No more excuses

Management survey: The most successful companies are those that employ a diverse work force.

February 13, 1999

MANY COMPANIES talk up the goal of hiring a diversified top management team -- while silently questioning what's in it for them.

A new study released by the American Management Association has come up with a promising answer that links corporate diversity to a better bottom line. The association survey of 1,087 firms found that companies with more diverse management teams tend to perform better than businesses whose executives conform to the "white, male, over-40 model."

The survey stops short of suggesting that diverse management teams, which include women and workers from a range of racial backgrounds, are directly responsible for higher profits. But the findings suggest companies that open their management ranks to a mix of employees are well-positioned to recognize new markets and respond to a range of customer needs.

The survey had other provocative findings.

For instance, it showed that the most successful companies also had senior managers who were recruited from outside organizations.

Likewise, the most profitable companies had some executives under the age of 40.

No one expects one study to change corporate culture. But in today's competitive business climate, the findings suggest legitimate bottom-line reasons for doing the right thing.

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