Research Report

Creating DEI Advocates and Amplifying Inclusive Behaviors Among White Male Middle Managers

May 2021

As diversity and inclusion initiatives have taken root across corporate America in the past two decades, one limitation in creating an inclusive culture has been lack of active support from white male managers, especially mid-level. Most of them aren’t opposed to DEI—they just don’t understand it, why they should be part of it, and, especially, what’s in it for them.

The lack of inclusion of this key group by many well-meaning organizations prevents DEI initiatives from achieving desired results. There is often support at the top, but those middle managers who are the keys to communicating with lower levels and implementing strategies are inadvertent roadblocks. They aren’t actively against DEI; their organizations haven’t managed to convince them why they should advocate for it.

The goal of this research is to specifically provide organizational solutions that engage middle-management white men in DEI efforts and help them build DEI support among their peers and subordinates.

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