A renown business school asks its applicants to disclose qualities they use to “succeed when dealing with diversity in the corporate world?”
I personally find this a strange question because in my corporate experience, there was surprisingly little diversity. This is supported by some basic facts:
- Only 3% of the Fortune 500 disclose full data of gender and ethnicity; 80% share no data at all.
- Women occupy 12% of worldwide corporate board seats.
- Only 4% of global board seats are chaired by women.
How is this diverse or transparent?
The encouraging news is the business schools and enlightened companies are definitely in strong support of diversity. And they should be given these facts:
- companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to have above-average returns.
- diverse companies see 2.3 times the cash flow per employee than less diverse peers.
Maybe the better question would be
What will your role be in perpetuating strength of diversity in your professional future?
Diversity need honest treatment, including the acknowledgement that the statistics in the corporate world don’t look very encouraging at present.