Should Chief Diversity Officers Report to HR?

SHRM, Matt Gonzales, July 17, 2023

July, 2023

In the Media

SHRM: Most chief diversity officers (CDOs) globally tend to sit two levels below the CEO, often reporting to HR, according to recent research. Sometimes that works well—but sometimes there are disadvantages to having diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) professionals report to HR.

Workplace experts weighed in on the advantages and disadvantages of CDOs reporting to HR in ‘Should Chief Diversity Officers Report to HR?’ featuring input from John Staines, Managing Partner, Global Human Resources Practice.

John Staines, managing partner of global HR at executive search firm DHR Global in Washington, D.C., said that synergies exist between HR processes and DE&I practices, which could make reporting to HR advantageous.

For example, HR can help CDOs incorporate DE&I metrics into scorecards. Talent acquisition and management strategies also can help drive change from a DE&I perspective, he explained, and how employees perceive the DE&I evolution will reflect on company culture.

“[Another] advantage of having the head of DE&I report to HR is that the CHRO will most likely give it more time than the CEO,” Staines said.

However, Staines explained that the CDO’s reporting structure depends on the message CEOs want to send both internally to employees and externally to shareholders and consumers.

“Each of these strategies sends distinct messages to your constituents,” Staines said. “Would you have the head of marketing report to the COO? Would you have the chief revenue officer report to the CFO? You can argue DE&I and HR are closely related, but are they more related than revenue is to profits?”

Read the article here.

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