Entry-Level Jobs 101

Top 5 Industries for Workforce Diversity

Regardless of your major, if you’re embarking on your first job search you might be wondering which hiring trends are likely to affect your career. One of the biggest professional trends in recent years has been an increased focus on diversity. This is partly the result of new diversity guidelines set out by the Equal Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and partly the result of studies showing that companies who hire with diversity in mind tend to be more successful and have happier employees.

To get the inside scoop on which industries are making diversity a major priority, we recently sat down with the team at NetSuite, one of the leading software companies in the world and a recognized diversity leader, having been named a 2020 Women on Boards Winning “W” company for the fourth year in a row. We analyzed several factors including gender, ethnicity, age and geography, and highlighted both traditionally diverse industries and those that having been taking big steps towards improving their diversity rankings in recent years.

Here are the top five industries focusing on workforce diversity right now.

1. Healthcare

As one of the oldest and most established industries, healthcare has a long history of serving diverse populations and hiring employees who reflect that diversity. This is especially true when it comes to ethnic and gender diversity with one-third of healthcare workers being non-white and two-thirds of nurses being female. In addition to racial and gender diversity, healthcare is also geographically diverse meaning that it is evenly spread out across the country. Although the industry has already made great strides in developing an inclusive workforce, in recent years it has placed an even greater emphasis on hiring candidates from multicultural backgrounds in order to better serve expanding sectors of the population.

2. Education

Like healthcare, education is one of the most diverse industries, particularly when it comes to gender and geography. This is partly due to the fact that two-thirds of teachers are female and partly the result of the industry itself being one of the largest workforces in every state. In an effort to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse population, schools and universities are looking to further improve their diversity initiatives and have started hiring employees from an even broader range of social identities and economic backgrounds.

3. Retail & Distribution

Next on the list is the retail industry which ranks highly for gender, geography, age and ethnic diversity. This is largely due to its size (it serves a wide range of customers and requires a lot of employees) and also due to the fact that retail companies are themselves diverse, covering everything from fashion to technology. In order to ensure that the industry is as inclusive as possible, recruiters in the field have been increasingly looking to hire candidates from every racial, ethnic and economic background as well as ensuring that gender is taken into account at all levels of the industry.

4. Professional Services

One of the fastest growing industries at the moment is the professional services industry, covering services like accounting, consulting and law. Although fields like accounting and law have traditionally lacked diversity in terms of gender, education and ethnicity, with the expansion of these fields (and of service-oriented professions in general) this trend has changed significantly in recent years. For example, professional services companies now employ a much higher number of women than they previously did and are located in geographically diverse areas of the country. Hiring managers in these fields are also working to hire and retain talented individuals from a variety of educational and socio-economic backgrounds and expanding their recruiting efforts accordingly.

5. Financial Services

Like accounting and law, the financial services industry has traditionally been one of the least diverse industries in the country. However, this has been rapidly changing in recent years as companies have realized the value of expanding their candidate pool and hiring from a broader range of schools, majors and backgrounds. With the success of these initiatives now being evident, financial services companies are making an even bigger push to increase diversity. The result is that recruiters are looking to hire candidates with diverse skills while also aiming to effectively close the gender gap.

The increased focus on workforce diversity in recent years is an important trend that signals a desire to expand job opportunities for job seekers all over the country. By knowing which industries are leading the pack when it comes to diversity, you’ll be able to find a broad range opportunities that match your skills and get one step closer to finding your dream job.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look For in a Company and find answers to common interview questions such as What’s Your Dream Job?