Stefanie K. Johnson of the Harvard Business Review interviewed 11 CEOs to discuss their support of diversity initiatives.  The eleven selected are from a wide variety of industries with the goal of improving their workplace environment for current and potential employees.

Diversity is consistently a tricky employment strategy, but most studies agree that diversity and inclusion programs work best when support starts from the top levels of leadership.  According to the article, the most common arguments / beliefs amongst CEOs who support diversity are that 1) greater diversity leads to greater diversity of thought, 2) attracts and retains top talent, and 3) is a way to better understand their customer base.

Regardless, promoting diversity can still be misconstrued as a quota program that ensures the decrease in quality of qualified applicants.  This has never been proven correct yet people still cling to the idea.  In her interviews, Johnson “highlighted four key lessons that other leaders should keep in mind when trying to make their organizations more diverse and inclusive.”  These include:

  1. Lead by example when it comes to diversity
  2. Hold yourself and others accountable on diversity initiatives
  3. Foster diversity throughout the organization
  4. Broaden your perspective on diversity

To learn more about the questions asked and CEOs interviewed, check out the article below:

https://hbr.org/2017/08/what-11-ceos-have-learned-about-championing-diversity