Experts fear corporate diversity burnout following BLM surge
DEIDiversityDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
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March 15, 2021
DEIDiversityDiversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory
Many Americans believe that diversity statements from companies are performative and don’t come from genuine concern. 
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theGrio

The article from theGrio, "Experts fear corporate diversity burnout following BLM surge​," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Tina Shah Paikeday on ​the role of the chief diversity officer. The article is excerpted below. 

 

Corporate diversity efforts skyrocketed after the murder of George Floyd as many companies prioritized equity and inclusion initiatives for the first time and other companies with established programs ramped up their efforts.  

 

Now, after a year of progress, industry experts fear the momentum could run out because of the cost and effort of long-term commitment, lack of support from top company officials – or burnout among diversity officers.   

 

“Organizations have been able to get away with having a really big vision and not really living up to it. I think that now employees are demanding action that goes along with the words,” Tina Shah Paikeday, global head of diversity, equity and inclusion advisory services at Russell Reynolds, said.  

 

Many Americans believe that diversity statements from companies are performative and don’t come from genuine concern. A recent Pew Research Center survey found that 69% of Americans see public pressure as a primary motive for companies’ statements about race. 

 

But since last summer, more companies say they are serious about improving their diversity and inclusion practices and acted by hiring diversity experts, among other actions.

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The increase in demand also revealed a worrying parallel: high turnover. The average tenure for a CDO is less than two years, Paikeday said.

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“It’s no longer a point in time when companies can do this for PR purposes,” Paikeday said. 

 

But industry experts say that it’s possible to enact sustainable change and prevent burnout if company leaders align their expectations, allocate sufficient resources and track progress. 

 

To read the full article, click here.​