Diversity & Inclusion

The Role of Data in Diversity

Companies often promote diversity and inclusion, to attract diverse job candidates and build a diverse workforce. But how successful are these efforts?

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The only way to know is to measure.

Defining Diversity

Before focusing on analytics, it’s essential to come up with a definition of diversity.

Although the term diversity is most often used in connection with race, ethnicity, and gender, your definition should be broader in order to truly determine if yours is a diverse and inclusive workplace. Therefore, you’ll also want to include disability, sexual orientation, religion, and age.

Where to Focus

Once you’ve identified what diversity is, you can track your progress. Here are a few areas on which to focus.

Talent acquisition. Hiring data will provide you with important insight, if you make the information part of your process. Identify diverse candidates at the time of hire, and identify the source of hire (this will help you evaluate your recruiting strategy).

Over the long term, you are looking to compare the number of new hires who fit your definition of diversity to the number of new hires who do not. You are also looking for the ratio of diverse employees to your overall workforce. If you have specific diversity goals – for example, more women in senior management – you’ll want to track your progress by various diversity categories, as well as job categories.

Career advancement. Hiring diverse candidates is only the first step toward a diverse workforce. What opportunities do you offer diverse employees? How do diverse employees advance within the organization in comparison to other staff members?

Here again, you are looking to compare employees who fit your definition of diversity to employees who do not. You are also looking for the ratio of diverse employees to your overall workforce. As with talent acquisition metrics, you want to make sure you track promotions by various diversity categories and job categories if you have specific diversity objectives.

Pay rates. Pay equity has become a hot topic, and rightly so as there are legal and ethical implications of pay disparity. Every company should ensure that employees are paid fairly for the jobs they do, and that they are paid fairly in relation to others doing the same or similar jobs.

Reviewing pay with attention to diverse candidates, as well as specific diversity categories, will allow you to close any pay gaps. Meanwhile, establishing salary ranges and adhering to them when hiring for open positions will help address this issue going forward.

Turnover. Offering advancement opportunities and fair pay will help you retain diverse candidates. But there are other factors that contribute to employee retention, including corporate culture.

What is your turnover rate for diverse employees? How does it compare to your turnover rate for other employees?

Employee perception. Data will allow you to accurately measure the success of your diversity initiatives. However, when it comes to diversity as it relates to corporate culture, perception is also a factor – and perception should be measured.

Do your employees view your organization as diverse and inclusive? If not, why? Employee surveys can alert you to cultural issues and messaging misalignment. In addition, because employees are your chief brand ambassadors, you want to make sure their perception and reality match.

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