Middle Managers Are The Missing Key To DEI Success

With a growing disconnect between leaders and the front lines middle managers are the missing key to bridging this divide

A new Catalyst report finds that “the overwhelming majority of men (86%) say they are personally committed to interrupting sexist behaviors when they see them in the workplace, but only 31% feel confident they can do so. Men want to be part of the solution. Yet they also sense that the costs of doing so at work are high, and this perception may conflict with their personal drive and intentions to interrupt sexism at work. As more and more companies strive to build inclusive work cultures, this finding is especially concerning.”

These data illustrate that those from the dominant group often have the motivation, yet they lack the skills necessary to drive inclusion. Given that half of managers are from the dominant group, there is a growing disconnect between leaders and the front lines where historically marginalized groups are overrepresented.

Why the disconnect?

In an era of cancel culture there is a fear of saying or doing the wrong thing that often leads to inaction. The dominant group could fear feeling less relevant, could be concerned about the reputation risk involved in speaking up and could have a zero-sum-game mentality (one person or group wins and one loses).

In my interview with Sandra Quince, CEO of Paradigm for Parity, she explained that “diversity is the next dirty word. What people don’t get is that DEI is not a replacement strategy. The goal of DEI is for everyone to feel valued. This is especially true for women and marginalized groups. We must focus on…..


Read the rest of this article by Julie Kratz on Forbes.com


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