Middle Managers Default to Casual Prejudice, UBS’s Donovan Says
(Bloomberg) -- While corporate leaders globally understand the benefits of a diverse and inclusive workforce, the problem lies more with middle managers who often fall back on “casual prejudice,” said Paul Donovan, chief economist at UBS Group AG’s global wealth management unit.
“The problem of course is less with the corner office, it’s more as we go down the management structure,” he said Tuesday at Bloomberg’s Equality Summit. “We all tend to fall back on rule of thumb and the rule of thumb very often creates casual prejudice, unconscious bias. Overcoming that is quite difficult to do.”
Donovan said preventing prejudices doesn’t just come from a “rousing speech from the podium from the chief exec,” but requires “a genuine culture of diversity and inclusion and that takes a lot of effort to get right.”
While data on racial and gender diversity is improving, the current information on social issues is where data on the environment was 10 years to 15 years ago, he said.
“Investors and customers and employees are going to be asking more and more questions about a company’s approach to supply chains and making sure they aren’t indirectly supporting prejudice and hostility,” he said.
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