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Few U.S. workers report to either women or minorities, according to a survey released Jan. 17 by Hudson, a New York provider of recruitment services.

More than three-quarters (76 percent) of U.S. workers report to a Caucasian boss, according to the result of the national poll of nearly 5,000 workers.

Just one-third (34 percent) reported that their boss was a woman, while at the same time, less than half of workers indicated that there was racial, ethnic or gender diversity on their company’s executive team.

Women are increasingly negotiating flexible work arrangements rather than “opting out” of the work force. Click here to read more.

Less than half (47 percent) of workers noted that they were employed by an organization with a formal diversity initiative, with the remaining 53 percent at companies lacking one, or unsure of whether one existed. Employees of companies with more than 500 workers were the most likely to report that their company had a diversity initiative.

Nevertheless, the programs appear to lack popularity, or at least a well-recognized ability to create salary and job advancement opportunities for women and minorities. While nearly one-third (31 percent) of respondents felt that they did, another one-third (35 percent) disagreed, and the final group (33 percent) was unsure of the impact of these programs.

Yet, the majority considered workplace diversity crucial, with 39 percent considering it “very important” and 31 percent determining it “somewhat important,” a number significantly higher among African-Americans (65 percent) and Hispanics (51 percent).

Perceptions of discrimination were strong among workers. Nearly one-fifth (19 percent) of workers said they knew someone who they believe was denied a job, promotion or pay increase because of race or ethnicity, a number that more than doubled (46 percent) among African-Americans. 22 percent of workers said that they knew someone who they thought was denied a job, promotion or pay increase because of gender.

“Despite the clear need for more diversity in the workplace, particularly in supervisory and leadership roles, some employers continue to struggle with implementing diversity programs and creating an inclusive environment that embraces all workers regardless of race, gender, age, sexual preference or ethnicity,” Jessica Priego Lopez, director of Diversity & Inclusion Practice for Hudson North America, said in a statement.

“The global forces affecting businesses make diversity of talent and diversity of thought an absolute necessity, and very soon, companies will have a hard time remaining competitive if they do not succeed in recruiting, retaining and developing workers from diverse backgrounds.”

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