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Survey Links Leadership Diversity to Performance

Published Thursday Feb 28, 2019

Survey Links Leadership Diversity to Performance

A new study shows that diversity in businesses increases revenue by 19 percent and company performance and productivity by up to 35 percent. But what does diversity mean to full-time employees and how many businesses are investing in diverse workplaces?

DesignRush.com, a B2B marketplace that connects companies with agencies, conducted a survey asking 228 full-time U.S. employees from ages 25-80 how diverse their workplace leadership is and how business diversity can be improved in the future. 

Diverse Genders Still Need More Representation

  • The survey found that gender diversity in leadership roles still needs improvement. Nearly 48 percent respondents said that their company leadership was overwhelmingly male.
  • Meanwhile, only 35 percent of full-time employees have equal male and female leadership, and less than 18 percent had substantial female leadership.
  • Although DesignRush’s margin of difference was smaller, external research has found that there are more CEOs named David than there are female CEOs in the United States.
  • DesignRush’s survey respondents preferred male leadership over female or gender non-confirming. Thus, although equal gender leadership is on the rise, there are still improvements to be made.

Employees Believe Their Company Already Invests in Cultural Diversity

  • Over 61 percent of respondents believe that their company invests in cultural diversity already, which is in stark contrast to additional research on the subject.
  • For example, Caucasian sounding names are 50 percent more likely to be called for an interview. Meanwhile, African Americans are 16 percent less likely to score a job interview.
  • Nearly 79 percent of respondents want to see some increase in workplace diversity at all companies.

Diversity Creates Safer Workplaces

  • Research shows that 72 percent of employees experience sexual harassment at work but don’t report it.
  • However, over 76 percent of full-time employees do not believe their workplace has a problem with sexual harassment, according to survey respondents.
  • Although DesignRush’s findings drastically differed from external studies by indicating that employees already have safe workplaces, one takeaway is clear: Diverse leadership – including various genders and cultures – is believed to reduce sexual harassment at work. 

Diversity Increases Productivity & Revenue

  • The survey supports the claim that diverse leadership improves productivity and ultimately boosts revenue.
  • Several studies, including notable research from McKinsey & Company, demonstrates that diverse companies perform up to 35 percent better and improve their revenue by nearly 20 percent.
  • This increase in efficiency could be due to many factors, including but not limited to wider recruitment, strong public relations and public reputation, and a higher employee retention rate.

Additional findings from DesignRush’s survey are available online at DesignRush.com.

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