The Role of Chief Diversity Officer: Catalyst for Change or Figurehead

November 7, 2023
Can Chief Diversity Officers Really Make a Difference or Are They Just Figureheads?

In the pursuit of fostering diversity and inclusion within organizations, we often turn to Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs) as the catalysts for change.

However, recent findings have challenged our assumptions about their effectiveness.

Did you know that companies with CDOs scored lower on diversity metrics?

It's time to rethink the role of CDOs and embrace shared responsibility for driving inclusion.

So, how can we effectively redefine the role of Chief Diversity Officers while empowering junior-level employees to initiate positive changes?

In this episode, Lily Zheng deep dives into the findings of this recent study on CDOs and diversity metrics, providing thought-provoking insights and actionable strategies. From navigating personal challenges to advocating for inclusivity, they inspire us to challenge the status quo and drive impactful change.

Are you ready to be part of the movement? Tune in to the Uplifting Impact podcast and listen to Lily Zheng's transformative episode today. Let's embrace shared responsibility and co-create inclusive workplaces that uplift everyone. Together, we can make a difference.


  • Lily Zheng's personal experiences of not feeling like belonging, starting in high school and college, and the motivation to create better systems and spaces for everyone

  • Lily's role as a truth-teller in organizations, providing objective feedback and helping organizations make progress toward their goals

  • What are Chief Diversity Officers (CDOs)?

  • What are the roles of Chief Diversity Officers?

  • Shortcomings of CDO roles

  • How can junior-level employees create a positive DEI impact

  • Treating everyone equally vs. recognizing differences

  • Lily Zheng's books


Lily Zheng's Website -

Connect with Lily on LinkedIn -

DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right:

Reconstructing DEI: A Practitioner's Workbook:

Deanna’s Linkedin: 

Justin Linkedin: 

Uplifting Impact Linkedin: 



Uplifting Impact YouTube: 

Uplifting Impact Website: 


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