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In a significant move displaying the importance of workforce diversity, American Express Company has promoted Chris Meyrick to the role of chief diversity officer (CDO), effective January 1, 2016.

He is reporting into Gabriella Giglio, executive vice president of global HR. Meyrick was previously leading regional HR in the role of VP HR Asia Pacific for American Express.

Currently based in Hong Kong, Meyrick will remain there for the first half of 2016, while his daughter finishes second grade, and “make the most of being based outside of U.S. while we [American Express] focus increasingly on international diversity,” he told Human Resources.

Post that, he will move to the company’s headquarters based in New York.

As CDO, Meyrick will be responsible for developing the company’s global diversity and inclusion strategy for more than 53,500 employees in 130+ markets.

Alongside his team, he will provide strategic internal consulting to senior executives and employees on a variety of initiatives; and lead the company’s efforts to attract, hire, develop, and retain diverse talent and create an engaging global workplace in which all people can succeed.

Speaking to Human Resources, Meyrick said building a diverse talent pipeline is one of his priorities this year: “Increase the diversity of our workforce and leadership to ensure access to different perspectives , backgrounds, and experiences.”

Another one is to build a culture of inclusion, by promoting an inclusive and global culture where differences are valued and expressed, and all employees are engaged, have a voice, and can achieve success.

And the one biggest diversity challenge in this region at the moment? “Building the pipeline of leaders for the future with an emphasis on diversity and the differences in culture and law across the region.”

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