Making Diversity Count: Chief Diversity Officers Are Taking Their Place at the Highest Levels of Corporate America, Which Is Having an Impact on Business School Curriculums

By Galuszka, Peter | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, March 22, 2007 | Go to article overview

Making Diversity Count: Chief Diversity Officers Are Taking Their Place at the Highest Levels of Corporate America, Which Is Having an Impact on Business School Curriculums


Galuszka, Peter, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


In mid-January, corporate America sent another signal that it is paying more attention to diversity issues, and business educators are taking notice.

American International Group Inc., one of the nation's largest insurers, announced the appointment of its first chief diversity officer, Terri D. Austin. The lawyer and 17-year veteran of AIG will oversee diversity initiatives within the company and advise the company's top brass of situations among its suppliers, vendors and customers.

While AIG's announcement was decidedly low key, the naming of another CDO at a powerful U.S. company suggests that diversity is becoming more of a factor in the corner offices of corporate America. Marquee firms like Food Lion, Ford, IBM and Merck now have CDOs.

As a result, diversity issues are becoming a hotter topic in business schools. "Most definitely, the symbolism has been bridged," says William T. Lewis, director of the Office of Diversity Initiatives at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business. "Its been important for companies to communicate to their internal and external constituents that they are committed to diversity."

Bea Y. Perdue, the executive director of Bennett College's Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity & Inclusion Institute, says ignoring minorities could be a big mistake. As the U.S. labor force shrinks over the next 50 years, she says companies will increasingly need to hire and retain minorities to keep pace with global competition.

Corporate executives agree. Focusing on diversity "helps us reduce turnover and improve retention," says Pat Harris, who was named global CDO at McDonald's earlier this year. "It really reflects who we are and what we stand for."

Harris points to the hierarchical placement of CDOs as evidence that diversity is being taken seriously. Today's diversity specialists are often placed at the highest level of the corporate command structure, along side the chief financial officer and other "C" level executives. Diversity officers were usually placed at lower levels in the 1970s and '80s and often dealt primarily with issues of affirmative action compliance.

As corporations have become more global and reach out to more complex markets, diversity has become more of a central issue. Harris compares the ascension of CDOs to the rise of chief information officers and chief technology officers in the 1980s and '90s. As information technology became more critical, those positions moved higher in the corporate executive structure.

As a "C" level executive, Harris works a short distance away from McDonald's chief executive and chief operating officers at the company's Oak Brook, Ill. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Making Diversity Count: Chief Diversity Officers Are Taking Their Place at the Highest Levels of Corporate America, Which Is Having an Impact on Business School Curriculums
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.