Guess which gender thinks more highly of work diversity programs

Posted on Tuesday, August 28, 2018 by Jessica Salerno

For many companies, diversity initiatives are a vital part of their forward-thinking business strategy. But not everyone in the company necessarily believes in the importance of those programs.

According to a new survey from the recruiting site The Ladders, “…of its members making more than $100,000, at least 66% of the women surveyed said that diversity is ‘very important’ to a company's success, while only 43% of men felt the same.”

A more than 20% difference between men and women on how they feel about diversity is concerning. Interestingly enough, more men in the survey said that their company takes diversity seriously, standing at 40% compared to 23% of women.

So, men more than women think their company takes diversity seriously yet don’t necessarily think it’s important to its success. This is a disappointing and revealing conclusion. Especially since at least 66% in the survey said their companies were male-dominated at the leadership level, the very individuals tasked with championing these programs could be the ones who feel indifferent toward their success.  

If a male executive is accepting of diversity programs that are more for show than to fulfill any real strategic benefits to the organization that does a disservice to everyone involved.

The way individuals feel about diversity is disappointing, but, unfortunately, not unusual. And,  it does reveal the need to continue to support these programs, and more importantly, find ways they can be successful. So here’s the catch-22. I’m going to make a wild guess and say that diversity initiatives would probably be viewed more favorably and integral to the company’s success when there are more women and diverse leaders. But to have more diverse leadership, these programs need to succeed in the first place.

Although frustrating, this also is an opportunity for leaders to prove themselves. Consider how you could make positive contributions to your organization’s diversity initiatives, regardless of whether you’re in a title of leadership or not. How could you impact your company’s diversity initiatives? Tell us in the comments.


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