Do Companies Devolve to a Monoculture?
There has been a great deal of attention brought to racial and gender inequities in the United States. And investors are now beginning to support companies that are trying to diversify their workforce.
But even if these companies change their hiring behavior, is the tenure of the new diverse workforce consistent with the greater company’s? After hiring minority talent, a company could, seemingly, still converge towards a demographic monoculture. Not only would this be a vicious cycle, but also potentially hinder diversity of thought and productivity.
As such, the tenure of minorities in the workplace is one of the primary drivers to understanding this question. To begin, below are the average tenure of men and women at US companies, at both majority-male and majority-female companies.
If company culture is believed to be a driver of attrition, men do appear to work shorter at companies where women constitute the majority. Women though have shorter tenures at companies where they are the majority.
Sign up for our newsletter
Our weekly data driven newsletter provides in-depth analysis of workforce trends and news, delivered straight to your inbox!
Further, below is the average tenure of each racial group, compared to companies where each group is the majority:
It generally appears that people work for longer if their identities match the majority. Notably, however, white people appear to have as long a tenure as the majority group in all groups.
Given the interaction of racial and gender identities, we should also explore whether being a minority in both axes has a confounding effect. In the heatmap below, we break down the data by combinations of both race and gender.
Although we observe that most groups have longer tenure at companies with matching majority identities, certain groups stay longer at jobs where they would become minorities. Black women, for example, appear to have longer tenures in white male majority companies than in black women majority companies.
- Most racial groups have longer tenures when their identity matches that of the majority of workers in the company. The exception is white workers, who have tenures on par with the majority group regardless of the majority’s race.
- Women, on average, have longer tenures when they work at companies where men are the majority. But men have the longest tenures when they are the majority.
- When we look at the intersection of race and gender, we find persistent yet small increases in tenure when the group identity matches the majority group at a company. However, Black women are a notable exception to this pattern.
If you have any ideas of other metrics to track or would like to hear more, please feel free to reach out.