Can Diversity Officers Really Change the Culture at Sneaker Companies?


Footwear News | May 15, 2019

The Footwear News article, “Can Diversity Officers Really Change the Culture at Sneaker Companies?," cites our firm paper, "A Leader's Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer," and quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Tina Shah Paikeday on the idea that working towards inclusion is a long-term commitment. The article is excerpted below.

In April 2018, Nike hired Kellie Leonard as its first chief diversity and inclusion officer. Soon after, it named a former Mercedes executive to help support Leonard in a move to stem cultural issues roiling the Beaverton, Ore.-based company’s workplace.

Months later, Under Armour similarly hired Tchernavia Rocker as its new chief people and culture officer.


“When it comes to diversity, it’s important to have a short-term and long-term view. ‘Inclusion’ is change management work,” said Tina Shah Paikeday, who leads the diversity and inclusion consulting services for Russell Reynolds Associates. “It takes a long time to change behaviors.”

Shah Paikeday co-authored a report last year that revealed why diversity and inclusion initiatives often fail and how companies can make meaningful changes.

One key takeaway was that the most successful diversity officers are multitaskers with a broad skillset — people who can execute on plans, are strong storytellers and have the ability to communicate both internally and externally.

To read the full article, click here.

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Can Diversity Officers Really Change the Culture at Sneaker Companies?