The Burden of Bias in the Bay State: The Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap in Massachusetts
The Building Movement Project’s Race to Lead series investigates why there are so few leaders of color in the nonprofit sector and documents the challenges people of color face as they reach for and attain senior leadership roles in nonprofit organizations. In 2019, the Building Movement Project conducted an updated nationwide survey to assess the experiences of nonprofit staff compared to initial 2016 survey responses. This report, The Burden of Bias in the Bay State: The Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap in Massachusetts , is part of a series of regional reports and includes comparisons to the 2018 Race to Lead brief on the subset of respondents from Massachusetts who completed the survey in 2016.1
This report includes findings from the more than 5,200 people who responded to the 2019 survey nationwide, the subset of 417 respondents who work for organizations in Massachusetts, and six focus groups2 that took place in Boston in January 2020. The report focuses on the following topics:
1. Data reported by Massachusetts nonprofit sector employees regarding both their aspirations to lead and the barriers they face to professional advancement;
2. Respondent experiences of and views on the engagement of Massachusetts nonprofits with diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, and the challenges faced by staff and CEOs of color related to DEI efforts in the state.