Diversity, equity, and inclusion are a critical component of business strategies

Posted on July 11, 2022 by Chris Chmura

This article was originally published in the Richmond Times Dispatch on July 10, 2022. 

Diversity, equity, and inclusion has become a critical component of business strategies as companies increasingly recognize the value of a diverse workforce for more than just social justice reasons. Diversity allows for a wider range of ideas and solutions which can benefit the overall productivity of an organization.

A look at the diversity in the highest-paying and fastest growing jobs across the country, or elite jobs, shows the United States has plenty of progress to make to improve DEI in the elite workforce.

Chmura Economics & Analytics created an inclusion ratio to measure the inclusivity of these jobs. It compares the percentage of Black, Hispanic, and female workers in elite jobs with the percentage of each of these groups in all jobs. This ratio is equal to one when the demographic group is perfectly represented in elite jobs.

In other words, the share of the group in the overall workforce is the same as its share of workers in top jobs. Therefore, an inclusion ratio less than one implies that the demographic is underrepresented in these top jobs.

In each of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the nation, Blacks, Hispanics, and women were underrepresented in elite jobs based on data from the third quarter of 2021. Although metro areas represent the densest regions in the country, they still do not reflect the demographic distribution of the region’s population.

This lack of representation is not limited to one region of the country. Transcending stereotypes, the South is home to nine of the ten most representative MSAs for Blacks. The highest inclusion ratio for Blacks is 0.72 in McAllen, Texas, and the lowest is 0.35 in San Francisco.

Representation of women and Blacks in elite jobs tends to increase as population decreases.

The Los Angeles area is one of the most populated in the country, but it has one of the lowest inclusion ratios for women at 0.65. Lancaster, Pennsylvania has a population less than one-twentieth the size of L.A., but it has one of the top inclusion rates for women at 0.78.

In areas where there is a denser population of a certain demographic, this group is generally better represented in top jobs.

For example, El Paso, Texas is 83% Hispanic and has one of the highest inclusion ratios for Hispanics at 0.85.

The Richmond area is trailing behind in the inclusion of all three demographic groups that we measured.

The table below shows Richmond’s inclusion ratios and the area’s rankings for each demographic out of all 100 MSAs where a ranking of one means it is the most inclusive region:

  Inclusion Ratio Ranking
Blacks 0.54 42
Hispanics 0.42 73
Women 0.69 58
Source: JobsEQ® by Chmura Economics & Analytics


Richmond, like the U.S., has an inclusion problem in that the proportion of Blacks, Hispanics, and women in elite jobs falls far below that of all jobs. Workers in all three groups are more likely to occupy lower status, lower paying jobs.

You can download the report at www.chmura.com/dei-report


This blog reflects Chmura staff assessments and opinions with the information available at the time the blog was written.