in service occupations (23.5% vs. 16.5%) than native-born workers. Similar dynamics were noted for the industry of production and transportation (14.8% vs. 11.1%), and natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations (13.6% vs. 8.3%). On the other hand, native-born workers were more likely to be employed in professional occupations and management (40.7% vs. 32.2%) as well as in office-based and sales occupations (23.4% vs. 15.9%).
10. 57% of employees think that their company should do more to improve the diversity stats in the workplace.
14% of employees think that their company puts enough effort to promote diversity, according to a Glassdoor survey. On the other hand, 41% of employees think that their executive team is not diverse enough.
Moreover, 45% of the surveyed employees think that managers, CEOs, and HRs are in the best position to boost diversity in the office. 21% thought that this responsibility lies with the company’s board of directors, and 23% thought that employees themselves were the ones to blame for the low diversity in the workplace.
11. 67% of American job seekers rate job offers from companies with diversity issues low.
A survey conducted by Glassdoor shows that two-thirds of Americans looking for a job prefer joining companies that emphasize workplace diversity over those who don’t. Workforce diversity is perceived as a positive characteristic that shows the open philosophy of a company.
The survey results further show that 72% of women and 62% of men think that diversity is a very important workplace aspect. Highly qualified workers feel more motivated to apply for (or accept) a job offer from a firm that nurtures diversity.
12. Professional management counted 14,620,000 workers older than 55, workplace diversity statistics suggest.
(Statista) (SHRM) (BLS)
The BLS forecasts show that nearly 25% of the US labor force will soon be aged 55+. Hence, the employment rate of this age group has increased by 7.3% since 2000, and it is now estimated at 38.8%. The median age of the total US workforce in 2018 was 42.2 years.
Some of the industries with the oldest median age include public finance, urban transit, government support, and religious organizations. On the other hand, the industry with the youngest median age for 2018 was the retail trade, with a median age of only 23.3 years for shoe store staff.
13. Diversity in the workplace statistics shows that 20% of LGBTQ job-seekers in the US in 2017 experienced discrimination when applying for a job.
In 2017, the USCC estimated that the hardships and discrimination of the LGBTQ workers were far from being over. Discrimination in regard to sexual orientation is still persistent in the American workplace despite the increase in awareness campaigns on this subject.
A 2017 study shows that 20% of the LGBTQ job-seekers have reported being discriminated against when applying for a job, due to their sexual identity or orientation. Workforce diversity statistics further show that 22% of the sexual minorities reported that they are being passed over for a promotion or a bigger pay because of sexual orientation bias.
What’s more, these discrimination figures were shown to be 10% higher for the LGBTQ job-seekers of color. In 2017, almost one-third of them (32%) reported being victims of discrimination during their job application process.
The lack of federal regulations that directly address LGBTQ discrimination can be pointed out as a factor that enforces LGBTQ biases in the workplace.
14. The job market demand for bilingual workers doubled since 2010 diversity in the workplace statistics show.
A study by the New American Economy shows that, in 2015, there were around 630,000 open job positions for bilingual workers. This is quite an increase from 2010 when 240,000 job postings were aimed at bilingual workers.
Both low and high-skill job positions, like financial managers, industrial engineers, and editors, were in need of bilingual workers. The demand for Chinese speakers, for instance, tripled since 2010, while Spanish and Arabic speaking workers witnessed a 150% increased demand.
15. Workplace diversity statistics show that people with disabilities were 1.9% more present in the US workforce in 2009 than in 2018.
Despite the fact that, in 2018, nearly half of the Americans with a disability have completed education higher than high school, their participation in the workforce remains lower than that of ten years ago (35.2% in 2009).
Of the working-age population with disabilities, 33.3% were a part of the labor force in 2018. This percentage is slightly better than that of 2014 (30.2%).
Diversity in Healthcare Stats and Facts
BLS suggests that there are around 379,100 job openings per year in the occupation sectors of nursing, psychiatric, and home health aides.
An estimated 36% of these are occupied by African Americans, which makes it the second occupational field where workers of African origin have the highest share, after the occupational group of processing machine operators and mail sorters, where 41% of the labor force are African Americans.
