Workforce Transparency: Considerations When Measuring Diversity Within Your Organization

On May 28, 2014, Google disclosed its diversity numbers and acknowledged they are not where they want them to be. Laszlo Bock, Senior Vice President, People Operations, explained that Google has always been reluctant to publish diversity numbers but the company is ready to be transparent. The company’s workforce of 46,170 employees is 70 percent men overall, and 83 percent of men are in technical jobs. The U.S. totals show that 61 percent of the workforce is white, 30 percent is Asian, 3 percent is Hispanic and 2 percent is Black.


Diversity and inclusion affect not only an organization’s internal functioning but also its customers, suppliers and other external stakeholders. With a workforce that is becoming increasingly more diverse every day, it is more important than ever for organizations to mirror the communities in which they function. Finding a reliable data source for this comparison is often a challenging step for companies. Most federal contractors rely on the 2006-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) EEO tabulation for determining the qualified labor force for compliance initiatives, but oftentimes companies pursue a more distinct labor force when delving into diversity metrics (e.g., occupation, industry, educational attainment, age). These sources are not always readily available for use in diversity metrics. Documenting the pros and cons of a particular data source is a recommended practice when analyzing and sharing workforce figures.


In addition to identifying a reliable data source as an analysis comparator for use in diversity metrics, it is also advisable that organizations determine how to organize the workforce data (e.g., location, function, division or company-wide) and which level of analysis (e.g., job title, job group or salary band/grade) is most suitable. Comparing workforce numbers by an appropriate level and using an accurate data source will aid organizations in identifying barriers to diversity. DCI Consulting Group encourages the use of diversity metrics in identifying where in the employee life cycle there may be opportunities for improvement. DCI has successfully partnered with organizations to develop diversity metrics to support internal initiatives and programs, and we look forward to keeping you informed on this topic.


By Yesenia Avila, M.P.S., HR Analyst, and Keli Wilson, M.A.,  Senior Consultant, DCI Consulting Group

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