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10 Diversity Statistics That Will Make You Rethink Your Hiring Decisions

Companies need diversity. It helps them think with a wider breadth of perspectives, makes them look better to the public eye, and gives them access to the potential revenue gains from employing people who can contribute different things to the companies they work for. Still, many hiring managers and people in charge don’t see hiring diversity as an issue. However, the truth is, it is an issue that has only recently improved. Today, only ⅓ of the workforce classifies as a minority.

Still, don’t think this issue has any impact on your team? Here are ten reasons why they need to change their mind about diversity hiring.

1. The Biggest Reason Companies Can’t Do it? 41% Say They’re “Too Busy”

In 2016: 43% of companies are now offering holidays that allow employees to take time off based on their religious or cultural situation, which calls more diversity.

This stat shows us one of the biggest barriers to creating a more diverse workforce. A SHRM report recently noted that 41% of managers are “too busy” to implement diversity initiatives. It may be true that managers have too much on their plates to handle on a given day, but the stat reveals just how small a priority diversity hiring is. If managers want anything to get done about the lack of diversity on their teams, they’ll need to start fitting it into their schedule. That means making it a bigger priority.

But sometimes that’s easier said than done. So, what can you do to move diversity to the top of your list?

  • Make it a team effort. Not everything needs to fall on your hands. Get insight, feedback and support from other members of senior management. Getting commitment from them creates a way for everyone to encourage diversity throughout the organization.
  • Create a committee. This could be a small group of managers or even team members that collaborate on and establish ways to create more diversity within the workplace. Remember this group should be diverse in employee rank, race, gender, age, etc. A team that lacks diversity will not bring about the best approach to welcoming diversity.
  • Use other companies. Today, diversity is a group effort in those organizations of all types and in every industry are trying to be more inclusive. While it might unveil some of your own shortcomings, looking to others who are succeeding can inspire new ideas for your own company and help you start on your own path to a more diverse workforce.
  • Be honest. No one is perfect and even seasoned leaders can struggle with understanding how to implement diversity. Approaching the issue with honesty will show self-reflection and encourage others to join in on improving the problem.

2. Fewer CEOs Are Women than Are Named David

In 2016: Women now only hold a paltry 4.2% of CEO positions in America’s 500 biggest companies, a drop from last year and 2014.

When a single name outnumbers an entire gender, it reveals a staggering problem. This stat reveals just how few opportunities women get in the business world, and no matter what people may think, it’s not because women can’t handle leadership. Women are more than capable of handling all the demands of a business — the people in charge simply aren’t letting them prove themselves.

3. Racially Diverse Teams Outperform Non-diverse Ones by 35%

One of the biggest things stopping managers from implementing diversity is that they’re afraid of introducing people whom may not agree with each other will hamper productivity. For those companies, we offer the following stat. Because diverse teams outperform non-diverse ones, companies should actively try to engage with diversity initiatives as soon as possible to make sure they’re implemented, instead of trying to hamper them out of fear.

In fact, the awkwardness that comes with not understanding those around you is what makes diverse teams work so well. In a cognitive intelligence study done by MIT engineers, researchers observed that successful teams had three things in common: they gave one another roughly equal time to talk, they were sensitive towards each other (even in awkward situations), and they included more women — making them the most diverse. In other words, having different types of people on the same team can help others look at problems more carefully while also being more innovative, creative and inclusive about their solutions.

4. 57% If Employees Think Their Companies Should be More Diverse

Your employees want to be more productive. They want racial diversity in the workplace as much as anyone else. Working with the same people, who’ve shared their background and experiences can be nice, but it becoming boring rather quickly. Without a flood of new experiences to keep them motivated and excited about the people they work with, there’s a chance they could get burnt out. So when it comes to diversity, you can be sure your employees have your back.

5. 40% of People Think There’s a Double-Standard Against Hiring Women

In 2016: 58.9% of reviews from a study contained critical feedback for men, compared with 87.9% of the reviews received by women.

