The Washington Post reports that a new study from the Center for Talent Innovation concludes that “nearly three-quarters of executives pick proteges who look just like them.”

The study says that “71 percent of those who identified as sponsors said their protege was the same race or gender as their own.”

What’s interesting is that this in some ways is a consequence of the #MeToo movement, which “has led to the ouster of powerful men, the revelation of long-secret bad behavior and the emergence of an empowering social movement.” At the same time, the story says, “the movement has struck fear in the hearts of some professional men, leading them to avoid close relationships with or distance themselves from women at work in a way that could hinder their female colleagues' careers.”

Often, that means not giving them a chance at opportunities that could advance their careers.

The Post writes that “the new research ‘reinforces what we’ve known on a gut level for years,’ said Julia Taylor Kennedy, senior vice president at the Center for Talent Innovation. ‘People transfer power to others who make them feel comfortable.’

“Even though many companies are trying to improve diversity, she said, ‘our unconscious biases draw us to people like ourselves’.”

KC's View: This isn’t at all surprising. People - mostly white men - have chosen to pass on power and money and influence to people who look like them for time immemorial. And somehow, it isn’t a shock - though disappointing - that many people would use a time of supposed consciousness-raising to withdraw into their cultural cocoons.

I find that this quote - “‘People transfer power to others who make them feel comfortable” - actually dhow us the way. Real leaders understand that one of the things required to move forward is to embrace that which makes us feel uncomfortable … because this is how we learn and move things forward.