How to Meaningfully Measure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Workplace

Praisidio, Inc
How to Meaningfully Measure Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in Your Workplace

Companies in the United States spend $8 billion each year on diversity training. Yet only 29% of HR professionals say their diversity and inclusion programs are effective in communicating the importance of D&I throughout the organization.

It’s not that diversity, equity, and inclusion programs never work or that they’re not important. 

The reason for the disparity between DEI spending and impact is that most organizations don’t have a clear understanding of how to measure diversity, equity, and inclusion. This makes it challenging for HR and company leadership to identify what’s working and appropriately allocate resources.

In this article, we reveal the metrics Praisidio uses to help companies understand and analyze their DEI and the root causes of any shortfalls. These metrics are an essential foundation if you plan to build an efficient diversity, equity, and inclusion program, or if you want to understand why your current program isn’t working.

If you’d like to see how Praisidio can measure and analyze your DEI for you (and potentially save you millions on staff turnover) book a demo today

How to measure inclusion

Inclusion metrics enable your organization to clearly observe who’s getting attention from managers and company leadership. These metrics give actionable insights to ensure that opportunities to both receive and give feedback are inclusively distributed. 

Meeting participation by gender and ethnicity

Measuring meeting participation gives visibility into who’s being invited to meetings and who’s showing up to them. This helps assess behavior patterns in both management and frontline workers.

Low meeting participation may indicate that certain people aren’t being invited to meetings or they’re not feeling comfortable enough to show up. Either way, understanding meeting participation rates exposes any existing issues and breaking out the data by gender and ethnicity enables leadership to make specifically targeted interventions.

Skip-level 1:1 per job role by gender and ethnicity

It’s easy to feel isolated from company leadership, especially in large organizations where employees may be geographically separated from company headquarters. However, people want to feel seen and heard by the people they take orders from.

Skip level 1-on-1 meetings are one of the best ways for upper management to connect with their workforce and get valuable feedback about the state and trajectory of the company. It’s incredibly important that everyone gets the opportunity to be seen and heard.

If any cohort of employees is receiving less 1-on-1 time than everyone else, management may get a skewed picture of the company culture and workforce attitudes. This slanted view of the company can lead to decisions that exacerbate DEI issues.

Therefore, it’s vital to observe the demographic distribution of skip-level 1:1 reviews and make the appropriate connections. 

Manager span of control by gender and ethnicity

Traditionally, this metric gives leaders insight into workloads for managers, so they can reduce burnout among managers. On the flip side, this metric also reveals which managers may not be getting the responsibility they deserve. 

In terms of inclusion, span of control is highly useful for identifying cohorts of managers who may be chronically under-tasked.

For instance, if your organization has plenty of women in management positions, but they’re not managing much, that indicates an inclusion deficiency, even though diversity is in place.

Attrition rate by gender and ethnicity per job role

Knowing overall employee attrition rates is strategically valuable. Understanding exactly which employees are suffering the highest levels of attrition is essential for ensuring that your company culture is sufficiently inclusive and helps expose implicit biases that are negatively impacting the employee experience for some demographics more than others.

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How to measure diversity

Understanding the demographic composition of your organization at a company-wide level is relatively straightforward. However, this high-level data isn’t enough to identify diversity issues in specific job roles or locations, which is where diversity issues should be tackled.

The following metrics are the ones you need for a targeted approach to achieving true organizational diversity.

These metrics also enable your organization to meet pay data reporting requirements such as SB 1162, which requires companies with over 100 employees in California to report the demographics of each job position and pay data by demographic.

This sort of legislation will likely be required everywhere in the future, and tracking these metrics helps future-proof your organization for incoming compliance standards.

Headcount per job title compared by gender and ethnicity

Understanding the demographics of each job role reveals biases in your hiring process that cause concentrations of certain demographics in some roles. This is especially important because much of the DEI movement is dedicated to helping women and minorities achieve parity in industries that have historically been dominated by majority demographics.

