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Key Responsibilities And Skill Set Needed For Chief Diversity Officer

Chief Diversity Officer strategizes diversity and inclusion in the organization and ensures smooth internal functioning

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Diversity and Inclusion has become integral for organizations, especially the industry leaders and Unicorns. The recent developments in the C-Suite of companies have created a position for Chief Diversity Officer (CDO), one who strategizes diversity and inclusion in the organization and ensures smooth internal functioning, further guiding administration and Human Resource Management. Some of the major qualities that a CDO must inherit are: 

  • Ability to Manage Challenges and Diverse environment

You should have thorough understanding of the pain areas of diversity and minority people and the causes for this effect. The why-why analysis to be conducted and the root cause to be identified to take an effective solution to the problem. Foreseeing challenges and problems well in advance and solution mindset is much needed. 

  • Trends and learnability  

You should be thoroughly updated on the trends and mindset of the people to provide meaningful solutions. The person has to be well networked in the industry and able to set the bench marks. You should be a great listener with High EQ and learnability which is a critical success factor for a Diversity Officer

  • Un biased judgement

At times people show bias consciously and unconsciously which will widen the gap of inequality and this is being implemented across the organizations as a smart move to retain and attract talent. 

  • Visionary and Entrepreneurial mindset & Achievement orientation

A visionary has the ability to see what others cannot see.The CDO should have the Vision of looking at the big picture. Having an Entrepreneurial mindset gives them the ability to aim big, take calculative risk and drive towards the goal in an efficient manner. 

  • Self-principled and disciplined, Walk the talk

You should be high on ethics, Value driven, disciplined, and principled, being empathetic and walk the talk. Putting herself /one- self in to other person shoes would create an environment which will enable individuals for a dialogue with an open mind   

Culture building 

The CDO has to build a culture which is inspiring and creating many role models across the organization. Organizational efforts will need to focus beyond just the numbers. Today’s diversity is not the race and gender and it should create an environment where different voices are encouraged, heard and their opinions are valued and considered. The culture has to be in such way that it encourages global talent. The Global talent brings versatile backgrounds, personalities and thinking styles 

  • Cultivate Equality at Work

The role of Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) is to create an environment where everyone is challenged enough to take the best out and work closely with all the stake holders in the organization and communities. Equality at work will enable the organization to improve bottom-line and sustainable and also has a positive impact on society. Better diversity means better performance at work and it has proved that if there are many women leaders at tope has proved very effective for an organization

  • Risk assessment and mitigation

Diversity officer has to foresee the problems that could arise in near future and solutions to mitigate the risk. 

  • Inclusiveness

Sense of belonging is needed is to bring inclusiveness in the organization. Inclusion doesn’t come by mere achieving the gender ratios but by changing the mindset of people. Including minorities at decision making level and promoting them to the executive levels is much needed. Diversity and inclusion should not be treated as one off the initiative. Inclusive culture makes people respected and valued in team or group. When people are valued they put their best effort and live up to their potential. 

  • Training

Training provides a platform to enable people to unleash their true potential and reminds them of dos and don’ts as a professional and individual. Some of the Global universities offer cultural diversity management programmes, these trainings offer people, the competencies needed and will to succeed. It will take people move to the next performance level 

  • Empowerment 

You should empower people and respect them for their nationality, religion, ethnic, education, sexual orientation, disability, personality and gender etc. 


“Diversity and inclusion should not only be a phrase on a piece of paper, 

It’s a mindset and should be lived actively every day”


Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

Venkat Rao V

The author is Managing Partner of Executive Access, a leading executive search firm

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