A Leader’s Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Chief Diversity Officer

Diversity, inclusion & equity have become headline issues, putting pressure on organizations and leaders to respond in a meaningful way.

Investors are also expressing their displeasure with discrimination allegations. Russell Reynolds Associates’ review of 2017 and 2018 incidents involving bad executive behavior showed that companies experienced an average 7 percent decline in market capitalization, or $4 billion, in the days and weeks following the news.

The upside associated with fostering diversity, inclusion & equity has also become more tangible.

A 2018 McKinsey study found organizations with diverse boards and executive teams were up to 35 percent more likely to outperform than their less-diverse competitors.1 Our Diversity and Inclusion Pulse survey, which includes responses from more than 1800 leaders around the world, confirms that focusing on diversity has a positive effect on performance. In organizations where diversity and inclusion (D&I) is treated as a business priority, 75 percent of respondents said their employer set them up for their highest level of performance; that figure drops to 43 percent for those working at organizations that take a reactive approach to D&I or consider it to be merely a compliance issue.

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