Thought leadership

Chief Diversity Officers Are Joining The C-Suite

Chief Diversity Officers Are Joining The C-Suite

Responding to organizational and community needs, health care systems are elevating and expanding their diversity efforts.  Previously a less influential role most often at the Director or Vice President level and reporting up through HR functional leadership to the CHRO, the diversity leader increasingly now reports to the CEO and the Board of Directors. A successful diversity strategy is seen as key to the health care mission, while conferring a competitive advantage, especially given the trends for market consolidation, emphasis on patient satisfaction, and social change movements.

The approach to diversity strategy has greatly evolved in the last twenty years and is no longer just focused on the traditional data points tracked for EEOC compliance and to mitigate litigation risks.  Prominent and subtle equitable practices, in the workplace and during provision of patient care, are seen as key to building value-based programs, such as population health management, and to developing the organization’s brand and culture.

Chief Diversity Officers lead the creation of a respectful and inclusive culture.  They track and are accountable for the impact of all policies across all functions enterprise-wide, now for a large set of attributes and affinity characteristics.

Chief Diversity Officers lead and collaborate across all functional areas to develop and implement enterprise-wide strategies involving:

  • Executive team and Board/Trustee recruitment and development
  • Organizational culture
  • Hiring and employment
  • Talent development and succession
  • Pay equity
  • Employee and Physician satisfaction
  • Patient access
  • Health care quality and addressing inequities of care
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Brand, communications, and marketing
  • Community relations
  • Vendor diversity

Health systems are key institutions, amongst the largest employers, and Chief Diversity Officers often serve with elected, business, and community leaders from a city, state, and regional perspective to attend to in-the-moment issues, addressing community concerns expressed through social protest or other methods.  For these issues of such prominent concern, they are often the face of accountability to the community at large.

Through a special survey, Gallagher Integrated is collecting data on compensation and accountabilities for the Chief Diversity Officer role. If your organization has submitted data for this role (#526) through the National Healthcare Leadership Compensation Survey, we will contact you to collect some additional data regarding job structure and responsibility, and you will receive a complimentary copy of the results of this special survey.

If you have not submitted data for this role, and wish to participate in this special survey, please click to follow this link to the survey: Take the Survey

Or copy and paste the URL below into your internet browser:


Paula Robinson Senior Consultant, Total Compensation & Rewards

email: ph: (612) 337-1028

Paula Robinson

Paula Robinson is a Senior Consultant with the Total Compensation and Rewards service line of Integrated Healthcare Strategies, a part of the Gallagher’s Human Resources & Compensation Consulting practice. Ms. Robinson advises boards and executives from a broad range of health care organizations, including large multi-state health systems, academic health centers, and community hospitals. She brings an in-depth understanding of clients’ perspectives to this role, having both direct patient care and corporate human resources experience.

Prior to beginning her consulting ...

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