Want Diversity? Give CEO Final Word

April 28, 2016 6:08 pm

CEO diversityThe most diverse companies in the country give diversity leaders a direct line to the corner office.

 

By Eve Tahmincioglu

A bevy of companies, especially in the tech sector, appointed heads of diversity this past year, all in an effort to boost the representation of women and minorities in their workforces.

Whether the move will change the demographics at these organizations struggling with a diversity dearth is unclear. But if they want to succeed, these employers may want to take a page from companies that do diversity right.

One lesson to learn from the diversity pros: Give the CEO the final word on diversity efforts.

Just look at the most diverse companies in the country from the 2016 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. Among most of these employers, the CEO plays a key role in making sure diversity gets more than just lip service in the organization — especially among the top 10 companies.

Companies Where the Head of Diversity Directly Reports to the CEO:

  • Among the Top 10 companies: 50%
  • Among the Top 50 companies: 30%

Companies Where the Head of Diversity Directly or Indirectly (dotted-line) Reports to the CEO:

  • Among the Top 10 companies: 90%
  • Among the Top 50 companies: 70%

“We can see that about half of our top 10 companies have the head of diversity directly report to CEO; and all except one of our top 10 companies have the head of diversity directly or indirectly report to CEO,” pointed out Dr. Chang Chung, DiversityInc’s chief science officer.

And 40 percent of the Top 10 companies have given their diversity leads the chief diversity officer title, according to DiversityInc’s data.

The big message: CEOs at diverse companies take diversity seriously.