What is the Role of a Chief Diversity Officer in Healthcare?


The role of Chief Diversity Officer was first introduced in government and education, but other industries soon realized the value of providing a focused C-suite position dedicated to the expansion of diversity within their organization. In healthcare, executive recruiters are frequently tasked with finding candidates who fit this evolving role.

What are the duties of a Chief Diversity Officer?

Chief Diversity Officers make culture richer in the workplace, leading the way for developing diverse talent. They are responsible for hiring diverse candidates and ensuring the organization is an inclusive place for all ethnicities. Most companies have diversity requirements they must meet.

Additionally, in a healthcare organization, understanding the patient population is essential to providing quality care.

Who can be a Chief Diversity Officer?

Most Chief Diversity Officers come from a Human Resources background where they have already developed a sensitivity to people’s emotions, environments and triggers. This role requires the right mixture of admin and operations background and working with senior leaders of the executive team.

In many cases, a CDO may be recruited directly from the COO position.

How can hiring a Chief Diversity Officer improve an organization?

Reports show that hiring a CDO actually increases revenue, particularly in healthcare. As mentioned in a previous blog, the right candidate placement ensures minorities facing socioeconomic and cultural challenges receive the same care as others.

Kaiser Permanente is ranked #2 in the 2017 list Top 50 Companies for Diversity. Dr. Ronald Copeland, Kaiser Permanente’s Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, says, “”Like any other mission-critical business function, this role can create competitive advantage with respect to performance, talent acquisition, innovation, consumer experience, corporate citizen brand and regulatory compliance.”

Should your healthcare organization consider hiring a Chief Diversity Officer?

People seek care from places they are understood and patient safety can be traced up to decisions made at the executive level.

Reeder & Associates would like to explore how a Chief Diversity Officer fits into your healthcare organization. We have over 35 years of experience in healthcare executive recruiting, know diversity issues can affect your business and can help place candidates who address them. Contact us or call 770-649-7523.

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