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We're Looking at the Wrong Workplace Diversity Numbers

Hiring and retention are just the beginning.

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Well before thrust the issue into the spotlight — again — the research on was crystal clear: Diverse companies are more innovative and perform better. There’s even mounting evidence that companies that hire for and promote diversity and will come out of the pandemic stronger than those who don’t. Yet so many companies continually fail to move the needle on D&I, with people of color, women, LGBTQ+ and people living with disabilities largely underrepresented in leadership roles across industries. 

Thomas Barwick | Getty Images

So what gives? Now that companies from Microsoft to Amazon to Adidas (to name but a few) are being publicly called out for failing to walk their talk on improving diversity, people are quickly losing patience with companies that mask inaction with good intentions and toothless public statements. Those things alone are not enough to effect real change. What might, however, is delving deeper into the data. Doing so can reveal some ugly truths. Are companies willing to act on what the data reveal?

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