17. About 22.6% of registered nurses in the US belong to a minority group.
In 2003, around 21% of registered nurses were minorities, compared to 22.6% in 2018. Diversity in the workplace statistics from 2018 show that, in healthcare, out of 212,000 nurse practitioners, 11.2% were African American, 8.8% were Asian, and 2.6% were Hispanic.
Additionally, the Institute of Medicine issued a report that accentuated the importance of diversity in healthcare as it improves communication with patients and ensures better care for them.
18. 1 in 4 online job postings for registered nurses by the health insurer, Humana, was aimed at bilingual nurses in 2015.
Spanish is the native language of approximately 41 million people in the US, and only 11 million of them are bilingual. Diversity data projects that the national number of Hispanic inhabitants will reach 30% in 2050.
Meanwhile, workplace diversity statistics for 2018 show that only 2.6% of registered nurses in the US are Hispanic. By the US law, all healthcare facilities are required to provide an interpreter for patients that are not sufficiently proficient in English.
This shortage of Spanish-speaking nurses was taken seriously by the health insurer Humana, addressing 40% of their job postings in 2015 to bilingual nurses and other healthcare workers.
19. Hungary had 18.9% of practicing physicians older than 65 in 2017.
While all group ages among physicians were almost equally represented in Hungary, in 2017, it was the European country with the highest percentage of senior physicians.
The European diversity in the workplace statistics shows that the highest percentage of practicing physicians under 35 in the same year was recorded in Malta (43.8%).
According to the age statistics for 2017, nearly 40% of European physicians were aged 55 years and older, and more than 3.2% of them are expected to retire by the end of 2020.
20. Medical physicians 34 years and younger count more women than men in every racial and ethnic group.
Just like their faculty gender composition, physicians in 2019, in general, were predominantly Caucasian (56.2%) and male (64.1%). However, the new generation of medical doctors younger than 34 counts more women.
As far as the specialties are concerned, workplace diversity statistics for 2019 showed that only 14% of cardiologists were women, in comparison to 61% of obstetrician-gynecologists who were women. Pediatrics also counted 60% of female pediatricians.
21. 46% of female patients prefer female physicians over male ones.
A 2018 survey concluded that the majority of women (46%) prefer consulting with female physicians, whereas only 6% preferred consulting with a male doctor. 23% of the male interviewed population preferred male physicians compared to 15% that preferred consulting with a female doctor.
The vast majority of the surveyed males (58%) had no preference in regard to the doctor’s gender.
22. In 2018, 75% of the hospital staff were female, diversity in the workplace statistics show.
With the highest percentage in the nursing care facilities of 84.2%, women dominated the hospital setting in 2018.
African Americans were represented the most (28.3%) in the workforce of the nursing care facilities. The biggest share of the Hispanic workforce (18.7%) was noted in dental offices, and Asian workers in healthcare were most present as hospital staff (9.1%).
23. In 2013, female podiatrists earned only 67% of the wage of their male counterparts.
In 2013, the gender pay gap was noted in most healthcare professions, including pharmacy (where women earned 91% of the wage of their male colleagues). Similarly, diversity in the workplace statistics show that women dentists earned 74%, physicians and surgeons 71%, physician assistants 83%, psychologists 86%, nurses 89%, and veterinarians 81% of the wages of male counterparts – but podiatrists had the biggest pay gap of 67%.
24. Men specialists earned 33% more than their female counterparts as annual compensation.
Annual compensation data for physicians in 2019 shows important gender disparities concerning earnings of both primary and special care physicians. Female specialists in this year earned $280,000, which is around 33% less than the earnings of male specialists ($372,000).
Disparities were equally noted in the primary care physician’s annual compensation of an estimated 25%. In numbers, men earned 258,000, whereas women earned 207,000 as physicians in primary care.
25. Facts about diversity in the workplace show that minorities and female physicians are more likely to treat underserved communities regardless of the paycheck.
Physicians that belong to African-American, Hispanic, and Native-American minorities have been found to be more inclined to practice medicine in communities where minorities are prevalent.
Furthermore, it has been shown that they usually treat a larger number of patients with a larger number of clinically complex medical cases. They are also more likely, along with female doctors, to treat economically modest patients, like patients on Medicaid, for example.
