Diversity is the nature of the universe. Think about it – it’s not conformity that binds everything together. It’s difference, held in tension.
But all too often, workplaces don’t reflect that. Human beings have a strong tendency to gravitate towards those most like them. This “comfort zone” tendency, while largely unconscious, is one of the most challenging aspects of ensuring a workplace which models the diversity and inclusion that’s required to ensure that you do, in fact, have the best people on board.
Namely’s Workplace Diversity Report 2018 uncovered some surprising realities about the modern workplace. So, what does workplace diversity look like in 2018? Let’s examine some of the more jarring findings of the Report.
Managers Choose Conformity
Data from the report confirmed that managers tend toward conformity in the makeup of the teams they’re in charge of.
As we stated above, human beings tend to gravitate towards other like them (or perceived to be like them). While this tendency was identified across a range of ethnicities, it was most pronounced among white managers.
Only 16% of white employees were found to be reporting to a manager of a different ethnicity. This indicates a need for businesses to pay closer attention to hiring practices at the managerial level to ensure their diversity and inclusion initiatives aren’t undermined.
Women in Leadership Roles
The Report also identified the reality of the leadership gap. Of the more than 40,000 managers implicated in the report’s investigation, only 35% were women.
Male employees spoken to as part of the Report overwhelmingly had male managers. Just over 50% of women, on the other hand, reported to women managers.
Institutional culture, the Report found, continues to skew male. It’s obvious that the need for gender parity is critical, especially in a skills poor employment market.
Women’s Work Goes Unrecognized
While white males received recognition from peers and superiors equally, women’s contributions were recognized at a rate of only 36% by their male co-workers and managers.
Findings for recognition of employees from ethnicities other than white (male and female) were also lackluster, pointing again to the human tendency to “cluster” into factions ruled by bias – whether conscious or unconscious.
What does workplace diversity look like in 2018? According to Namely’s Report, not that hale and hearty.
The workplace, ideally, should be a reflection of the society we live in. It should be home to people of all ethnicities and both sexes. This is increasingly becoming an imperative, as consumers seek out companies with robust diversity and inclusion policies which align with their personal values.
Not modeling those values or leaving them to the vagaries of a management team which may be allowing bias to taint the hiring process, represents a public relations exposure which can be costly to your organization.
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