Many Companies Still Lack Diverse Management Teams

January 17, 2007 ( - More than three-quarters (76%) of U.S. workers report to a Caucasian boss and a third (34%) have a female boss, according to a new survey.

A news release from recruiting firm Hudson said its recent management diversity poll found fewer than half (43%) of employees reported their managers are diverse racially, ethnically and in terms of gender.

Almost half (47%) of respondents were at employers with a formal diversity initiative and the remainder of respondents were either at companies that do not have one or the worker was not certain if such an initiative existed, according to the release. Furthermore, U.S. workers are still torn on the ability of these programs to create salary and job advancement opportunities for women and minorities, as 31% said they believe they do, 35% said they think they do not, and one-third (33%) are not sure.

Respondents were certain about one thing, however: having a diverse set of managers was a big deal to them. Some 70% said it was either “very important” or “somewhat important” (31%). The number considering it to be “very important” spiked to 65% for African-Americans and 51% for Hispanics.

“Despite the clear need for more diversity in the workplace, particularly in supervisory and leadership roles, some employers continue to struggle with implementing diversity programs and creating an inclusive environment that embraces all workers regardless of race, gender, age, sexual preference or ethnicity,” said Jessica Priego Lopez, director, Diversity & Inclusion Practice, Hudson North America, in the release. “The global forces affecting businesses make diversity of talent and diversity of thought an absolute necessity, and very soon, companies will have a hard time remaining competitive if they do not succeed in recruiting, retaining and developing workers from diverse backgrounds.”

Additional survey findings included:

  • One-fifth (19%) of workers surveyed said they know someone who they believe was denied a job, promotion or pay increase because of race or ethnicity. That figure more than doubled to 46% for African-American workers.
  • Twenty-two percent of employees said they know someone who they think was denied a job, promotion or pay increase because of their gender.
  • Government employees were among the most likely to have a female boss as 43% report to a woman.
  • Employees of larger companies (more than 500 employees) were more likely to report their organization has a formal diversity initiative and a diverse executive team than people who work for smaller organizations.

The Hudson survey was based on a national poll of 4,825 U.S. workers conducted January 2 to 9, 2007, and was compiled by Rasmussen Reports. A more detailed data report is here .