Diversity matters for your startup

Research by McKinsey states that ethnically diverse companies are likely to outperform financially with 35 percent. Gender diverse companies are likely to outperform with 15 percent.

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Foto: Photo: McKinsey

We live in a deeply connected and global world. It should come as no surprise that more diverse companies and institutions are achieving better financially according to McKinsey.

McKinsey has been examining diversity in the workplace for several years.
The report Diversity Matters (2015) states that ethnically diverse companies are likely to outperform financially with 35 percent. Gender diverse companies are likely to outperform with 15 percent.

While correlation does not equal causation (greater gender and ethnic diversity in corporate leadership doesn’t automatically translate into more profit), the correlation does indicate that when companies commit themselves to diverse leadership, they are more successful.

Win top talent and improve customer relation

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Stine Rømmen, project manager McKinsey Oslo during the Innoversity Conference 2017

Foto: Charlotte Wiig

More diverse companies, McKinsey believe, are better able to win top talent and improve their customer orientation, employee satisfaction, and decision making, and all that leads to a virtuous cycle of increasing returns.


This in turn suggests that other kinds of diversity—for example, in age, sexual orientation, and experience (such as a global mind-set and cultural fluency)—are also likely to bring some level of competitive advantage for companies that can attract and retain such diverse talent.

The Diversity Matters report states that most organizations, including McKinsey, must do more to take full advantage of the opportunity that diverse leadership teams represent. That’s particularly true for their talent pipelines: attracting, developing, mentoring, sponsoring, and retaining the next generations of global leaders at all levels of organizations.


Diversity reports

Diversity Matters
McKinsey 2015

International study concludes that companies with more female leaders are more profitable.
Is Gender Diversity Profitable? Evidence from a Global Survey. 
Peterson Institute for International Economics 2016 

Innovation, Space, and Diversity
PHD thesis by Marte C.W. Solheim, University of Stavanger 2017