How and Where Diversity Drives Financial Performance
Diversity is both an issue of fairness and, some say, a driver of innovation and performance. To assess the latter claim, we undertook a large, cross-country study into the relationship between multiple aspects of managerial diversity, the presence of enabling conditions such as leadership support for diversity, and innovation outcomes.
We surveyed more than 1,700 companies across eight countries (the U.S., France, Germany, China, Brazil, India, Switzerland, and Austria) and a variety of industries and company sizes, examining diversity in management positions, measured with respect to gender, age, national origin, career path, industry background, and education. We partnered with the Technical University of Munich for the statistical analysis of the results. We examined the correlation of these variables both individually and collectively, with the percentage of revenues coming from products introduced in the last three years as a proxy for innovation impact. Innovative companies are taken to be those with fresher product portfolios, and unsurprisingly they turned out to be more profitable, too.
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