8 Key Diversity and Inclusion Jobs Explained

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8 Key Diversity and Inclusion Jobs Explained

Diversity and inclusion jobs come in all sizes and forms. Increasingly, companies want to increase the diversity within their employee pool – and for a good reason. When your customers come in all different types of people, you want your employees to understand where they come from. But, supporting diversity within your business is more than just hiring people from different ethnic groups. This article is about eight key diversity and inclusion jobs. These employees will champion diversity and inclusion in the company.

Before we start, we need to define the difference between diversity and inclusion. Diversity focuses on having employees from different backgrounds. This can be race, gender, socio-economic status, religion, age, or national origin. Inclusion focuses on making all people feel comfortable. It doesn’t do much good to hire people from different walks of life but then only serve one type of food in the company cafeteria. You can’t say you support diversity and then yell at people who speak their native language in the hallway.

Here are some of the jobs you might want to consider to help your company with workforce diversity and inclusion.

Senior Leadership Diversity and Inclusion Jobs
Middle Management Diversity and Inclusion Jobs
Individual Contributor Diversity and Inclusion Roles
Wrapping up

Senior Leadership Diversity and Inclusion Jobs

Examples: Chief Diversity Officer, Vice President Diversity and Inclusion, Sr. VP HR – Diversity

These roles are generally not C level, but senior. Google gives a C level title, Chief Diversity Officer, to Melonie Parker. Still, her whole title is Chief Diversity Officer at Google & Director of Employee Engagement, and she doesn’t make their senior leadership team.

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These jobs usually have responsibility for diversity and inclusion in the entire company and are a part of the Human Resources function. They require extensive experience in diversity and inclusion or human resources. Some of the responsibilities can include:

  • Developing company-wide diversity and inclusion programs. When you’re seeking to increase diversity at all levels, it’s crucial to provide developmental opportunities and make the workplace a good place to be. You don’t want to train and develop your diverse entry-level employees only to have half of them quit for better opportunities within two years. 

  • Creating, sponsoring, and encouraging employee groups. Many companies use these groups to help employees feel comfortable at work. These groups can be based on outside interests (knitting, sports, etc.) or characteristics (LGBT, women in business, Black employees organization, etc.). 

    These groups are not without controversy. A few years ago, Accounting giant, Deloitte, ended all affinity/diversity organizations in favor of inclusion groups. Instead of separating employees by characteristics, they created groups focused on goals and needs that contained people of all races and gender. 

    Which of these methods is a better approach to diversity and inclusion is debatable, and a diversity and inclusion head must make the decision on how to best approach the topic.
  • Working with recruiting to develop talent pipelines. If you hire using the same methods year after year, you’ll employ the same type of employees, year after year. A diversity-focused leader will take a look at hiring practices and expand or change them to recruit people from other backgrounds. In other words, he or she will understand the importance of diversity hiring.

    For instance, are there job boards that cater to different ethnic groups? Can you get the same caliber of employee recruiting at different schools? What can you change about your recruiting practices to increase your candidate diversity? 
  • Diversity metrics and reporting, including government reporting and returns on investment. While we can praise diversity initiatives for the good it does for society overall, organizations must understand the impact on the business.

    Are the training programs increasing the retention rates of minority employees? Is the extra money spent recruiting in multiple methods paying off in lowered turnover, faster time to fill, or other benefits to the company? 

    Governments may require specific reports, but the head of diversity and inclusion will want these hard numbers, including the financial impact of diversity programs, to report to the senior leadership team.
  • Overseeing training and development programs. These programs focus on increasing diversity in hiring and at higher levels in the organization. Training is a significant part of diversity and inclusion and can take many forms. For instance, if your company is opening an office in a new country, you’ll have to consider the new culture. Do the current staff need to be trained in the new culture and do the new staff need to be trained in the company culture?

    You cannot expect the same programs that function flawlessly on one continent to perform flawlessly on another. Understanding that and developing appropriate plans for diversity is a crucial function of diversity and inclusion.
Diversity vs Inclusion
To have the best results, diversity and inclusion programs should be adapted depending on the country you’re in and the company culture.

Naturally, the exact job description will vary significantly depending on the company. Colleges and universities often have a senior diversity and inclusion position that focuses on student recruitment, retention, and groups for students – instead of employees. While the approaches will be different, the overall goal of increasing diversity is the same, whether it be students or staff.

Middle Management Diversity & Inclusion Jobs

Examples: Director of Diversity, Diversity and Inclusion Manager 

These jobs often mimic the higher-level position but are filled by mid-career people rather than senior roles. In some companies, this position supports the senior diversity officer, but in others, this is the highest diversity and inclusion role, reporting into the head of Human Resources.

This can indicate the importance a company places on increasing diversity. While the job functions may be the same, a person with a Vice President title is more likely to attend senior leadership meetings, while the head of HR will represent the diversity function at those meetings.

In cases where this role reports into a senior diversity role, this can be a project-oriented job. For example, a director of diversity can manage a specific function (leadership development) or provide general guidance across multiple areas (speaking with business partners, recruiters, and line management about diversity within their organizations).

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Individual Contributor Diversity and Inclusion Roles

Example: Analyst, Coordinator, Trainer

In addition to leadership positions, there are often people who do the actual work. The leader determines what metrics the business wants to see, while the analyst runs the data and organizes and interprets the results.

A trainer may develop and deliver the curriculum presented to employees across the company. A coordinator will work across the organization to implement the changes planned by the senior leadership.

In addition to these specific diversity and inclusion jobs, you may also see individual departments having dedicated positions for this type of role. A recruiting department may have a recruiter with the responsibility to ensure diverse recruitment strategies that report into talent acquisition rather than diversity and inclusion. A manufacturing company may have a technical trainer that also trains on intercultural and multicultural relationships.

Wrapping up

There isn’t one way to have diversity and inclusion positions within a company. Each business can determine the best way to approach it, depending on local laws as well. This list aims to inspire you and to give you an idea of the jobs you might want to consider to help your company with its diversity and inclusion efforts.


What are diversity and inclusion jobs?

Diversity and inclusion (D&I) jobs are roles that aim to promote diversity and inclusion in an organization, for example through the implementation of company-wide D&I programs.

What are examples of diversity and inclusion jobs?

On a senior level, there are (among others) the Chief Diversity Officer, the Vice President Diversity and Inclusion, and the Sr. VP HR – Diversity. On a middle management level, there are the Director of Diversity and the Diversity and Inclusion Manager. Then there are Individual Contributor Diversity and Inclusion Roles such as Analysts, Coordinators, and Trainers.  

What does a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer do?

Responsibilities include developing company-wide diversity and inclusion programs, working with recruiting to develop talent pipelines, diversity metrics and reporting and returns on investment, and overseeing training and development programs.

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