Diversity & Inclusion Metrics: What to measure

Diversity & Inclusion Metrics_ What to measure

75% of companies state that DEI is a high strategic priority, however…

Only 38% of the companies reported some success in creating a diverse and inclusive workforce.

Now you might be wondering – why is that so? 

Companies fail to set up and measure their diversity and inclusion metrics properly. Making it impossible for any People or HR managers to give a conclusive answer whether or not the company has become more inclusive & diverse.

After all, how can you know whether your DEI efforts are paying off unless you set up the right metrics? 

What are diversity & inclusion metrics?

When talking about diversity and inclusion metrics, we mean both quantitative and qualitative.

Quantitative being the actual numerical values of, for example, the percentage of females and males within a company in terms of representation.

Qualitative being the gathered insights about how for example, whether employees experience the workplace as an inclusive and safe environment.

Diversity and inclusion metrics allow you to gain valuable insights into your current workforce dynamics. On top of that allowing you to continuously assess your progress when trying to ensure inclusive hiring practices.

4 diversity & inclusion metrics you should be measuring

Traditional diversity metrics normally tend to solely focus on the number of people within a company and on a team level. Even though knowing the numbers definitely helps to get an idea of the current company composition, it most definitely does not tell the full story nor does it allow you to identify potential room for improvement when it comes to ensuring diversity and inclusion.

Don’t get me wrong though – these are without a doubt important metrics to keep track of as well, however, as I mentioned before, there is more to diversity than just the headcount of how many females and males you have in a company.

Let’s take a look at 4 metrics that are important to measure when trying to improve your DEI efforts!

Diversity of employees vs. application pool 

This is probably one of the most important aspects to look at when assessing diversity and inclusion within a company. By taking a look at the differences in terms of diversity amongst your applicant pool and who actually gets hired, you’ll be able to determine whether your DE&I efforts are actually paying off.

To give you an obvious example – if your applicant pool is less diverse, automatically your team will have a hard time becoming more diverse when hiring. If your applicant pool is diverse, and your teams lack diversity – then it is highly possible that your hiring process is impacted by unconscious bias. The diversity of your applicant pool should be directly reflected in the diversity within your teams.

What to do if your applicant pool is diverse but your teams aren’t? 

Examine at which part of the funnel unconscious bias begins to interfere with your hiring decisions and begin acting on it! To assess this take a look at the:

  1. Initial applicant pool composition
  2. The composition of applicants invited to the 1st interview
  3. Composition of applicants invited to complete a work assignment as part of the selection process
  4. Who actually gets hired

What I’d also like to mention is that often applicant pools can lack diversity because of job descriptions that are not written in an inclusive manner. If written badly, job descriptions can leave negative consequences on the composition of your candidate pool. Here are 5 things to keep in mind when writing job descriptions that are inclusive!

The majority of biases tend to creep in during the initial stages of the candidate selection process. If you want to avoid that (and I sincerely hope you do), consider using tooling like Equalture that through neuroscientific games allows you to measure the cognitive abilities, personality and behaviour of candidates. This way you will be able to focus on things that matter when hiring all whilst building more diverse teams.

Diversity across organisation levels

Take a critical look at how diverse your company is across all organisational levels. Is the leadership team less diverse than the entry-level team? While the overall composition of your workforce might be diverse, it’s important to measure the percentage of women in comparison to men in C-level positions, for example.

In fact, a study by BCG suggests that especially diversity within leadership and management teams leads to more and higher levels of innovation, which in result leads to improved financial performance.

So, make sure to continuously (or at least on a yearly basis) assess whether, for example, there is a fair representation of males and females amongst different operational units – ranging from entry-level to C-level. 

Employee job satisfaction

Employee satisfaction has a direct correlation with how comfortable and safe your employees feel in a workplace. Not only does it reflect how well they are integrated within the company culture, but also whether they feel supported if they are facing various workplace issues such as discrimination, bullying and so on.

At first, this might come across as something difficult to measure, however, there are a few ways you can measure employee job satisfaction, such as:

  • Satisfaction surveys, designed & conducted correctly, an employee survey gives a lot of insight into how the employees feel & perceive their workplace. This way you will know which areas need improvement.
  • Employee satisfaction index (ESI), which allows you to measure to what extent your employees are satisfied with the workplace, as well as specific aspects of their job role.
  • Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) that helps you measure employee loyalty and engagement.
  • Or even by using specialized software, such as Officevibe or TINYpulse that can help you measure & keep track of employee engagement in real-time.

Employee retention rate

Similarly, as employee satisfaction, employee retention rate can tell you a lot about whether your workplace is inclusive or toxic. Think of it this way – having a high turnover rate, especially when it comes to a specific demographic, for example, minorities, is most definitely a red flag. 

If there would be no issues within the workplace in regards to ensuring diversity and inclusivity, then the turnover rate would not be high. Therefore, the more employees are leaving the company, the more cautious you should be about what kind of a work environment you’re fostering in terms of company culture.

So, if it does happen that the employee retention rate severely drops – make sure to conduct exit interviews to learn more about why people are choosing to leave your company. This can be useful for you when it comes to establishing what needs to be changed from within to make sure that everyone feels included and happy in your organization.

A template: Diversity & Inclusion scorecard

The following template can help you gain a better understanding of the current workforce compositions. It can also be used to assess how diverse is your talent pool, as well as what’s employee retention and satisfaction across different organizational levels.

Entry-levelMid-levelExec levelC level
Female _%_%_%_%
Baby boomers_%_%_%_%
Gen Z_%_%_%_%
Anete Vesere

Cheers, Anete

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