Managing Member Pushback to DE&I Initiatives
Here’s what to do if you encounter pushback from members
The Controlled Release Society (CRS) ended up in a building-the-plane-while-flying-it situation when it encountered member pushback at the outset of developing its DE&I plan. The group had to quickly shift gears and simultaneously craft a response plan to manage the fallout.
As an international organization, some members in other countries complained that DE&I is such an “American concept,” and the problems, especially around race, don’t apply to them and should have been fixed a long time ago. Others pointed out that marginalized groups in the U.S. are dominant groups in their countries, and some bristled at the notion of being told what to do.
“It really brought home that every single one of our members is seeing their own microcosm as the be-all and end-all,” said CRS CEO Gabrielle Copperwheat. “So very quickly we had to change our mindset to think globally and locally at the same time.”
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