Equality & Diversity Facts

Equality & Diversity Facts & Statistics

Everyone deserves to have an equal opportunity in the workplace, at home, and in society at large. No one should be at a disadvantage due to their racial and ethnic group, community, or background. We all need to stay conscious of how we perceive others, treat them, and form biases. Our actions should never deny another person access to their rights and support that meets their individual needs. The following equality facts and diversity facts will help us better understand how to build an inclusive world.

General Facts

#1- A 31.4% average gender parity gap remains globally1

This gap, as wide as it is, is still a positive increase when compared to the previous average global score. Several countries which were covered in the last edition of the Global Gender Gap Index have increased their scores. This shows an advancement towards gender parity and improving diversity. Although the number remains significant and progress to true diversity remains slow.

#2- 10% of girls aged 15–24 are illiterate1 

In underdeveloped and developing countries, there is a large proportion of the population aged 15–24 years, mainly young girls, that cannot read or write with understanding. Only a few countries have been able to close over 20% of the diversity gap when it comes to education. 

Top Countries for Gender Equality and Diversity

#3- Iceland has closed 88% of its overall gender gap, making it the most gender-equal country in the world1

This is the 11th time in a row where Iceland is the most gender-diverse and inclusive country. 

#4- The second most gender-equal country in the world is Norway, having closed 84.2% of its overall gender gap1

Violence Against Women

#5- Around one-third of women worldwide have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner5

This is a major public health issue and a violation of women’s rights. Much of this violence is intimate partner violence, which affects these women physically and mentally. This may also lead to new forms of violence.   

#6- Worldwide, an estimated 137 women are killed by their intimate partner or a family member every day5

According to this fact from the UN, the home is the most likely place where women might end up killed by their partners or the people closest to them. 

#7- At least 200 million girls and women alive today have been subjected to female gender mutilation across Africa and the Middle East5

30 countries in western, eastern, and north-eastern Africa still practice female genital mutilation. The majority of the girls are cut before they turn 16. Research finds gender mutilation most prevalent in areas where ethnicity is the most influential factor.  

Gender Diversity in the Labor Market

#8- Less than 50% of working-age women are in the labor market5

A huge percentage of these women work domestic jobs that pay little or nothing. Unpaid domestic and care work falls disproportionately on women, and this has been going on for the past 25 years. A large percentage of women are less likely to take part in the labor market.

#9- Female STEM graduates make up just slightly over 35% of the total number5

The gender gap continues in STEM, as women are under-represented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) occupations. However, this number is improving when compared with previous records. 

#10- Despite female representation in the workforce quadrupling over the past 25 years, it remains at 22%5

This is because women remain under-represented in senior management in Fortune 500 companies and leadership positions in the government. 

#11- The labor market is dominated by men, at 74%5

This is a huge gap that shows that men dominate the labor force and women are less likely to be active in the labor market; more likely because of the level of education and experience they have when compared to male counterparts. 

Equality at Home

#12- Worldwide, women spend about three times as many hours on unpaid domestic and care work as men5

As a result, women spend more time doing unpaid labor that is physically exerting and time-consuming. This has increased the unemployment rate for women as they have less time to engage in academic work or learn skills. As a result, they can find themselves at a  disadvantage in the work environment. 

#13- In Northern Africa and Western Asia, women spend more than seven times as many hours on unpaid domestic and care work as men5

The majority of these women spend their life working in unpaid domestic and care work because of the designation of household chores as ‘women’s work’. 

#14- Women make up over 70% of workers in the health sector5

Yet, the majority of their contribution to global health work is underpaid. They are on the front line of public health needs and experience longer shifts at work and additional care work at home.

Diversity in the workplace 

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

#15- 76% of job-seekers prioritize diversity in workplaces when evaluating job offers2

Job seekers want to work for companies that have an inclusive culture, this way they can avoid working for companies that promote racism, or lack gender diversity and equality. As more job seekers look to diversity in the workplace we’ll find more employers stepping up to ensure the same.

#16- 1 in 3 job-seekers would not apply to a job at a company that lacks diversity2

Diversity in the workplace is moving at a slow pace, and several companies in the united states treat recruiting diverse people as compliance or risk mitigation, rather than a business opportunity. At the same time, more employees want to work for companies with a culture that champions diversity and inclusion.

Ethnic Diversity in the workplace

#17- 47% of black employees have quit a job after experiencing discrimination2

Race inequality seems to prevail a lot amongst African Americans as 1 in every 3 African Americans may have experienced some form of harassment, mistreatment, or discrimination in the workplace.

