The Business Need for Diversity Metrics

Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) initiatives are organizational goals focused on an inclusive work culture where all employees are valued, able to perform at their optimal level, and treated fairly. Companies use a multimodal approach to D&I by engaging in strategic programmatic efforts within all levels of the organization. These diversity programs can be captured with purposeful overt behaviors, such as:  CEO and Board member communication, senior leadership becoming an internal champion and support, employee resource groups, continuous training opportunities, and EEO/AA polices. However, even the best programmatic efforts are a miss without a commitment to analytics that can appropriately track and capture the story of progress towards organizational success.

Given current affairs, there is pressure on Corporate America to publicly disclose representation data of their workforce. While companies decide how to demonstrate their progress in a public forum, there are ways to bring diversity awareness internally by comparing workforce representation to their market and identifying areas in need of programmatic improvement. This comparison creates the framework needed to benchmark D&I practices, programs, and initiatives while optimizing utility for increased efforts. First, it establishes a need for the organization to implement direction, time, and resources to specific organizational focus areas. Second, it provides practical and valid goals, or benchmarks, that can be operationalized to explain and measure programmatic efforts aligned with successful outcomes and, just as important, identify those efforts that need to be realigned in direction.

Diversity metrics, like AAP analyses, commonly require an organization to identify the appropriate external market that will drive diversity benchmarks. These markets, known as external availability, capture the demographics and number of individuals who are available and qualified to fill positions within an organization. For the United States, there are several availability options to explore, each with advantages and disadvantages that need to be considered in the decision-making process (e.g., how recent the data is, is it readily available). However, the most important takeaway when choosing an availability source is for an organization to identify the goal of the project, then decide on the most appropriate availability source that will best serve the defined goal. Please reference our infographic for additional information on common availability sources.

D&I programs are impactful and warranted, but can be very nuanced and demanding of multiple expertise to see sustained movement. Organizations should feel they have a partner with them to support and provide guidance to keep them aligned with their organizational commitment. DCI is here to support your diversity program by helping:

  • Define your organization’s D&I goals,
  • Choose the most appropriate availability source(s), and
  • Set up the defined framework to measure outcomes of D&I programmatic efforts.

Please reach out if you would like to inquire about how to align D&I metrics with your organizational goals.

By Marcelle Clavette, Consultant, and Keli Wilson, Senior Manager of EEO Compliance,
D&I, at DCI Consulting Group

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