A recent Pew study asked respondents this question, and the stat reveals just how much bias against women in the workplace there is. Both women and men are more likely to hire men over women, and it’s likely what leads to a lack of gender diversity in the workplace, as well as problems with women in leader (which we discussed in an earlier stat). Companies need to recognize this bias and implement programs which favor women in order to counteract this inherent bias in hiring.

6. Blind Applications Lead to Five Times More Women

In 2016: A study by Harvard and Princeton found that blind auditions increased the likelihood that a woman would be hired
by between 25 and 46%

It sounds like a bit of an exaggeration to say that, but in reality, this stat demonstrates just how few women are considered in male-dominated fields. In Orchestras, when companies switched from auditions where they could see the candidate to blind auditions, the percentage of women members in the orchestra jumped from 5% to 25%. Similarly, institutions using a double-blind method to review scientific studies have similarly increased the number of women who get published in journals. This good in adding diversity to your team while also helping your team perform overall. In a large study done in 2015 of more than 4,600 people, teams that welcomed more women performed better than those with fewer or no women.

7. Google’s Tech Staff is Only 1% Black

In 2016: 70% of Google’s global workforce is male. They have also announced plans to invest $150 million in workforce diversity initiatives.

Diversity is everyone’s problem. Being a big company doesn’t mean you’re excluded from needing diversity. Along with that stat, only 2% of Google’s tech staff is Hispanic, and only 17% are women. When the number of college IT graduates is several times that number, it shows how little big companies take diversity into account. They also show that not having that many diverse people apply isn’t a skills problem, it’s an imagination problem.

8. African Americans are 16% Less Likely To get Invited to Job Interviews

In 2016: A study revealed that white names got 50% more callbacks than the black names, regardless of the industry or occupation.

This stat makes the case for affirmative action. Arguments against affirmative action say that it gives minorities without the skills to properly perform in the tasks required of them an unfair advantage. But in reality, initiatives like it are created to battle the inherent bias against African Americans in the workplace. Categorically, people of minority backgrounds are invited less often to the interviews, and when the numbers are this consistent, it makes the case for targeted diversity initiatives.

This is where a true understanding of interview bias comes into play. Individuals should be hired based on skill, experience and performance — not by their name or ethnic background. Sadly, snap judgments are still very much a part of interview and hiring decisions. As a manager or employer, there are things you can do to prevent bias from seeping in:

  • Make it a process. Create a list of questions and tasks that every candidate must answer and in the same manner and point of the assessment. Keeping consistency ensures everyone has equal opportunity to perform well.
  • Make a justified decision. Don’t decide right away on which candidate is the best choice. Look over your notes and justify why they are (or aren’t) the best fit. Write down your reasoning and make sure that it is based on more than just superficial facts. Welcoming more than one colleague into this decision will help deter bias.

9. Bilingual Employees Earn 10% More Revenue

In 2016: Nearly 90% of managers said that better cross-border communication would improve the bottom line.

Hiring bilingual employees, no matter what other languages they may speak is one great way to increase diversity in your company and see a few immediate benefits. If many of your employees interact with customers and clients on a regular basis, being able to speak multiple languages is a huge boon for your business. When a customer who does not speak English is interested in your product, having someone who speaks their language makes the transaction happen that much more smoothly.

10. Teams Where Men and Women are Equal Earn 41% More Revenue

In 2016: Gender-diverse companies are 15% more likely to earn above-average revenue
Another stat that supports moving towards greater gender diversity. When companies employ more women, they’re able to take advantage of a greater wealth of perspectives. This, in turn, causes companies to have more angles from which to tackle big business issues. The results are faster solutions, more creative thinking and higher overall revenue.

There are more than ten reasons to diversify your workforce, but we think these are the most important ones. There’s no reason to avoid creative diversity hiring initiatives any longer. Your employees want them, they’re more profitable, and they help rectify other unfair practices in hiring. Diversity benefits everyone, to its time your company started taking advantage of diversity now.

Director of Marketing at ClearCompany, talent management software company with a clear mission for success.

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