Diversity and leadership in a changing world is top of mind, especially with the recent focus on Black Lives Matter. A 2019 diversity study by McKinsey & Company reaffirmed there is a:

“strong business case for both gender diversity and ethnic and cultural diversity in corporate leadership—and shows that this business case continues to strengthen. The most diverse companies are now more likely than ever to outperform less diverse peers on profitability.”

Their analysis from 2019 found some interesting statistics about companies with diverse leadership:

  • Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity on executive teams were 25% more likely to have above-average profitability than companies in the fourth quartile
  • Companies with more than 30% women executives were more likely to outperform companies where this percentage ranged from 10 to 30. These companies were more likely to outperform those with even fewer women executives, or none at all.
  • Companies in the top-quartile for cultural diversity on executive teams outperformed those in the fourth quartile by 36% in profitability.

Are you ready to add to your management team? We found 5 ways to hire for diversity in leadership:


1. Set diversity goals for leadership

Many companies are setting goals around diversity in leadership positions.  Here is a sample goal statement for hiring diverse group of managers at Microsoft:

“Microsoft will “double the number of Black and African American people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders in the United States by 2025.””

Setting diversity goals like Microsoft creates a starting point for increasing your C-suite diversity. Here are 2 other top companies with leadership diversity goals:

  • Goldman Sachs — is aiming for 40% of its executive vice presidents to be women, 7% of executives to be Black, and 9% to be Latino.
  • HP, Inc. — plans to double the number of Black and African-American individuals who are serving as executives by 2025.

(Note: For more goals for diversity in leadership, check out our blog  25+ Examples of Awesome Diversity Goals.)


2. Update your career site to increase diversity in the C-Suite

Your career site is one of the first places potential candidates go when applying for a leadership position. Why not give it a diversity focus? Tools like Ongig’s Career Site Builder allow you to create special landing pages and enhance your employer branding.

Adding images of your diverse workforce, a special video about diversity, or a dedicated diversity landing page to your career site can help attract diverse leaders. Elastic and Anixter do a great job at all of these things.

Elastic’s career page highlights diversity in a few different ways. There are 5 sections dedicated to diversity, and as you click through, you find content about “Leadership @ Elastic”, Culture, “Women of Elastic”, and a special story series called “Someone Like Me”.  The image below shows a video about diversity that features employees and one of Elastic’s diverse leaders.


ATTACHMENT DETAILS Life_at_Elastic-1.jpg November 7, 2020 519 KB 1162 × 1800 Edit Image Delete Permanently URL https://d2shvezvv4hf5p.cloudfront.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/07051405/Life_at_Elastic-1.jpg Title Diversity in Leadership elastic



Anixter’s dedicated diversity landing page includes quotes from various diverse leaders and employees, along with photos of their team.


diversity in leadership anixterleadership diversity anixter


3. Hire a diversity recruiting firm to add diversity in leadership positions

You have most likely heard of head hunters or recruiting agencies. But did you know some of them focus specifically on diversity in leadership positions? If your company has a goal of recruiting diversity in leadership, an executive search firm is another option to explore.

If you do a quick Google search, you will find a long list of top executive recruiting firms with a diversity focus. i-Recruit also made a list of the Best Diversity Recruiters & Search Firms that includes over 70 diversity recruiting firms to choose from. 

You can also lean on these diversity-focused platforms and job boards. These are not 100% focused on diversity in the C-Suite, but potential diverse leaders could be using them to search for open positions.


4. Remove job description bias for diversity in leadership

Lack of diversity in leadership has been an issue for years. A study by Catalyst in August showed that gender barriers still exist in leadership roles. You can some of the statistics below:


diversity in leadership statistics


One way to break down those barriers of gender bias (and remove other bias) is to use a Text Analyzer for your job descriptions. Ongig’s Text Analyzer identifies bias in job postings, so you can attract more diverse leaders. Using AI, the tool finds words and phrases that could exclude certain groups of people based on race, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, neurodiversity, and more. Here are a few screenshots from the tool:

This is an example of gender bias. The words highlighted in red are considered masculine and are not as appealing to diverse leaders who are women.


gender bias diverse leaders


This is an example of racial bias. Exclusionary words related to race and ethnicity are identified. Text Analyzer gives replacement words and an explanation of the potential bias.




This is an example of LBGTQ+ bias. Using personal pronouns that are inclusive in your job description might help attract diverse leaders.



5. Add blind hiring tools in your diversity hiring strategy

Using blind hiring tools can help increase leadership diversity. Blind hiring tools help eliminate bias during the hiring process by removing personal information that could lead to potential bias. Blind resume tools like Blendoor and Pinpoint Recruitment remove items from resumes like the ones listed below:

  • Gender
  • Name
  • Age
  • Education
  • Ethnic background
  • Personal interests

Removing this information and focusing on skills and experience can limit bias-based decisions when recruiting for C-Suite diversity.


Bonus Tip 1: Internal programs for diversity in leadership positions

Along with the items listed above, tapping into your internal diversity champions or hiring a diversity consultant can help guide internal programs for diversity in leadership.

If you do a bit of research within your existing workforce, you might find diverse employees who have advice or suggestions on finding diverse leaders. They may be involved in community groups or have even a potential candidate referral.

Another option is to bring in an external expert on diversity, focusing on diversity in leadership. Diversity consultants have the experience and resources to guide your team to success in creating internal diversity programs and goals. They can recommend best practices for hiring and retaining diverse leaders.


Bonus Tip 2: How to retain diverse leaders

Once you have created a diverse leadership team, don’t stop there. Here are a few ways you can keep them around:

  • Create diversity-related employee resource groups (ERGs)
  • Provide diversity training for your employees
  • Create more growth opportunities for diverse leaders

There are even more ways, according to TextExpander’s blog, 9 Ways to Retain Diverse Talent.



We’re passionate about eliminating biased job descriptions and creating awesome career pages. Ongig can help increase diversity, inclusion, and belonging in your leadership. Click our demo request button if you’d like to learn more.



  1. Diversity in leadership: 6 steps to make it happen (by Aisha Thompkins)
  2. How to Attract and Hire Diverse Executives (by Kaitlyn D’Onofrio)
  3. Here are tech companies’ plans for increasing diversity amid protests over racial inequality (by Jon Swartz)
  4. Diversity wins: How inclusion matters (by McKinsey & Company)
  5. 9 Ways to Retain Diverse Talent (by TextExpander)
  6. Best Diversity Recruiters & Search Firms (by i-Recruit)
  7. These 21 Companies are Connecting Employers to Diverse Pools of Talent (by Arshiya Malik) 
  8. Women in Management: Quick Take (by Catalyst)


by in Diversity and Inclusion

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)