The business case for diverse leadership

One key way to build new businesses could be tapping underrepresented talent for leadership. According to a survey by senior partner Ari Libarikian and colleagues, new businesses led by individuals who identify as women, members of underrepresented racial or ethnic groups, or both are much more likely than other leaders to report that the businesses have met or exceeded organizations’ expectations.

Responses suggest that new businesses led by women or members of an underrepresented group are more likely than others to succeed.

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The main visual is a pair of square area graphs showing respondents perceptions of which businesses met or exceeded expectations based on gender and ethnic diversity. In the first 73 percent of successful businesses were headed by those who identified as women, compared to 58 percent by those who identify as men. In the second 75 percent of successful businesses were headed someone who identifies as a member of an underrepresented group compared to 59 percent by those who did not identify as a member of an underrepresented group. Source: McKinsey Global Survey on new-business building, 980 senior managers and C-suite executives, June 21–Aug 20, 2023.

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To read the survey, see “CEOs’ choice for growth: Building new businesses,” November 9, 2023.