- Senior executives "from diverse racial/ethnic backgrounds" may change employers at twice the rate of other executives within the next year, according to an Oct. 28 study from DDI. "It's likely that these leaders still face significant barriers as they move up the ladder, which may be why they feel like they have to leave the company to advance," Stephanie Neal, director of DDI's Center for Analytics and Behavioral Research, said in a statement.
- Just over a quarter of leaders surveyed said they believe their organization strongly values diversity and inclusion, while less than 25% say their organization "consistently recruits and promotes from a diverse talent pool."
- However, companies that have "above-average gender, racial and ethnic diversity" performed better than their peers financially, according to the study.
Similar surveys have shown that diversity is not a strategic priority for leaders despite evidence that strong diversity and inclusion improves the bottom line as well as productivity. Companies that had high racial diversity congruence — having matching levels of representation in upper management and lower management — had the highest levels of productivity, according to a study published June 9 in the Academy of Management Journal.
But even companies that say they create empowering environments that encourage belonging may have a perception problem in their workplaces; while a majority of leaders in a June Accenture report stated they created such environments at their workplaces, only 36% of employees agreed. A May survey from Clutch noted that employers may be focusing on "small elements of diversity" instead of specific diversity initiatives, such as improving LGBTQ awareness.
“Creating a culture of equality must be at the top of the business agenda," Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture, previously said in a statement. "It starts with the belief that diversity is not only the right thing to do, but a business imperative that is treated the same as any other strategic priority."
To bridge this gap, employers have begun investing in diverse leadership -- a movement that gained momentum after events in the summer that prompted nationwide protests, namely the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by police, experts previously told HR Dive. The number of LinkedIn users with "head of diversity" titles, for example, has grown 107% in the last five years, according to a September report from the site.