- More White than Black workers say their leaders at work are their same race
- Black workers with Black leaders at work are more positive about their jobs
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Black employees in the U.S. are significantly less likely than White workers to say the leadership of their organizations include people of the same race as themselves. Yet, those Black workers who do see Black leadership at work have much more positive attitudes about their workplaces and jobs than Black workers who do not see Black leaders at their organizations.
Black, Hispanic Workers Less Likely to See Leaders of Own Race
Thirty-seven percent of Black workers who are employed full- or part-time strongly agree that Black people hold leadership positions in their organizations. Similarly, 40% of Hispanic workers report Hispanic leaders at their workplaces. Yet, 55% of White workers say they work at organizations with White leaders. Though perhaps not surprising, this evidence of a racial/ethnic gap in representation at the highest levels is striking.
|Black workers||White workers||Hispanic workers|
|5 "Strongly agree"||37||55||40|
|1 "Strongly disagree"||11||4||8|
|GALLUP PANEL, NOV. 6-DEC. 1, 2020|
These findings are from the latest online survey for the Gallup Center on Black Voices conducted Nov. 6-Dec 1, 2020. More than 8,000 respondents were surveyed, including more than 3,500 White workers, more than 2,000 Black workers and more than 2,000 Hispanic workers.
Black Workers With Black Leaders at Work More Positive About Their Jobs
Of those Black workers who strongly agree there are leaders of their same race at their workplaces, majorities report more inclusive and fair workplaces across all nine aspects of work experiences. Meanwhile, small, single-digit percentages of those who strongly disagree that there are leaders of their race in leadership rate these same experiences positively.
Among Black employees who report working under leadership of their own race, two in three strongly agree that their employer is committed to building each employee's strengths (66%) and that their organization treats everyone fairly (66%).
Likewise, majorities of Black employees in companies with Black leaders also strongly agree with the other six positive work experiences:
- having confidence their employer will ensure they are treated right (62%)
- being confident in their company's ethics and integrity (61%)
- being treated with respect (58%)
- feeling comfortable being themselves at work (56%)
|Strongly agree Black people in leadership||Strongly disagree Black people in leadership||Difference|
|My current employer is committed to building the strengths of each employee.||66||4||62|
|My organization is fair to everyone.||66||6||60|
|If I raised a concern about how I am treated, I am confident my employer would do what is right.||62||4||58|
|If I raised a concern about ethics and integrity, I am confident my employer would do what is right.||61||5||56|
|At work, I am treated with respect.||58||6||52|
|At work, I feel comfortable being myself.||56||7||49|
|GALLUP PANEL, Nov. 6-Dec. 1, 2020|
In response to nationwide protests following George Floyd's death last spring, CEOs of many U.S. companies responded by enacting programs to increase diversity and representation. Still, Gallup's latest polling on race suggests that representation at workplaces remains lopsided.
Black workers in the U.S. are less likely than White workers to say there are people at their workplaces who are the same race as them, especially in leadership roles. Their perceptions reflect the hard data. For example, among the CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, just 1% (five out of 500) are Black -- a much smaller percentage than the percentage of Black workers in the broader U.S. workforce. Likewise, Black workers (7.8%) are far less likely than White workers (83.6%) to hold management positions in the U.S. workforce, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Black workers who strongly agree they work in companies with Black leadership are much more likely than Black workers who strongly agree they do not to indicate that their workplaces display elements of inclusiveness. The consequences of that difference are apparent in workplace outcomes, as those Black workers who see their race represented in leadership roles are much more positive about their employer's inclusivity than Black workers who do not see their race represented at the top. The differences are stark enough to warrant serious attention in the furtherance of Black employees' wellbeing and engagement.
Learn more about how the Gallup Panel works.