Diversity Has Become a Booming Business. So Where Are the Results?
The Time article, "Diversity Has Become a Booming Business. So Where Are the Results?" featured research from the Russell Reynolds Associates paper, "A Leader's Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer." The article is excerpted below.
Facing backlash in February over a sweater that looked like blackface, Gucci followed a now predictable course. Company officials apologized for appearing to mine demeaning imagery from the past; hired a global diversity czar, who is African American; and vowed to create multicultural scholarships and a more diverse workforce. Burberry announced similar efforts after it showed a hoodie that looked like a noose the same month, and Prada did the same in 2018 after it had unveiled a line of figurines that also resembled blackface.
This is not just the playbook of the fashion industry. Dozens of companies and institutions have sought to deflect controversy over embarrassing missteps or revelations of homogeneous boards and workplaces by launching high-profile initiatives or enlisting a person of color for a prominent post.
To wit, A Leader’s Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer, a report published this year by the consulting firm Russell Reynolds Associates, stated that more than half of diversity professionals do not have the resources or support needed to execute programs and strategies. Only 35% had access to company demographic metrics, and a survey of 1,800-plus company executives found that diversity ranked last on a list of eight potential business priorities.
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