Another year is in the books! You’ve written the papers, held the meetings, mentored the students, presented the lectures, invested in programming, and modified policies. And so much more! Yet, for many leaders in this space, there is still uncertainty about the future of diversity efforts. Will this still matter in 2024? Will the distractions of controversy erase the progress? Are these efforts even working?
Well, I am pleased to report (pun intended) that the experts at McKinsey & Company just released another comprehensive data summary quantifying the continued diversity benefits realized by corporations through 2023.
McKinsey & Company made its way into our collective DEI Toolboxes years ago with groundbreaking reports such as “Why Diversity Matters” in 2015 and “Diversity Wins” in 2020.They showcased evidence that diversification of organizational leadership resulted in financial outperformance, framing the foundation of the now popularized “business case for diversity.” If you have not reviewed these reports and utilized the evidence in your DEI approaches, consider making that one of your leadership resolutions for 2024.
This 4th edition in their series includes their largest data set yet (over 1,200 companies and 23 countries represented). In addition, the reported metrics go beyond just financial performance and includes measures of the impact of diversity on communities, the environment, and the workforce.
The major take home point: Diversity matters even more now, and the positive gains in multiple organization priority areas are growing.
- The financial outperformance for ethnic leadership diversity has remained consistent over time.
- The financial outperformance gains for gender diversity on executive teams have more than doubled over the past decade.
- Financial underperformance for companies with lower leadership diversity is intensifying.
- More top-level diversity in leadership is correlated to higher social and environmental impact scores.
- There is still a significant gap in ethnic diversity at top leadership levels.
There is still significant work to do, but these data findings should bring some encouragement that progress can be achieved.
On a related note, I recently had another amazing opportunity to attend Exactech’s Annual Women in Orthopaedics Summit, during which their President & CEO Darin Johnson asserted that his commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, and access (IDEA) does not waver because the data clearly show that it makes their company better.
In summary, I implore you all to become familiar with the evidence from reputable sources and use it wisely. The utility of doing this is not just for soliciting support and resources, but also serves as reinforcement that what you are doing and/or supporting matters holistically, and it must continue into 2024 and beyond.