Small businesses with increased levels of racial and ethnic diversity are more adaptable to change

Atlanta, GA – August 10, 2022 - New research released by Hiscox, the leading small business insurer, has revealed that small businesses with greater levels of racial and ethnic diversity are more likely to have changed their business approach during the pandemic than less diverse businesses.

Asked to list what changes their business had made during the pandemic, the top answer from businesses with high/moderate racial and ethnic diversity in leadership was that they were most likely to try new marketing methods (35%); the top answer from businesses with little/no racial and ethnic diversity, was that they were most likely to not make any changes (39%). Overall, 85% of businesses with high/moderate racial and ethnic diversity among employees made changes to their business during the pandemic, such as expanding their customer base (35%), increasing their social media presence (33%), or changing their pricing (33%), compared to 57% of businesses with little or no racial or ethnic diversity among employees.

Hiscox USA’s research – based on a survey of 400 small business owners in the US between December 21, 2021 and January 10, 2022 – also found:

  • Where diversity leads, the rest of the business follows: Of those businesses who had high or moderate racial and ethnic diversity in managers/owners, 93% had high/moderate racial and ethnic diversity in their employees. The trend continues for prioritizing D&I, as 72% of businesses with high/moderate racial and ethnic diversity among managers/owners say improving D&I is at least moderately important, compared to 23% of businesses with little/no diversity. When it comes to taking action on diversity issues, businesses with high/moderate racial and ethnic diversity among managers/owners were nearly twice as likely to make changes to improve D&I than their less diverse counterparts (66% to 34% respectively).
  • Small businesses are taking action: Over half (51%) of small businesses made changes to improve D&I, with the leading changes cited including publicly expressing support for D&I causes (20%), improving hiring processes to be more inclusive (19%), improving transparency in compensation (15%), and donating to causes fighting for social and racial justice (14%).
  • There are still barriers to improving diversity efforts: Nearly one in three (32%) respondents report diversity efforts as not being a business priority. The second largest barrier to improving D&I was limited resources/funds or capacity (22%).

Commenting on the findings, Erica Fletcher Hiscox’s Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, said: “Diversity leads to diversity of thought; different backgrounds generate different ideas, which are then developed through robust conversations, and ultimately spark innovation. Diverse small businesses can adapt to the changing environment swiftly, and thrive. And it’s why over half of the small businesses we surveyed have made changes to improve their diversity and inclusion. With more than one in three small businesses still not seeing improving diversity and inclusion as a priority, however, there is still work to be done in showing that diversity really is great for business.”


Related Materials

2022 Hiscox Diversity Report

About The Study

The Hiscox Diversity Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 400 US small business owners, with oversamples for 100 female small business owners, 100 African-American small business owners, and 100 Hispanic small business owners, between December 21st, 2021 and January 10th, 2022, using an email invitation and an online survey.

For the interviews conducted in this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 4.9 percentage points for the main sample, and 9.8 percentage points for the oversamples, from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

About The Hiscox Group

Hiscox is a global specialist insurer, headquartered in Bermuda and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:HSX). Our ambition is to be a respected insurer with a diverse portfolio by product and geography. We believe that building balance between catastrophe-exposed business and less volatile local specialty business gives us opportunities for profitable growth throughout the insurance cycle.

The Hiscox Group employs over 3,000 people in 14 countries, and has customers worldwide. Through the retail businesses in the UK, Europe, Asia and the USA, we offer a range of specialist insurance for professionals and business customers as well as homeowners. Internationally traded, bigger ticket business and reinsurance is underwritten through Hiscox London Market and Hiscox Re & ILS. In the US, Hiscox small business Insurance is underwritten by Hiscox Insurance Company Inc., a Chicago-based insurance company.

Our values define our business, with a focus on people, courage, ownership and integrity. We pride ourselves on being true to our word and our award-winning claims service is testament to that. For more information, visit

The content provided above is provided for general informational purposes and is not intended, nor shall it be deemed, to be a solicitation of insurance with regard to any particular or specific person or entity.

Media Contact

Lucy Baines
Hiscox USA
+1 646 560 9399
[email protected]

Hayley Susino
Hiscox USA
+1 646 452 2365
[email protected]