#18- 49% of Hispanic employees have quit a job after experiencing discrimination2

Clearly we have a way to go with too many company cultures not exhibiting diversity and inclusion. This can be seen mostly in countries with high immigration rates. Individuals from different cultures often have to pass through discrimination in the workplace. Business owners and company CEOs need to embrace diversity in the workplace if they want to have a competitive advantage over other companies that do not practice diversity and inclusion. 

#19- If a company shows inconsistencies in employee satisfaction ratings among different ethnic/racial groups, 37% of job-seekers will not apply for a job there2

Employees want to see more changes and real action from companies who are hiring to demonstrate diversity and inclusion. Job seekers are on the lookout for diverse and inclusive companies that understand and value their workers. 

Diversity Amongst Company Leadership

#20- Among Fortune 500 corporations, only 7.4% of Chief Executive Officers were women5

A few years ago, very few women were in CEO positions and this fact shows a slight improvement in workplace diversity when it comes to senior leadership roles. Even at that, the figures are small; more women need to be CEOs, decision-makers, and be in leadership positions.  

#21- In 2020, only 18% of enterprises surveyed had a female Chief Executive Officer5

When compared with statistics from 1995, there is no huge difference between then, and now, women held very few managerial roles in companies and still do in 2020. 

#22- In the US and UK, female representation on executive teams rose from 15 percent in 2014 to 20 percent in 20193

#23- In 2019, women held only 28% of managerial positions worldwide5

While there is progress in gender diversity in the workplace, this progress has been slow. Many countries still see a severe lack of diversity and women in executive positions in companies.

#24- 65% of all female executives are in staff roles4

Companies, where there is no gender balance, have more women in staff roles. These roles are far removed from the uppermost levels of corporate leadership.

#25- 30% of executive roles in Australian companies are occupied by women4

CEOs’ positions and managers’ positions are still being occupied by men in the Australian business environment. In contrast, the telecommunication industry noticed an increase in sales revenue because it has the highest proportion of women in leadership roles. 

Race and Leadership Diversity

#26- In the United States, black female executives are more than twice as likely to be in staff roles than in line roles on executive teams4

Black women suffer a double burden of bias; they encounter both gender and race bias. This makes it hard for women of the black community to occupy high-end professional positions.

#27- Although 79% of the South African population is black, only 16% of executive roles are occupied by black South Africans4

The South Africa population has both black and white South Africans. If we, therefore, evaluated South Africa’s diversity from this perspective, we can define black South Africans as the minority. The impact of South Africa’s complex social history can be seen in its economy as a large majority of global/ national corporate entities are led by white executives. 


#28- 41% of LGBTQ+ job-seekers would not apply to a job at a company that lacks diversity2

Discrimination against employees based on their sexual orientation and gender identity remains at a high rate amongst companies. Companies that discriminate based on a host of job-irrelevant characteristics, including race, ethnicity, gender, age, disability, and sexual orientation, and gender identity put themselves at a competitive disadvantage. 

Inclusion matters: here's why   

Photo by Angela Compagnone on Unsplash

#29- The most gender-diverse companies are 48% more likely to outperform the least gender-diverse companies3

Most companies are now aware that similar backgrounds produce similar results. As such, those with more gender diversity experience improvements in innovative thinking as different backgrounds work together towards a common goal. 

#30- In 2019, the more racially diverse companies outperformed the less diverse companies by 36% in profitability3

Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion gain benefits when the minority voices in their company can be heard. When there is no discrimination, and there is equal opportunity for all the diverse company outperforms its competitors. 

#31- Companies with more culturally diverse boards worldwide are 43% more likely to experience higher profits4

Companies with leadership that have the most gender, ethnic, and cultural diversity are now more likely than ever to be more profitable than their less diverse counterparts. The greater an executive team’s representation, the higher the likelihood of outperformance

#32- Companies that lack gender and ethnic diversity are 29% more likely to underperform in comparison to those that are diverse4

1 World Economic Forum (WEF), 2020. Global Gender Gap Report 2020
5 UN, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2020. The World’s Women 2020: Trends and Statistics
3 McKinsey & Company, 2020. Diversity wins: How inclusion matters V. Hunt. S. Price, S. Dixon-Fyle, K. Dolan.
4 McKinsey & Company, 2018. Delivering through Diversity. V. Hunt, S. Prince, S. Dixon-Fyle, L. Yee.
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