Diversity and racial injustice is a hot topic in corporate America. The New York Times called unconscious bias consulting a booming new industry, and Indeed shows that diversity-related job postings are up 25% over last year. Hardly a day goes by without news reports of major companies like Facebook getting grilled on their diversity policies, or institutions like Harvard going to court to defend their admissions policies. Intuitively, we know that diversity is important for human progress. Different perspectives lead to better innovation and create a more interesting, happier world. But diversity isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have for businesses that want to stay competitive.
Numerous studies have shown a clear correlation between companies with diverse leadership teams and business success. One McKinsey report showed that companies in the top quartile for racial/ethnic and gender diversity were respectively 35 and 15 percent more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. In the U.S., for every 10 percent increase in racial and ethnic diversity amongst leadership, earnings rose 0.8 percent.