As the United States becomes more racially and ethnically diverse, and as companies from Wall Street to Silicon Valley grapple with how to build workforces that reflect these changing demographics, Americans have a complicated, even contradictory, set of views about the impact of diversity and the best way to achieve it. Most say it’s a good thing that the country has a diverse population, but many also say this introduces its own set of challenges. And while a majority values workplace diversity, few endorse the idea of taking race or ethnicity into consideration in hiring and promotions, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.
When it comes to diversity in the communities where they live, most U.S. adults (66 percent) – including a majority of those who live in neighborhoods with little diversity – are satisfied with the racial mix in their area. A majority (54 percent) says children should go to local schools, even if that results in most schools being less diverse. Fewer (42 percent) say children should go to schools that are racially and ethnically mixed, even if that means some students go to school outside of their local community.
Overall, white, black and Hispanic adults are about equally likely to say it’s good that the U.S. population is racially and ethnically mixed, and majorities across these groups say this has had a positive impact on U.S. culture. But black Americans place more value than whites and Hispanics on workplace diversity and school integration.
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