Chief Diversity Officer: Job Duties, Career Outlook and Salary

Sep 25, 2019

Chief diversity officers require significant formal education. Learn about the education, job duties, and career information to see if this is the right career for you.

Chief diversity officers work to create an inclusive environment for employees or students through recruitment efforts, training sessions and activity planning. Most organizations require at least a master's degree and 5-10 years experience for this job. Here you will find more details about the work of a chief diversity officer, plus salary and career outlook information.

Essential Information

Chief diversity officers head up an organization's efforts to ensure that employees or students have a comfortable place to work and learn, regardless of their race, gender, age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, or disability. Applicants for these positions typically need an advanced degree and years of experience.

Required Education Master's degree, although some jobs require a doctorate
Other Requirements 5-10 years of experience
Projected Job Growth (2018-2028) -5% for all chief executives*
Median Salary (2018) $189,600 for chief executives*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Chief Diversity Officer Job Duties

Chief diversity officers, sometimes known as CDOs, are responsible for cultivating work or learning environments that encourage and support diversity. This often includes developing and incorporating inclusion initiatives, such as organization-wide diversity training and multicultural events. Chief diversity officers may also be charged with creating strategies to recruit a diverse student body or workforce. In some cases, this includes ensuring that an organization complies with affirmative action or equal employment opportunity regulations.

Chief diversity officers must also identify areas where their organization is lacking in multiculturalism or minority support. They should be able to investigate or rectify any charges of discrimination or harassment as well. In educational institutions, chief diversity officers may be responsible for coordinating the activities of other departments or programs, such as women's commissions, veterans affairs, or disability services.

Educational Requirements

Applicants for chief diversity officer positions will need a master's degree in human resource management or one of the social sciences and anywhere from 5-10 years of experience. Some organizations may require applicants to hold a doctorate in one of these fields.

Career Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job opportunities for chief executives, such as chief diversity officers, are expected to decrease by 5% over the 2018-2028 decade ( Job decline is expected due to slow rate of new firm creation, although job growth can vary according to industry.

Salary Information

The BLS reports that the median wage for chief executives--including chief diversity officers--was $189,600 as of May 2018. Among the top-paying industries were investment pools and funds, natural gas pipeline transportation and distribution companies. Chief executives working for investment pools and funds earned a mean salary of $284,480 that year.

Most chief diversity officers hold a master's degree, though some are required to have a doctorate. They are charged with an organization's diversity initiatives and managing its ability to comply with employment regulations. Job opportunities for chief executives, like chief diversity officers, are expected to decline by 5% through the year 2028.

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