Why is the CEO essential to DEI success? For the same reason, the CEO is essential to business success. When the CEO is absent, disengaged, or doesn’t connect DEI to the overall business, DEI might progress but it won’t prosper. When it is important to the CEO it is important to everyone. There is nothing wrong with middle managers, HR departments, and diversity professionals leading the charge in DEI. However, without the complete buy-in of the CEO, DEI will struggle to become fully integrated into the business.
Department heads and vice presidents are generally concerned with their areas of responsibility and focused on the performance of today. Whereas CEOs are the visionaries, and see all aspects of the business and therefore have the best way of ingraining DEI in the total business. Show us a CEO who champions DEI and we see a company that values diversity as a business driver into the future. Show us a CEO who sees DEI as separate from business success and we see a company struggling to integrate DEI to help drive business.