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New Research Shows Companies Aren’t Ready for the Increasingly Diverse Workforce

| Co-Founder & CEO  
Before founding Paradigm, Joelle was a civil rights lawyer. Joelle’s legal background highlighted the consequences that can result from companies failing to consider diversity and inclusion early, and inspired her to found Paradigm.


The workforce is getting smaller, and increasingly diverse across a range of dimensions — race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, neurodiversity, and age. Are organizations ready to harness the power of the labor market of the (very near) future? We looked at data from more than 100 organizations, and one million+ candidates and employees, and found the resounding  answer is “no.”

In our latest report “Meeting the Demands of an Evolving Workforce,” we found organizations are already struggling to hire the best candidates from all backgrounds and to create cultures that unlock everyone’s potential. For example, our data show:

  • In 83% of companies, the candidate pipeline was more racially/ethnically diverse than the employees eventually hired. In these companies, a White candidate was 1.7 times more likely to be hired than candidates from other racial/ethnic groups. People of color currently comprise 43% of the workforce, and will become the majority in the next few decades. If companies continue on their current paths, as representation in the available workforce diversifies, these organizations’ talent pools will continue to shrink.
  • White people and men are overrepresented in leadership compared to their representation in the overall employee base. These gaps show critical failures in organizations’ ability to build equitable or meritocratic systems that allow the best people to rise to the top. If organizations don’t address these and other structural and systemic barriers, they’ll find their leadership ranks continue to be far more narrow in representation than their overall employee base.
  • When it comes to belonging, engagement, and perception of fairness, underrepresented  groups are faring worse than their colleagues. For example, disabled employees are 25% less likely to feel like they have a voice than employees without disabilities. Non-binary employees are 26% less likely to feel like they belong compared to men. Veterans are 9% less likely to say they’re engaged compared to non-veterans. Creating a culture where people can do their best work, be productive, and feel engaged requires addressing these gaps. As an added bonus, we find that when organizations work to close these gaps, the experience of all employees improves. 

To effectively navigate the changing talent landscape, organizations need to start building for tomorrow. They need to put processes in place that allow them to hire and advance the best talent, regardless of an employee’s identity — something our data shows is not happening now. To learn how your organization can work to meet the demands of the diversifying, evolving workforce, download the report

May 2, 2024

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