Using this metric to break down your overall company diversity delivers the intelligence you need to move toward this goal.

Headcount per location compared by gender and ethnicity

This metric gives a view of how representative your workforce is at the local level. That way your organization can adjust hiring practices and allocate diversity, equity, and inclusion program resources to the hiring team where the diversity issues are most severe, rather than taking company-wide action to correct issues in a few offices.

Analyzing this per location data is the only way to make sure that staff at each location reflects the demographics of the surrounding communities. 

How to measure equity in the workplace

Equity goals have been at the forefront of DEI efforts for over a decade now, and it can be challenging to make strides in this arena because hiring and promotion require time and training. It’s even more difficult to meet these equity ends without quality insights about exactly who needs priority in training and career development programs.

These metrics give you visibility into which cohorts need the most support in achieving equity, so you can precisely allocate equity program resources.

Growth and promotion rate by gender and ethnicity

Understanding who’s advancing in their career reveals who’s getting opportunities for training and advancement, which exposes biases that may exist in career development programs.

This metric also supports the diversity aspect of DEI programs, as it helps your organization promote underrepresented demographics into roles where more parity is needed. Internal advancement is more cost-efficient than hiring new employees, since current employees require less training and require fewer recruiting resources than new employees.

DEI-appropriate hiring is often still necessary, but taking advantage of internal promotion opportunities enables your organization to address diversity and equity deficiencies faster, while increasing employee retention. 

Compa-ratio by gender and ethnicity

Compa-ratio should be measured both internally and externally. Broadly, compa-ratio compares employee salaries to the midpoint salary for equivalent job roles.

External compa-ratio compares your employee salaries to the midpoint salary for those positions in the entire market. Tracking your external compa-ratio shows how fairly your employees are paid in comparison to other employers in the industry.

Internal compa-ratio compares an employee’s salary to equivalent positions within your company, which shows how fairly an employee is compensated relative to their peers.

A compa-ratio of 1.0 means an employee is paid exactly 100% of the midpoint salary for that position. A ratio of higher than 1.0 indicates that an employee is paid more than the midpoint salary, and a ratio of less than 1.0 shows a pay deficiency relative to other employees in equivalent roles.

Measuring both external and internal compa-ratios is important because offering competitive pay is necessary for minimizing employee attrition, and you need to minimize pay inequities among the demographics within your organization.

Tracking compa-ratio data is the most efficient way to identify pay inequities and see how much correction is needed to address them. 

Race, ethnicity, and sex imbalances across cohorts

As you may have noticed, all of these metrics are broken out by gender and ethnicity. The overarching goal is identifying imbalances in each cohort of employees, since DEI is all about achieving appropriate representation in each job role and pay range.

To meaningfully understand imbalances across cohorts, a large volume of data needs to be obtained and in turn, analyzed. Few HR teams have the expertise for this, but it doesn’t mean they need to hire a data analyst. Predictive people analytics (by Praisidio) can now fill the gap.

How to capture and analyze DEI data

Your organization already has all the data you need, but chances are you haven’t yet found a way to work with it for measuring and solving DEI efforts. You’re not alone — most organizations struggle with this. 

Many rely on surveys to fill the data gap, but unfortunately, surveys are of little value. Surveys are hamstrung by nature. They can only collect lagging indicators and are unable to tap into the objective real-time data your company is passively generating (which is far more useful for decision-making).

Unlike surveys, Praisidio taps into your existing data and analyzes it for DEI risks in real time. Clear dashboards allow you to see risk profiles for your entire company, departments, smaller cohorts, and individuals. This allows you to target your DEI efforts in a considered way that is most likely to get results.

To make intervention as easy as possible, Praisidio also provides actionable workflows based on DEI risks across your company. This helps you avoid blanket programs and empowers you to apply proven strategies in only the areas that need it most.

Book a demo to see how the Praidisio can help you take control of diversity, equity, and inclusion in your organization.

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