Why & How To Measure DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)?

If you’re trying to persuade your team to invest in measuring the impact of your DEI strategy then you’ve come to the right place! We’ll show you why you should be measuring your strategy as well as giving you some ideas about what you could be measuring.

Why measure DEI

Why Measure Your DEI Strategy?

As we explained in our post on How To Launch A DEI Strategy, it’s really vital for the success of your programme to measure before, during and after launch. Here are some of the reasons:

1. Unlock the power of benchmarking

When you measure your progress towards your DEI goals, you will be able to benchmark yourself against other organisations within similar fields or of similar sizes. Our dashboards make this easy as you will be able to see at a glance how you measure up. However, equally convenient, but much more importantly, we allow you to benchmark against yourself. This means that you can keep a track of where you’ve been and where you’re going. 

2. Hold yourself accountable against your goals

Setting goals should have been a key point in your strategy creation. Understanding the direction of travel when it comes to your diversity, equity and inclusion strategy is important. We’ve told you before that DEI is all about the journey not the destination, but it’s important to know you’re moving in the right direction. Ensuring you’re hitting key milestones both in terms of deliverables, but also impact of your work, will help you to remain accountable.

3. Report progress to your team

One of the key benefits of investing in a diversity, equity and inclusion programme is proving to your team that you’re taking employee happiness and employee engagement seriously. By keeping them in the loop when it comes to your progress, you’ll be demonstrating this investment tangibly. This will also help your wider organisation to understand the importance of their feedback and feel that they are part of the solution when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. 

4. Keep your strategy agile 

Here’s a truth that we don’t often talk about - sometimes what you’re doing isn’t going to work. What works for one organisation might not work for yours. What worked at one time might stop working. What you think is going to work might actually not have the desired impact. And that’s fine. Not to mention completely normal. However, if you’re not measuring the impact of your diversity, equity and inclusion strategy you won’t know what’s working and what isn’t. So you won’t be able to pivot to ensure you’re doing more of the good stuff, and less of the less effective stuff. 

5. Stay ahead of legislation

As ESG becomes an increasingly important part of the conversation within the business and wider HR world, we know that ESG reporting is likely to be right round the corner. Being able to report accurately on your diversity, equity and inclusion strategy means that one strand of your ESG reporting is already ticked off. So that’s one less thing to worry about. 

What To Measure

In order to get the most out of your DEI strategy, there are a couple of things you should be measuring.

1. Demographic statistics

Getting to know the identities that your team holds. You may want to understand factors such as the ages, ethnicities, genders, disability status, sexual orientation and religion of your team. How long people have been working with your organisation can also be really helpful to understand how your strategy is affecting your team. Collecting these kinds of data can be challenging, which is why anonymity is vital. 

2. How your people think & feel

Another important aspect when it comes to quantitative measurement of DE&I strategy is gaining a definitive idea of how your people think and feel. Understanding how your team’s instinctive and emotional brain systems are activated within the workplace are key to ensuring equity and inclusion within your organisation. You need to have a clear idea how people of different identities think and feel about working in your organisation and about your diversity, equity and inclusion strategy. 

3. How these elements intersect

Being able to filter your data so you can accurately understand how people of different and intersecting identities think and feel is absolutely vital to understanding the impact of your investment. Ensuring that everyone feels that your strategy is designed to support and uphold their #FreedomToBeHuman is the only way you can be sure of the success of your strategy. 

These three elements are most important when considering your DEI strategy. However, for those further along on their journey we also suggest measuring:

4. Exit & onboarding data

Having robust onboarding and exit interviews/surveys which deliver quantitative as well as qualitative data can be really key in understanding the impact of your DEI data. Understanding why people joined your organisation, what in your onboarding strategy has encouraged them to stay, and what has contributed to them leaving is invaluable. This data can be used to support the development of your strategy and to underpin its success. However, we see this as a more advanced step, as it introduces variables and complexity. 

How To Measure DEI Data

There are a couple of important things to consider when measuring your DEI strategy. 

1. Anonymity

Not everyone will be willing to “out” themselves publicly at work, or feel safe claiming their identities. This means that anonymity is key in getting accurate data. Being able to ensure anonymity throughout the survey process is really important. Our platform does this in two ways. Names or email addresses are never associated with responses  and organisations are only able to see aggregate data of over more than 5 responses. On our platform HR teams are also able to engage in anonymous conversations through our Closing the Feedback Loop tool. 

2. Data safety

Since much of this data is extremely sensitive, it’s really important that any data that’s collected is stored safely. Using free tools can compromise this so that’s an important factor to consider when deciding how to collect the data. We take data security extremely seriously, and that means as an HR or leadership team, this is something that’s taken off your plate. 

3. Ease of interpretation

Many people find data hard to analyse. Our dashboards take a lot of the stress out of data analysis, as our downloadable reports help your team to easily interpret the results of your surveys. You are also able to filter your results easily so you’re able to see how different identities responded to your surveys. 

4. Actionability 

The final and most important factor in deciding how to measure your data is ensuring that the data you’re collecting is actionable. Our surveys are designed to give you actionable insights both through your quantitative and qualitative data. This means you’ll be able to use the results to improve and action your strategy. 

In short, the correct questions and tools are very important in ensuring that the data you gather when measuring your DEI strategy is accurate. This is where we come in. We can ensure you’re collecting the right data, that you’re able to interpret it correctly and easily, keep the data safe and ensure anonymity

Catch up with one of our experts to find out how our Equality of Voice survey can help support your DEI strategy. 

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Recommended reading

Why Is Diversity, Equity & Inclusion so Important?

How to Launch a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Programme

DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) In The Workplace

About The Happiness Index

The Happiness Index helps organisations measure the key employee engagement AND happiness drivers to power their people strategy.

Our unique platform offers the products, insights and tools to shine a light on your cultural health and empower management to drive thriving cultures.

Our neuroscience-based pre-built surveys measure the full employee experience - from onboarding to exit to empower and enable organisations to understand their people and create data-led action plans.


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