Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Trends

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Workplace Diversity and Inclusion; Trends

Some workplace diversity and inclusion trends include several generations of workers across diverse backgrounds working together in collaborative teams and the use of social media for better work relationships. Other trends include increased freelancing roles, gender-based diversity and inclusion, and ethnicity/culture-based diversity.


  • More (about 69%) executives considered diversity and inclusion as an important issue in 2017 when compared to 2014 (59%).
  • Companies practicing diversity in their workforce at a rate higher than average tend to produce better business outcomes when compared to companies that implement below-average diversity. Diversity accounts for 19% greater revenue as well as 9% greater EBIT margins. The study that most companies are out for profits and are likely to embrace diversity and inclusion based on their positive outcomes.
  • According to Skanska Group, diversity and inclusion help companies by addressing several trends and converting them to competitive advantages.
  • By 2020 diversity and inclusion will be fundamental to the values and business proposition of Skanska Group to its customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.


  • A recent report states that 38% of HR professionals agree that age-based diversity and inclusion is a relevant focal point in their workplaces.
  • In 1994, about 12% of the workforce of most organizations had attained the age of 55 years. By 2024, approximately 25% of the workforce will be aged over 55. As of 2018, a majority of workplaces comprised of five generations namely traditionalists (born before 1946), baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), Generation X (those born between 1965 and 1976), Generation Y, or millennials (those born between 1977 and 1997) and Generation Z (those born after 1997).
  • By the year 2020, more than 36% of the workforce of organizations will be made up of individuals younger than the baby boomer generation. Employees will stay in the workforce longer than what was obtained in the past, bringing five generations of workers from various backgrounds together to collaborate as teams.


  • As of 2019, gender-based diversity is the top "focal point" for organizations investing in workplace diversity.
  • A 2019 survey report states a majority (60%) of HR professionals agree that gender-based diversity and inclusion is a top relevant focal point in their workplaces.
  • Within three years (between 2014 and 2017), the percentage of organizations rated as excellent in terms of gender diversity increased by 72%.
  • Lloyd's Banking Group is a leading United Kingdom-based bank that takes an innovative approach regarding diversity and inclusion. The bank puts lots of effort into embedding diversity and inclusion in its culture. Lloyds Banking Group puts inclusive behaviors at the center of its operations and makes gender equality its priority.
  • By 2020, about 40% of senior roles within Lloyds Banking Group will be occupied by women.


  • According to Ideal web, ethnicity/culture-based inclusion is one of the top two workplace diversity trends seen in 2019.
  • A 2019 report reveals that 41% of HR professionals admit that inclusion based on ethnicity/culture defines diversity for their organizations.
  • Practices such as working remotely, are helping companies to remove bias and geographic constraints when hiring.
  • There were 53 million freelancers in the United States in 2017, representing 34% of the entire United States workforce. By 2020, 50% of working Americans will be freelancers (although some will not be full-time freelancers).
  • Freelancing removes bias and geographic constraints when hiring. The study assumes that removing geographic bias also eliminates ethnicity/culture bias.


  • Due to its incredibly broad international coverage, leveraging social media for job searches can help companies meet their diversity and inclusion goals when recruiting. Facebook recently introduced the recruiting tool known as the "Jobs" feature. This tool allows companies to find qualified candidates.
  • By 2020, some of the most significant impacts of social media will cover employer branding, listening to customers, and communicating company vision. Other significant impacts of social media include rallying employees. The study assumes rallying employees through social media will drive inclusion by engaging with people across various backgrounds and geopolitical zones.
  • Studies reveal that 82% of employees feel social media has the potential to improve work relationships. They think/feel employees who utilize social media while at work have higher productivity and are more engaged. Thus, some managers encourage their staff members to use social media for collaborative platforms.
  • Over 800 million people were using social media for work-related activities as of 2019.
  • Social media is transparent experts predict that social media sites will amass 2.9 billion users across the world by 2020. Social media users have reached over two billion within ten years.
  • Predicted to amass 2.9 billion users globally by 2020, social media has seen an increase of two billion users in just ten years.
  • Some employers utilize social media as a tool to recognize members of their staff that are performing well.
  • Social media is useful to encourage inclusion among current employees. This type of inclusion is more evident in large enterprise organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees.


  • A macro trend that enables a new level of diversity in the workplace is the shift from "purely full-time workers" to outsourced projects and tasks to freelancers. This evolution allows organizations to engage freelancers based on their abilities to carry out specific projects.
  • The liquidity of the workforce of several companies will get increased through freelancing in 2020.
  • Millennials often obsessed with novelty and prefer having diverse options. Freelancing provides the privilege of "picking and choosing which tasks" to complete. It gives autonomy, humans need, and millennials are ready/prepared for it.
  • Freelancing plays a vital role in "diversifying the scope" of work and services required. It provides the privilege of connecting with various clients for different project types to evade the monotonous jobs.


The research reviewed several publications such as HRD Connect, Ideal web, and other resources. An investigation of the most significant trends in workplace diversity and inclusion in the workspace was conducted. Ideal web resources published several diversities and inclusion trends relevant to 2018 and 2019. The study has reviewed these trends and includes those that appear across a plethora of resources.

Further investigation was conducted to filter and report trends that are most important in 2019 and will still be the most vital trends in 2020. The study considers trends to be most important based on the views of surveyed HR professionals, the adoption rate for the trend (coverage/how fast it is spreading). The study investigated several resources to uncover how uncovered insights promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.