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How Can Diversity and Inclusion Chiefs Make Headway?

Sep 05, 2020 – by Kyle Rudy

While the last five years has seen demand for chief diversity and inclusion officers spike within fashion and retail – especially in light of calls for addressing inequity within company-wide structures – little attention is focused on a concerning statistic: the high turnover rate among DE&I executives.

Lack of proper resources, faltering support from the C-suite, and unrealistic goals set out for the company are a few of the reasons for the role’s revolving door. After a series of high-profile appointments in 2020, the fashion and retail industry has also seen a series of high-profile departures in 2021 and 2022. While the specifics of these departures remain unclear, a limited run in change-minded companies is not necessarily incongruous compared to other CDOs. In fact, some experts suggest that, on average, a CDO stays with a company for only around three years.

For this attrition rate to decrease, experts emphasize the importance for companies to evaluate their long-term goals and understand the sizeable work that needs to be done to get there. Situating CDOs with suitable resources, a sizeable but realistic budget, and support from top-rank executives and stakeholders is crucial to helping them reach success and furthermore remain with the company.

Senior Partner Kyle Rudy describes the challenges chief diversity officers face, explaining, “The CDIO can have a great strategy and implement it flawlessly, but if diversity and inclusion is not an authentic priority for the organization, it will not advance.” Read the article in full on FN: CDOs Coming and CDOs Going: How Can Retail’s Diversity Chiefs Ever Make Headway?

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