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New Study Shows People Select Co-Workers Who Look Like Them

Birds of a feather flock together, right?

According to a new study analyzed by Innovisor, a management consulting firm in Copenhagen, apparently men and women choose work partners who look like themselves!

As reported by The Wall Street Journal, men and women are more likely to select someone to work with on a daily basis with the same gender. In the study itself, participants indicated they work with an average of eight people on a daily basis. As for the gender make-up, it’s weighed heavily on their own gender. It sounds like the survey was conducted for middle management since high level supervisors who were male were tossed from the survey due to influence of power, not peers.

Jeppe Hansgaard, an Innovisor managing partner, stated to the WSJ, “We prefer to collaborate with people who look just like us. That’s a management issue, because you want your employees to collaborate with the right people, not just people who look like them.”

Gender bias wasn’t specific to Denmark. In fact, it existed in 29 countries involved in the study! This includes the U.S., U.K., Australia, China, India, and Brazil. Since it sounds like the study was conducted for gender only, additional research would be needed to break it down by ethnicity and religion. That said, Hansgaard indicated anecdotal evidence could lean one to believe biases may exist on those realms as well.

As for next steps now that the results are known? According to the piece, companies need to manage their collaboration efforts among teams since currently they go unnoticed as they’re formed informally.

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