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What Does a Chief Diversity Officer Do?

Chief diversity officers help ensure that a company hires a multiethnic workforce.
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  • Written By: Donn Saylor
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 26 March 2014
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The main job responsibility of a chief diversity officer is to strategize, structure, and maintain a multiethnic workforce within a company. Chief diversity officers are often facilitators of major changes in the diversity of an institution's makeup in order to make the business more culturally varied and more appealing to workers from different ethnic backgrounds. A chief diversity officer has a thorough understanding of current laws regarding inclusion, equal opportunity, and discrimination and utilizes this understanding to ensure a company adheres to the appropriate legal guidelines.

Though every business may define the term "diversity" a bit differently, there are standard duties that fall under any chief diversity officer job description. First and foremost, someone in this position must identify and assess a business's current ethnic composition. From there, the chief diversity officer spearheads ways to reach out to potential employees of varying ethnicities in order to diversify the company's personnel. These methods can include the creation of recruitment programs targeting certain ethnic groups or the re-imaging of a company to portray its openness to different cultural backgrounds.

A chief diversity officer job also entails the development and implementation of diversity training and education programs within the company. These initiatives are designed to increase the business's awareness of cultural differences and how best to address these variations of perspective, tradition, and general way of life. Diversity training and education aim to successfully integrate all personnel, leading to solid teamwork, higher rates of productivity and profit, and a congenial workplace.

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While chief diversity officer jobs are largely administrative, those employed in this field often work with several — if not all — of the different departments within a company. They work closely with human resources, marketing, and executive-level management in defining the business's diversification needs and creating and executing the proper programs. A chief diversity officer may also seek input and opinions from average workers within the company to gain a broader understanding of the issues to be addressed.

The chief diversity officer is often the "face" of diversity and cultural change within an organization. As a result, someone in this position is typically adept at championing the rights of minorities and instituting change management agendas in the company. They utilize expert problem-solving skills, as well as a functional understanding of human psychology, to invite change into a business in such a way that it does not negatively impact the quality of work or the flow of the working environment.

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