Diversity & Inclusion

10 DEI Metrics That Matter

What gets measured gets done. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are top of mind for companies large and small, but making notable progress on long-standing challenges around DEI requires a plan to set goals and then collect timely and relevant data to track progress.

Companies have invested millions into DEI initiatives. When a company spends that much money on a new program, it’s important to understand what measurable progress was made. At the same time, long-lived ways of doing things and unconscious bias often don’t change unless data shows change is needed.

In recent years, we’ve collected insight from our own DEI journey at Ceridian and from dozens of other leading companies to develop best practices. Here are 10 metrics to track to measure progress on DEI. It’s also important to note that these guidelines can vary due to state and country data collection policies and regulation.

Employee Demographics

To get where you want to go, you first need to know where you are. Employee demographics reveal existing levels of diversity across the organization such as gender, race, age, and ability status.


Who is staying and why? Stay interviews and engagement surveys provide data that can reveal strengths and weaknesses around workplace culture.


By demographic, who is leaving and why? Do some demographics leave quicker than others? Exit surveys provide context to the numbers. By analyzing the turnover data from a demographic perspective, comparisons can be made to identify red flags and inform strategic initiatives.  

Adverse Impact

This metric looks at a range of recruiting, hiring, and performance processes to understand if one factor is unintentionally being favored over another. For example, personality assessments may be written with an unconscious bias and inadvertently weed out people who don’t follow sports if they include questions using football as a metaphor even though the job itself has nothing to do with football. Hiring for “cultural fit” might have an adverse impact by reinforcing a homogenous workforce. Hiring for “potential” can do the same if actual skills are not being named and measured. When using assessments and conducting interviews, have checks, balances, and structure that help to minimize or, hopefully, remove bias.

Candidate Demographics

Does the candidate pipeline match the demographics of the available applicant pool? Do employee demographics match candidate demographics? Do employee demographics match the applicant pool? Look for mismatches that might point to a need to diversify where jobs are being advertised and where recruits come from.

Internal Mobility

Look for patterns in the data. If women and minorities are not moving around the organization as quickly as white men, figure out why. Women may undersell their skills, so they may not apply for suitable positions. We also found that white men applied if they had a third of the job requirements but that black women didn’t apply unless they had almost all of them. If leadership is heavily white and male, that may lead to a shortfall of mentors and sponsors for women and minorities. Often, people need encouragement to explore opportunities. At Ceridian, we found that employees were waiting to be asked to apply to positions above the director level, so we stepped up education on the benefits of being proactive and self-advocating. By understanding who is and isn’t applying and filling internal jobs, you will be better informed to craft mitigating initiatives.


Equal pay for equal work is a must. Look for gaps or disparities, and craft plans to fix them. Ceridian’s pay equity analysis included evaluating base salary, total compensation, and annual grants of Ceridian stock. The analysis controlled for relative experience, service at Ceridian, job grade, job function, job title, department, supervisory responsibilities, incentive, role history, performance, and location, among other factors. As of 2021, the review found a less than 1% disparity between what women and men earn globally and a less than 1% disparity between what white and nonwhite employees earn in the United States. We are committed to resolving all disparities and to doing continual reviews.

Participation in DEI Training and Events

Are people engaged? Do they feel psychologically safe to participate? By tracking participation, you’ll discover what events are most successful and how best to increase allyship, which is when people support minority groups without being part of one. At Ceridian, we require quarterly DEI training, but our employee resource groups, called “YOUnity Groups” at Ceridian, hold events throughout the year. We also track participation in biweekly DEI training delivered via e-mail.

Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

How do employees feel about the workplace? Engagement surveys provide a metric on the culture and whether it feels inclusive. An eNPS is “On a scale of ‘0’ to ’10,’ how likely is it you would recommend this company as a place to work?” A low eNPS score is correlated with higher turnover. If people don’t feel comfortable recommending your organization as a place to work, they are also less likely to want to continue working for your organization.

Goals to Improve DEI

This is a check on how well campaigns are designed. Sentiment surveys can reveal how people feel they are working. Technology can also help.

Measuring ROI

All 10 of these metrics don’t need to happen at once, but tracking DEI initiatives allows organizations to produce insights that inform and strengthen DEI.

What gets measured gets done, and it’s important to share metrics with others. By better measuring DEI, companies are acknowledging its value to the bottom line and the individuals at the heart of the company.

Donnebra McClendon is Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Ceridian. She is an innovative thought leader and a strategic business partner who has dedicated more than 18 years at Ceridian to cultivating consciously unbiased and intentionally inclusive leaders. McClendon is currently a doctoral student in strategic leadership at Liberty University and established a nonprofit organization, Leaders are Readers, supporting literacy in the Tampa Bay area.

Brittany Schmaling is a Sr. Data Analyst a Ceridian. A gifted storyteller, Brittany Schmaling has a wealth of experience making sense of volumes of data to help business leaders solve real-world people problems. She holds a master’s in industrial organizational psychology and an ACC credential from the International Coaching Federation. Currently, Schmaling combs through millions of employee data points collected through Dayforce, Ceridian’s people platform for the global workforce, to create easily digestible and actionable insights to drive quantifiable business value.

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