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What Is a Fractional Chief Diversity Officer?

Diversity, equity and inclusion are top priorities for companies of all sizes. But for those without the resources to staff an entire department dedicated to DEI, companies are looking at affordable alternative ways to advance DEI. One of those alternatives is a Fractional Chief Diversity officer (CDO). A Fractional CDO supports businesses that don't require a full-time Chief Diversity Officer but would benefit from diversity support and business strategy.

What is a chief diversity officer?

A Chief Diversity Officer's role mainly consists of creating and implementing diversity initiatives, ensuring that the culture values diversity, equity and inclusion, and creating strategic and measurable goals for the organization related to DEI.

Over 50% of Fortune 500 companies have a Chief Diversity Officer, but it’s not always economically feasible, with an average salary of $230,000 a year. Because of this, DEI initiatives at companies that do not have a CDO are often put on HR, or assigned as an additional responsibility to someone else in the company (inevitably with no DEI experience) This often leads to initiatives being put on the back burner or ineffective due to a lack of resources and knowledge. Companies must think strategically about who is responsible and whether internal employees have the bandwidth and resources to take on a significant initiative like DEI.

What are the benefits of hiring a fractional chief diversity officer?

There are many benefits to employing a fractional Chief Diversity Officer. The biggest and most important for business operators is having CDO support at a fraction of the cost. Another one is that the fractional CDO brings an outside perspective without internal distractions. An outside consultant lets them see what's happening inside the business and identify gaps that leadership and even employees might have, leading to a more effective DEI strategy.

DEI has moved from legal requirements and compliance issues to a crucial business driver that needs to be integrated within the company. From retention and hiring to external communication strategies, a fractional Chief Diversity Officer can help start, expand, or improve your diversity initiatives. If you need strategic support for your DEI initiatives, get in touch with a DEI consultant to learn how FIG can help.


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