26. Women make up 74.3% of physicians in Latvia, diversity in the workplace statistics for 2017 show.
In 2015, Latvia counted the biggest share of female doctors on the list of selected countries by OECD health statistics. Estonia was second with 73.3%. The US occupied the 13th place, with only 34.1% share of women doctors.
By contrast, Eurostat noted that in 2017, 64% of physicians in Luxembourg were male. Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Italy, and Belgium also presented poor gender diversity, with male physicians’ participation ranging between 57-59%.
27. Diversity in the workplace statistics show that, in 2010, in Germany, 20% of practicing doctors were migrants.
The rapid aging of the population in certain Western countries contributes to increased shortages in the workforce, in general, especially in the healthcare system.
Germany has been facing such a shortage in the last few decades, but the recruitment of foreign-born workers may bring a solution to this problem. In 2010, 20% of doctors practicing in Germany were migrants.
The German government noted a 75% increase in the numbers of registered doctors with foreign nationalities for the period 2000-2012.
28. Diversity facts and statistics note that less than 20% of patients with limited English proficiency use trained interpreters.
Although only trained interpreters can guarantee the quality of healthcare, they are very rarely employed by patients that are not very proficient in English.
The role of the interpreter is often attributed to a relative with no professional training in medicine.
This results in lower quality of care, as both healthcare providers and patients struggle to understand family history and symptoms on the one hand, and advice and treatment on the other hand.
Advantages of Diversity in the Workplace Stats and Facts
29. Lack of diversity in the workplace means wage stagnation, while diversity boosts mean 6% higher wages for everyone.
A study conducted by New American Economy shows that an average person living in the metropolitan area gains a 6% rise in their wage when there is a substantial diversity boost in the city they live in.
Economic estimates show that the top 25% earners get approximately 6.6% added to their salary, while the 25% at the bottom of the earnings scale see their salary increased by 7.1%. For lower-income workers, this means an additional $1,800 at an annual level.
30. Increased diversity in the top-income group means a 16.2% higher salary for low-income workers, workplace diversity statistics show.
The economic study, conducted by New American Economy, reveals that a diversity boost for the top 25% earners in a specific location results in positive changes in the economy of all earning levels. An additional 18% to the wages, or the top quarter high-wage earners, is observed, both locally and in the larger area.
Furthermore, 25% of bottom earners can gain an additional $4,100 on their wages following a diversity boost in the higher economic echelons in the area.
31. Diverse management teams earn 19% more because of innovation.
Forbes states that the combination of different ideas, coming from different standpoints, can lead to innovation and benefits for all team members.
These findings may lead to some additional motivation for boosting diversity statistics in 2019 in the workplace that will be not just a mere compliance with the law, but a strategic measure to increase the company’s competitiveness in the global market.
32. Age diverse teams make better business decisions 87% of the time.
(The Next Web)
A study comparing the decisions made by teams composed of all-men and decisions made by gender-diverse teams showed that 73% of the time, teams that included women were better in making business decisions. In a similar observation study, teams that were diverse in age and geographic location were shown to make better decisions 87% of the time.
33. Diversity improves the team’s problem-solving abilities.
(The Next Web)
The benefits of diversity in the workplace statistics show that in addition to better decision-making, diverse teams also perform better in problem-solving.
Greater diversity means more different approaches to the solution of a given problem. In other words, diverse teams add different perspectives that contribute to better solutions that can be reached faster.
34. A patient shows more confidence and satisfaction with the healthcare providers that belong to their race and ethnicity.
(NCBI) (Minority Nurse.com)
Miscommunication can have fatal consequences in healthcare. This is why the lack of diversity in the workplace statistics relate to low-quality healthcare for minorities.
This is also why healthcare providers’ diversity should be representative of the community they serve. What’s more, effectively addressing healthcare needs is, in part, greatly conditioned by cultural understanding, along with the knowledge of the patient’s native language.
35. Diversity in the healthcare education environment has a positive impact on the students’ total educational outcome.
Skills such as motivation, active thinking, and intellectual engagement are easily developed in educational institutions with diverse students.
