News

Demand for Chief Diversity Officers Is High. So Is Turnover.

Frustrated by talk but little action and a lack of resources, many diversity executives find themselves rotating through C-suites


The Wall Street Journal | July 13, 2020



The Wall Street Journal article, "Demand for Chief Diversity Officers Is High. So Is Turnover.​" quoted Russell Reynolds Associates Consultant Tina Shah Paikeday​ on new interest in the chief diversity officer role and cites our paper, "A Leader’s Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer." The article is excerpted below.

It’s one of the hottest jobs in America—and it has a revolving door.

U.S. companies are rushing to hire chief diversity officers or elevate existing leaders to the position in the midst of pressure to address racial divisions and inequities within their​ organizations.

The role has long been marked by high turnover, with many in the position, known as CDO, leaving over a lack of resources, unrealistic expectations and inadequate support from senior executives, according to current and former CDOs.

They also move because they are in high demand, according to recruiters, who say average tenure is about three years.
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“It’s incredible,” said Tina Shah Paikeday, leader of the diversity and inclusion advisory practice at Russell Reynolds Associates, adding that the recent focus on social justice in the wake of the killing of George Floyd while in the custody of Minneapolis police has boosted interest in the role.

Roughly half of S&P 500 companies employ a chief diversity officer, according to Ms. Paikeday, and a 2019 study by Russell Reynolds found that 63% of diversity chiefs in the S&P 500 had been appointed or promoted to their roles within the past three years. They work on a wide set of priorities, from bringing about more-equitable hiring and promotions to weighing in on product decisions. They are often tasked with addressing multiple categories of diversity, such as race, sexual orientation and gender.

To read the full article, click here.​