The job of the Chief Diversity Officer is not just to ensure that a company is diverse, it is to ensure that a company is strong.
"Many organizations have come to realize that diversity is a resource that should be leveraged to increase performance as well as improve human relations," Kenneth Rice wrote for the Multicultural Advantage website. A leader who understands employees' distinctive cultural backgrounds, Lay wrote, better understands their attitudes, actions, goals and motivations.
Here are profiles of 15 of the more prominent CDOs and diversity executives in the corporate world today.
DAVID L. COHEN
Is senior executive vice president and chief diversity officer for Comcast Corporation. He is also senior counselor to the CEO. Prior to joining Comcast, Cohen was a partner in and chairman of Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, LLP, one of the most prominent law firms in the country. In the mid-'90s, he served as chief of staff for Philadelphia mayor, Edward G. Rendell. Cohen serves on the boards of a number of prominent educational and municipal institutions in Pennsylvania. He is also on the national board of the National Urban League and serves in several executive capacities for the National Council of La Raza. Cohen has won the Americanism Award of the AntiDefamation League, the American Red Cross Citizen of the Year Award, the National Cable Television Association Vanguard Award for Leadership and Impact in the Cable Industry and the President's Volunteer Service Award, among many other honors.
Is vice president of diversity strategies at Macy's, Inc. She spearheads Macy's diversity efforts externally and internally, and fosters relationships with Latino organizations across the country. Prior to assuming her diversity duties at Macy's, Garcia was a prosecutor in New York City, worked for Macy's in its Federated Law department and served in a legal capacity at the project management consulting company, PACO group. "What I love the most is that I get to meet really, really outstanding Latinos, something I didn't have before," Garcia told NBC about her current position at Macy's. "I'm exposed to so many Latinos who have contributed so much."
JAMES E. NORMAN
Served in many capacities at Kraft Foods before becoming vice president of diversity in 2008, including in operations management and human resources. He has, during his three-decade stint with the company, been responsible for quality assurance, sanitation, production and shipping supervision. He was made director...