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Home / research / MIT News: Gender diversity across a company increases productivity

MIT News: Gender diversity across a company increases productivity

A new study on workplace diversity, co-authored by MIT economist Dr. Sara Ellison, indicates that gender-diverse teams are more productive compared to single-gender ones  Tweet This!.

According to Ellison, “a more diverse set of employees means you have a more diverse set of skills,” which may well “result in an office that functions better” – despite the fact that individual employees may, in fact, be happier when working with people of the same sex.

Employees in single-sex offices “might be happier, they might be more comfortable, and these might be cooperative places, but they seem to perform less well”, Ellison said. Just as “a baseball team entirely composed of catchers could have high esprit de corps,” but, at the same time, “would not perform very well on the field”.

The study found that switching from a single-sex office to a gender-diverse one, would increase revenues by approximately 41%.

It is worth noting that, according to the study, employees “may like the idea of a diverse workplace more than they like actual diversity in the workplace” and that this perception, that a company embraced diversity, is not enough, to lead to improved performance. “In offices where people thought the firm was accepting of diversity, they were happier and more cooperative,” Ellison said. “But that didn’t translate into any effect on office performance.”

 

References:

This article was compiled using a publication by MIT News. For the sake of readability, we did not use brackets or ellipses but made sure that the extra or missing words did not change the publication’s meaning. If you would like to quote these written sources from the original please revert to the link below:

http://news.mit.edu/2014/workplace-diversity-can-help-bottom-line-1007

 

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