CDO Positions Losing Their Luster as Americans Question Their Effectiveness

George Floyd’s passing triggered many changes in American society. Floyd’s death in May 2020 was a catalyst that triggered “change”. We can debate why, but it seemed more than anything to be the cause. One person’s “change” can be another’s “forced compliance”. The Floyd case, and the subsequent outcry that America was inherently racist and needed to be changed, scared corporations and companies in almost every industry in America into examining things like hiring policies and who held the corner office. The title “Chief Diversity Officer” (CDO), was created. Three years later, Americans are beginning to realize that they treat all people the same. The era of CDOs may be coming to an end.

Netflix, Disney – which has created many other problems than diversity, equity, and inclusion – and Warner Bros. are among the largest American corporations. Discovery has announced that its CDOs are leaving the company. Employees who worked in positions related to CDOs have been laid off. New complaints from employees that their employers were caving into the woke mobsters and went overboard have led to a scaling back of DEI obligations. Many corporate executives were also interested in the recent Supreme Court ruling that affirmative action was not allowed for college admissions. CDOs who felt that corporate brass didn’t want to change promotion or hiring protocols were told they were hired to improve talent. The rush to DEI is not permanent, as many have pointed out that DEI practices are also discriminatory.

The death of Floyd sent companies into a frenzy to create CDOs. In 2018, fewer than half of S&P500 companies had CDO positions. By 2022, 3 out of 4 companies will have a CDO. This could all change. Jason Hanold, the CEO of Hanold Associates Executive Search, is a leader in the industry. He claims that the demand for CDOs has been the lowest in the last 30 years. “They (clients), are telling us they only want to move into another role at DEI if it also includes something else. Many have left the field.” During the pandemic and other times, minorities were placed in CDO roles, but they weren’t all qualified. This created an unfair situation.

The Americans are divided equally on the importance of DEI at work. The splits are roughly where you’d expect them to be. Black, Hispanic, and Asian workers, younger workers, and women have a better opinion. After identifying their political affiliation, 78 percent of Democrats said that a DEI focus was important. Meanwhile, 30 percent of Republicans believed having a CDO to be important. Since the Supreme Court affirmative-action decision, many companies have reevaluated their needs. They may have previously wanted a CDO that could also do some HR work. If they hire a CDO at all, they expect that person to be capable of handling any legal or political issues.

David Kenny, a Chief Executive with Neilsen is also a former CDO and CEO. He believes many American workers are not on board with DEI because they believe their employer should care more about the less-than-ideal economy rather than diversity. They are also worried about being laid off themselves, and they’re even concerned about artificial intelligence. He calls it a “I’m going to lose my piece of the pie” mentality. It may come down to the fact that Americans do not believe people should be hired based on how they look rather than their experience. They’re tired of being told that they are racists but don’t realize it. And need “diversity education” to handle it.

With the arrival of technology, carriage makers and pin setters disappeared. Chief Diversity Officers might leave with some knowledge of who Americans are.