We introduce and explore the notion of hegemonic dividend in the context of a country which does not have hierarchy attenuating means such as legal measures to protect workforce diversity. This paper explains the consequences of two hierarchy enhancing ideologies on workforce diversity in Turkey; meritocracy, an ideology that privileges merit, and ‘biat’, an ideology of subservience to the structures of power. We illustrate how these two ideologies operate as a duality, as meritocracy vanes with dire circumstances for workforce diversity in nation-branding efforts of Turkey. Drawing on Bourdieu and Gramsci, we illustrate hegemonic dividend in the increasingly hegemonic system in which journalism, as a state apparatus, is embedded in Turkey, where privileged few are sustaining and advancing their positions of power by appealing to and submitting themselves to the revisioned nation brand. We focus on the news industry as it commands a special position of power in terms of creating, modifying and controlling the discourses of a nation brand. We argue that failing to protect and promote workforce diversity with hierarchy attenuating measures exposes nation branding practices to discriminatory and hierarchy enhancing ideologies that negate efforts to achieve humanisation and democratisation of work.