Building Trust Between Managers and Diverse Women Direct Reports (Report)Feb 01, 2011
Trust between managers and direct reports is essential to forming productive workplace relationships, facilitating employee engagement, navigating the workplace, and improving overall performance across the organization. However, women of color, defined in Building Trust Between Managers and Diverse Women Direct Reports as those belonging to racial minority groups in North America, often face greater challenges than White women in forming trusting relationships with their managers. Among other factors, negative stereotyping and exclusion from influential networks can influence the ways in which women of color experience workplaces and can limit women of color’s access to trusting relationships.
The report examines two dimensions of trust:
- Disclosure: When a direct report communicates sensitive or personal information to her manager.
- Reliance: The direct report’s ability to rely on her manager to take action on her behalf.
The analyses, which include perspectives from both women of color and White male managers, show that:
- Women of color’s disclosure with their White male managers is lower than White women’s.
- Disclosure predicted engagement with the organization for women of color, but not for White women.
- Reliance for women of color and White women is similar. However, women of color’s perception of their ability to rely on their managers made no difference to their satisfaction regarding career advancement opportunities while for White women it did.
- White male managers may overestimate the level of trust in relationships with women of color direct reports.
- Organization-wide efforts are needed to overcome barriers to building trust in relationships between White male managers and women of color direct reports.
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