SKILLS VS. BACKGROUND
• Most (70%) of HR decision makers believe it’s most important to have diverse opinions, approaches and methodologies, regardless of background. Only 30% feel it is important to have teams that are diverse in terms of background.
• Almost all (97%) of HR decision makers say it is important for companies to diversify their talent pool and hire people from diverse industries with different skill sets; just under two-thirds (63%) say it is very important.
“The preference for ‘diversity of skills’ over ‘diversity of background’ is concerning and a potential risk,” noted Steve Nilsen, a partner of Boyden United States. “It is a temptation to stock the boardroom and C-suite with people with similar backgrounds, just from different corners of the business world. The true value of diversity is captured when team members approach the same challenge based on different backgrounds, thought processes, and problem-solving techniques.”
“Diversity is an important issue and has to be considered in a holistic sense, not as a process,” explained the country divisional head of Bayer Crop Science Brazil. “I do not like the word ‘diversity.’ Rather, ‘inclusion’ is a more relevant issue. Unfortunately, we still see many organizations promoting diversity without inclusion.”
The statistics tell a story and paint a clear picture.
• Only 45% of HR execs report diverse C-suites. Just under half (47%) say that senior management is diverse, and only 19% say that senior management is extremely diverse. This number was highest again in Mexico, with 72% saying that senior management is extremely diverse, and lowest in Canada and the UK (34% each).
• Only 58% say that middle management is diverse, and 22% say middle management is extremely diverse.
• Nearly three-fourths (72%) of HR decision makers say that entry-level and junior members of their organizations are diverse. This number is slightly lower in Canada (60%) and Germany (62%).
“Gender diversity in business is still a major challenge,” said Christian Gollasch, Ph.D., former Deputy CHRO, Carlsberg Group. “Companies that want to increase the number of women across all ranks should focus first on their board and C-suite. A more equal distribution of men and women at the top level shows a credible commitment to gender diversity.”
To view the first and second installments of the Boyden CHRO report, Impact of AI and Technology and The CHRO Role in the C-Suite & Board, visit Boyden.com
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