Since Floyd’s death last May, more then 60 firms have appointed their first-ever diversity officer, according to an analysis by executive recruiter Russell Reynolds Associates. “What’s different this time is that the whole world is focused on it,” says Tina Shah Paikeday, who leads Russell Reynolds’ diversity and inclusion advisory practice.
Past obstacles for chief diversity officers include high turnover, with average tenure at 3.2 years, and smalls budgets. The good new now is that more firms are giving their executive staff budgets as high as $500,000, Paikeday said. “Historically, people talked about the quick wins,” she said. “When they don’t see the quick wins right away, all of a sudden the chief diversity officer is out the door. Now people are looking for longer-term change.”