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employees in a group photo An oft-cited 2019 study from Boston Consulting Group found that even as 97% of workers said their company had a diversity program, only 25% said they were benefiting from it.(Photo: Shutterstock)

(Bloomberg) – Chief diversity officers have become a hot item in U.S. C-suites, with hirings setting records and big-name companies such as Levi Strauss & Co. poaching peers for management talent.

After the police killing of George Floyd touched off mass protests demanding more equity for Black people last year, new hires of diversity chiefs in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index jumped to as many as a dozen monthly — almost triple the rate of the previous 16 months, according to research from executive recruiter Russell Reynolds Associates. A separate analysis of a broader group of public companies found that at least 60 firms appointed their first-ever diversity leader since last May.

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