Chief diversity officer role takes on greater importance amid racial justice movement


Hartford Business Journal | September 7, 2020


The Hartford Business Journal article, “Chief diversity officer role takes on greater importance amid racial justice movement," quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Tina Shah Paikeday on how the role of the CDO has changed. The article is excerpted below.

A couple decades ago a new position began to pop up in corporations: chief diversity officer.

Some businesses went with the CDO moniker, others called those holding the position vice president of diversity and inclusion. But whatever the title, the person holding it was largely focused on compliance with nondiscrimination laws, said Tina Shah Paikeday, leader of the diversity and inclusion advisory practice at management consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates.

“Companies are [now] stepping back to say, 'What is the [CDO's] mandate?' And it's quite often far beyond the HR mandate, and I think we'll see that pendulum swing," Shah said.

Since those early days, the demographic trajectory in the United States trending toward an increasingly ethnically diverse population and a recent social movement promoting racial justice is altering attitudes about the business community's role and responsibility regarding inclusion, for both large companies and small businesses.

These factors are leading companies to bolster efforts to hire and promote minority and women employees, and in some cases to include the CDO role in external decision-making.​

To read the full article, click here.