4 in 5 workers say diverse leadership increases company revenue

by | Feb 26, 2019 | Public Relations

Studies show 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?

B2B brand/agency connection marketplace DesignRush.com 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. This new survey’s key findings can be parlayed into an overarching understanding of workplaces in America.

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 the margin of difference was smaller, external research has found that there are more CEOs named David than there are female CEOs in total in the United States.

In addition, 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. This 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.

Regardless, nearly 79 percent of survey 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 their place of 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.

Although the 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 and 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 include:

  • 16 percent of full-time workers believe that diversity in the workplace should encompass employees and leaders of different genders and different cultures.
  • 79 percent of respondents think their company represents all genders equally.
  • 41 percent of respondents believe that their company represents diverse cultures equally.
  • 26 percent of full-time employees do not care which gender their manager or executive is, as long as they are competent.
  • 95 percent of respondents prefer female leadership, 4.39 percent prefer gender neutral or non-confirming leadership, and 11.4 percent prefer male leadership.
  • 37 percent of respondents said that the managers and executives at their company are mostly or completely male. 35.09 percent said their leaders are about 50 percent male and 50 percent female. 17.54 percent said that the managers and executives at their company are mostly or completely female.
  • 58 percent believe that diverse leadership can create a positive company culture.
  • Only 46.05 percent of respondents believe that their company leaders are fully qualified for their positions.
  • 94 percent of full-time workers believe that gender diverse leadership helps companies perform better and generate more revenue.
  • 39 percent of respondents believe that culturally diverse leadership helps companies perform better and generate more revenue.
  • 32 percent of respondents do not believe their company has a problem with sexual harassment in the workplace.
  • 36 percent of full-time employees surveyed believe that diverse leadership could alleviate sexual harassment in the workplace to some degree.
  • 94 percent of respondents wish to see more diverse leadership in roles at other companies that are not their own.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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