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You are here: Home / Graduate / Program Areas / Industrial-Organizational / News/Blogs / Dr. Kisha Jones interviewed by US. News and World Report and Women's Wear Daily on Chief Diversity Officers

Dr. Kisha Jones interviewed by US. News and World Report and Women's Wear Daily on Chief Diversity Officers

Dr. Kisha Jones was interviewed for two recent news articles on the how some organizations have begun to create Chief Diversity Officer (CDO) positions. One thing she discusses in the U.S. News and World Report article "How Diversity Officers Change Corporate Culture", is some of the challenges that CDOs are up against:

With movements like Black Lives Matter and #MeToo, diversity dominates today's headlines. That these efforts are controversial hints at the pushback diversity officers sometimes face from "people who are resistant to diversity" and "people who feel like they aren't represented in the diversity initiatives," Jones says.

Workers and managers who aren't necessarily opposed to diversity may still find it uncomfortable to talk about, having grown accustomed to "colorblind models" of operating that experts consider to be outdated, Jones says.

In the Women's Wear Daily article "On Staff: Diversity and Inclusion Chiefs--the Hot New Fashion Accessory", the discussion focuses on whether CDOs are implemented in response to consumer backlash towards fashion companies that (unintentionally?) sell products considered to be insensitive and/or offensive. In this article, she discusses what having CDO signals to employees and customers as well as the potential effectiveness of the role:

“I think there’s a lot of tension around diversity — whether racial diversity, gender diversity — that is at the forefront so people are thinking about it and companies realize that these are things that are spilling over into the workforce, too,” she said.

Jones said in the past, some companies had this role in a vice president’s position, but adding it to the c-suite or making it a leader role like at H&M “creates some accountability because someone in that role will have to report to the ceo” and is a move by the board to demonstrate it is taking the issue seriously.

“Just the presence of that [position] sends a signal that diversity is something they’re taking seriously,” Jones said. “We need some time to see how people are able to function in that role and what they’re able to accomplish, but I think that it’s a great start. It’s important.”

Click the links above to check out the full articles. Congrats Kisha!

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