WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Black employees in the U.S. are underrepresented in leadership at work, evidenced by the much larger proportion of White than Black workers reporting that they see members of their own race in leadership positions at their organization.

Having leadership that represents employees' diversity matters -- not only for workers' performance but also for how they feel at work.

Among Black workers who strongly disagree that there are company leaders of their own race, just 7% say they feel comfortable being themselves at work. Among Black employees who strongly agree that their race is represented in leadership, the majority report feeling comfortable being themselves.

Custom graphic. A majority of black employees with black leaders feel comfortable being themselves at work (56%). Among those who do not have black leaders at work, only 7% feel comfortable being themselves at work.

Organizations that take steps to diversify their leadership can create an environment where employees feel comfortable being themselves at work -- which benefits not only Black employees but other groups as well.