How Companies Can Use Data to Advance Diversity — Russ Ewell
Due to the rise of data-driven technology, few areas in the workplace are not benefitting from data-driven change. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion initiatives can also benefit from this increased reliance on data.
There are several things you can do to ensure that your efforts are sustainable. However, before you start implementing data-driven change, it’s crucial that you first ask the right questions and gather information. Here are some steps to take to get started.
There are many kinds of information that can be used to create a DEI program; for example, you can examine the demographic data of your employees to find gaps in the diversity, and inclusion of individuals based on their characteristics. This type of data can be found in already existing workforce records.
Although you may initially focus on one area of the organization where you can make a significant impact, be open to exploring other areas where there are gaps, for instance, focusing on the diversity numbers may not provide you with the necessary insight into the individuals leaving the company.
One of the most important steps that you can take to ensure that your efforts are sustainable is to benchmark every level of the organization. This will allow you to identify areas where there are gaps and where there is a glass ceiling.
Failing to address the problems that were discovered during the data collection process can lead to the appearance of a lack of commitment to diversity. Setting goals based on the collected information and pursuing them will show that the program is real and will help employees feel that it is supported.
Before setting goals, it’s important that you first identify problem areas. For instance, a lack of diverse leadership positions may be caused by factors such as the lower promotion rates and the lack of women and minorities in the organization.
Setting goals that are aspirational rather than strict quotas are important to creating an ethical program. In a recent ruling, the US Supreme Court stated that quotas are unconstitutional.
Create a System of Accountability
Although it’s legal to set a goal of increasing the number of employees of a certain race, don’t rely on the individuals’ characteristics to determine the number of positions. Instead, focus on broadening the pool of candidates and finding talent in different regions.
One of the most effective ways to expand the pool of candidates is by committing to interview a certain number of individuals from underrepresented groups. Doing so will allow you to avoid setting a legal obligation that may violate the law.
Consider incentivizing your leadership teams to complete DEI goals, which has been shown to have positive results.
Following these steps will help you establish an effective DEI program with concrete goals for improving your company.