Does Your Company Have a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer?
In 2005, less than 20% of Fortune 500 companies employed diversity officers. That number has grown exponentially with Korn Ferry, a global organizational consulting firm, reporting that almost 60% of the Fortune 500 now have CDOs or the equivalent. The role is a senior level, strategic management position within human resources, usually reporting directly to the CEO. What is a CDO, and do you need one in your company?
CDO Job Duties
In broad terms a Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), sometimes called a Diversity & Inclusion Officer (CDIO), leads the development and implementation of proactive diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives in support of an organization’s strategic diversity plans. For some organizations, this includes ensuring compliance with affirmative action or equal employment opportunity regulations. For others, it could mean managing diversity training, overseeing recruitment efforts, investigating discrimination and/or harassment grievances, organizing programs surrounding veterans’ affairs or disability services, representing the organization to external agencies and organizations or translating diversity data and analytics for shareholders.
Do You Need a CDO?
Ask yourself if, when thinking about corporate goals over the next few years, diversity and or inclusion are part of the conversation. If so, the answer is an easy yes. Most companies recognize the need to keep up with an evolving and more diverse workforce with different needs and concerns. A CDO can identify critical present and emerging trends to make data-driven decisions that determine corporate diversity and inclusive practices. Companies that long ago identified the need for more flexible work arrangements in order to attract and retain more women have reaped a tremendous return on investment. Tech companies that were ahead of the curve in recruiting initiatives aimed at the qualified underrepresented minorities in their industry are well on their way towards enjoying the cutting-edge innovation their diverse workforce creates. Here are some ways in which a CDO can drive change in your organization.
CDO Best Practices
A CDO’s job duties are numerous and varied depending on the size of the organization, geographic location, workforce demographics, industry and company economics. Some CDO best practices to consider are:
- What are your workforce demographics? Gather and analyze this data to establish a baseline for future initiatives.
- Conduct a diversity audit of your company’s current policies and practices in HR areas such as recruiting, hiring, promoting, compensation, training and development. What is working and in what areas might improvements need to be made? Where are gaps between what “is” and what “should be?”
- Develop diversity metrics to measure efficacy of diversity initiatives. See Smart HR’s Diversity Metrics blog.
- Identify any potential biases in recruiting methods that could be affecting your ability to successfully recruit for diversity. Be particularly cognizant of the “halo effect” in which similarities with others lead to assumptions about others’ work performance and/or capabilities.
- Show stakeholders the ROI of diversity initiatives by linking the initiatives to real business outcomes like increased revenue and improved morale/retention.
- Examine all forms of compensation (salary, raises, hiring bonuses, etc.) for protected groups to ensure employees of the same tenure, level and performance are being paid the same.
- Consider adding “Diversity” or “Inclusion” as an organizational core value and add them to the appropriate corporate documents.
- Examine mentoring programs to encourage greater participation and access for underrepresented groups of employees.
- Initiate diversity awareness training for corporate leadership, the board and employees.
- Formulate a written statement of commitment to diversity and inclusion from corporate leadership to put on the corporate website, in the employee handbook and corporate marketing material.
- Promote the company to protected and/or underrepresented groups through career days at a range of educational institutions.
Smart HR is Here to Help
Whether you need guidance with establishing diversity metrics, want to zero in on diversity and inclusion initiatives, or need an experienced recruiter to find a CDO for your company, Smart HR consultants have the experience and knowledge to help. Smart HR consultants have worked in a variety of industries with companies, large and small, across the DC-Metro area and can help you with any of the above best practices or others you may have in mind. Call Smart HR and request an initial consultation today.
This blog is part of a series dedicated to diversity and inclusion in the workplace.