An interesting article from Tech Republic asked a very curious question. When should a corporation hire a chief diversity officer? According to the article, a good idea on when to start looking for one is when:
- A company has 100 employees to meet Equal Employment Opportunity Commission compliance
- If diversity and inclusion is apart of your 3 to 5 year strategic business goals
Pretty simple in regards to the timing of hiring a chief diversity officer, but should a diversity program exist even in the early stages of a company? Today an estimated 20% of the Fortune 1,000 have either a chief diversity or equality officer. Although a company may not have a direct lead for diversity, they may still operate a diversity program or department.
In my opinion having a person over a diversity program is the most efficient way to run and operate it. Not only does it show a dedicated commitment from the company, it works. Not every company has the budget for it, but for those that do, I believe it is worth the investment. According to Sondra Thiederman, diversity officers “usually report directly to the CEO, and are in charge of everything it takes to increase the diversity and inclusion within an organization” With a direct line to the executive board, this ensures that all employees treat diversity goals as a strategic business goal.
Diversity isn’t absolutely necessary to run a successful business, as each organization is different. I believe 25 – 50 years from now companies that do not value diversity will have an enormous competitive disadvantage, but even that does not assure defeat. Diversity programs should exist when a companies thinks it needs to exist.
Even if statistical data tells us diversity is better for the overall profit of a business, the choice is ultimately up to the company.