Executive search consulting firm Russell Reynolds has released the report “A Leader’s Guide: Finding and Keeping Your Next Diversity Officers,” which surveyed 234 diversity executives from S&P 500 companies to understand who they are and what they need. The findings reveal that almost half of the chief diversity officers were hired only in the past three years and all of them believe that inclusion and diversity are at the bottom of their companies’ business priorities.

More than 50 percent of the respondents reported not having the needed resources to execute their plans and programs and are being burdened by additional responsibilities aside from their inclusion work.  Around 65 percent do not have the employee demographic survey information to support their work.

The analysis also found that companies who were involved in public incidents of sexist and racist or “bad executive behavior” in 2017 and 2018 experienced a decline in market capitalization totaling about $4 billion. A 2015 McKinsey study also found that organizations and companies with diverse executive teams and board of directors are 35 percent more likely to outperform those that are more homogeneous.

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