Pushback occurs when employees rationalize their indifference, aversion, and/or lack of involvement in diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts. This is a significant barrier to DEI and often manifests in three forms: denial (“this is not a problem”), disengagement (“this is not my problem”) and derailment (“what about other problems?”).

Leaders can convert those pushing back into allies by:

  • Creating group-specific safe spaces to surface pushback
  • Tailoring communication and incentives
  • Upskilling employees on key ally behaviors