How inclusive leadership leads to inclusive growth

In 2015, we published Diversity Matters, which showed that there is a strong statistical correlation between diversity and profitability in large corporations. We recently conducted a more extensive analysis to explore not only how diversity matters but also how companies can use it to improve their financial performance.

Here are some of our key findings:

Increased representation of women is strongly correlated to profitability. Companies whose top teams are most diverse from a gender perspective are 22% more likely to experience more profitability than their least diverse peers.

Having more women in decision-making roles matters most for long-term value creation. Companies with the most genderdiverse executive teams are 67% more likely to experience superior value creation than companies with the least diverse executive teams. We did not find the same link between value creation and representation of women across the whole company or on the board of directors. That supports the view it is greater representation of women on executive teams — with decision-making responsibilities — that matters most to value creation.

This correlation holds true across geographies. It is strongest in the Americas and Western Europe: companies that are leaders in gender diversity are more likely to experience superior profitability. In 9 out of 10 of the countries, we found a positive correlation between women on executive teams and value creation.