The same goes for certain social and civic skills, such as the ability to empathize and understand people of different racial and cultural backgrounds. These are very useful skills for future healthcare workers.
Is the workforce becoming more diverse?
The labor reviews of the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) show that the modern labor force is more ethnically and racially diverse, and it is also older and includes more women. Furthermore, this trend of increased diversity in the labor force is expected to continue in the next decade, but with a 0.1% slower pace than in the previous decade.
Projections show that the Hispanic or Latino labor force will reach 18.6% in 2020. Similarly, the Asian and the African American share of the workforce is expected to reach 5.7% and 12% of the workforce in 2020.
What is considered diverse?
Labor diversity implies the inclusion of people of different sex, age, race, and ethnic, cultural, and economic backgrounds, workers with different religious beliefs, sexual orientations, and physical appearances. There are several different types of diversity in the workplace, and some of them are US-specific, like military veterans who have a status of official Equal Employment Opportunity beneficiaries.
What is the percentage of minorities in the workforce?
Caucasians made up the majority (78%) of the workforce in the US in 2018. African Americans made up 13% and Asians 6%. People that belong to two or more races had 2% participation, while Native Americans and Alaska Natives represented 1% of the labor in 2018. Pacific Islanders, including Hawaiians, contributed less than 1%. Out of all working-age people with disabilities, 33.3% were active in the US workforce in 2018.
How diverse is the workplace?
Good business logic implies that the workforce should reflect the community it serves, and so, as the US community is becoming increasingly diverse, the workforce is following suit. Given the information from the NCPPHE statistics, the minority workforce in 2020 is expected to reach double (37%) of that in 1980 (18%).On the other hand, women make up 47% of the US labor force, which represents 74.6 million in the civilian labor force.
Why is diversity important in the workplace?
There are several reasons why diversity is an important characteristic in the workplace. Firstly, having a diverse workforce promotes tolerance and acceptance inside a company, as well as in relation to the company’s public, as a brand. Secondly, diversity brings better ideas for innovation and problem-solving thanks to the diverse standpoints of the employees. For the same reason, diversity is associated with better decision-making processes in diverse teams. In addition, a larger range of customers can be attained by the diverse workforce due to better communication with them, which in turn suggests better sales.
What is workforce diversity?
Workforce diversity is a term employed to describe similarities and differences among the labor force in relation to a specific location. These similarities and differences can be the characteristics of age, physical abilities and disabilities, cultural background, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation.
Working-age individuals are different in many aspects, but workforce diversity is usually used in the description of the previously mentioned characteristics. Good workforce diversity means having employees who are different in many of these aspects. Economic analysts consider workforce diversity an important factor in the success of a company.
What are workforce demographics?
Demographics in the workforce describe and identify certain statistical characteristics and traits of the human population that can contribute to the national economy. Workforce demographics include the study of the size, structure, and distribution of the working-age populations, and their spatial or temporal changes in response to migration, aging, or retirement. Examples of workplace demographics include gender, age, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and education level. The changing trends of these characteristics are a piece of important information that can be used for policy-making decisions, projections, and deliberate actions of investors in a specific area. Other examples of workforce demographics are the length of service and religion.
The change in population demographics and economic globalization are the driving forces behind the increased diversity in the US offices. Workplace diversity statistics show that the inclusion of people with different abilities, races, genders, and ages improves the performance of a company in every aspect – its earnings, public image, and especially innovation and decision making.
An ever-increasing number of US employers are able to recognize these advantages and make good use of them. The US is a culturally rich country that has the advantage of having a very diverse population, one that is highly implicated in US society as a labor force.
As workforce diversity statistics can attest, healthcare is one of the leading industries in terms of diversity, especially in healthcare support occupations such as registered nurses. The existence of personnel that is bilingual and bicultural is of crucial importance for the adequate health care of US minorities.
Demographic fluctuations in the US population lead to a change in the job market, creating a rapidly increasing need for workers that can serve a wider public from a cultural aspect. Keeping up with these tendencies benefits the US economy and society as a whole.
Moreover, it nurtures tolerance and intercultural communication, as the diversity in the workplace statistics undoubtedly shows.