Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Gender Diversity Generates More Productivity, Study Shows

Gender diversity makes good business sense; it generates more work productivity, though not necessarily enjoyable for the employees involved.

A new study suggests that men and women don't necessarily enjoy working with members of the opposite gender, but that teams with an even split of the two tend to be more productive, the Business Insider reported. The study was conducted by economists from George Washington University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who studied eight years of employee survey data from a professional-services firm with more than 60 offices in the United States and abroad. Read more:

Having a more diverse set of employees means you have a more diverse set of skills,” says Sara Ellison, an MIT economist, which “could result in an office that functions better.” At the same time, individual employees may prefer less diverse settings. The study, analyzing a large white-collar U.S. firm, examined how much “social capital” offices build up in the form of things like cooperation, trust, and enjoyment of the workplace. Read more here:

As reported by these articles, both men and women find it more comfortable working in homogenous settings wherein, it is found, there is more cooperation among team members, thus more satisfaction; however, an interesting twist is that it reduces the quality of work performance. “higher levels of social capital are not important enough to cause those offices to perform better. The employees might be happier, they might be more comfortable, and these might be cooperative places, but they seem to perform less well.”

In terms of gender diversity in top management, a McKinsey report provides some insights: 
Female executives are ambitious and sure of their own abilities to become top managers, though they are much less confident that their companies’ cultures can support their rise. In our latest survey on gender and workplace diversity,1 the results indicate that collective, cultural factors at work are more than twice as likely as individual factors to link to women’s confidence that they can reach top management.

What is important then is for companies to ensure a culture of support for their women employees to get to the top, and in order to be able to achieve this, “companies must address mind-sets and develop a more inclusive, holistic diversity agenda,” the report says.

No comments: