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New research by McKinsey concludes that gender and ethnic diversity clearly correlate with profitability, but women and minorities remain underrepresented in spite of this. The 2017 report, “Delivering Through Diversity,” expands on the 2015 report, “Why Diversity Matters.”

The new analysis draws on an enlarged data set of more than 1,000 companies covering 12 countries and measures not only profitability but also longer-term value creation (or economic profit), explores diversity at different levels of the organization, considers a broader understanding of diversity (beyond gender and ethnicity), and provides insight into best practices.

Two important findings related to women’s leadership are:

    • Having gender diversity on executive teams has a particularly strong correlation with higher profitability.
    • Executive teams of outperforming companies have more women in line roles versus staff roles.

In a comparison of countries, “Australian companies lead the way when it comes to the women’s share of executive roles (21 percent). The share in the United States is 19 percent and in the United Kingdom is 15 percent.”

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