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Companies make bold promises about diversity, but there’s a long way to go

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Companies are making bold promises about greater diversity, but there’s a long way to go

Much attention has been given in recent years to the lack of diversity on corporate boards, which has forced companies to act on that front. All S&P 500 companies now have at least one woman on the board, and executive search firm Spencer Stuart found that last year, of the 432 new independent directors added to S&P 500 boards, 59% were women and minority men.

But statistics also show the lack of progress among the corporate workforce. According to data from human resources consulting company Mercer, 64% of workers in entry level positions are white. In the top executive ranks, however, 85% of positions are held by whites, demonstrating the promotion gap that minorities face. And women and minorities continue to under-earn white male colleagues, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

“Companies’ consideration of diversity & inclusion is not only important on the basis of values; it also has a material impact on their long-term performance,” Barclays analysts said in a research report.

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