Companies have been working towards becoming more diverse and inclusive. It’s crucial to analyze these efforts by looking at diversity metrics. Only by assessing these metrics can they learn their actions' effectiveness and continue to grow.
Read about the different DEI metrics you should track.
What are diversity metrics?
Diversity metrics are the assigned quantitative values that help employers assess strategies to achieve a more diverse workforce. They are also valuable for tracking diversity and inclusion performance goals.
As an employer, monitoring these metrics allows you to see factual information on the costs and benefits of implementing your DEI initiatives so you can decide where to allocate more resources.
Why are diversity metrics important?
Organizations are responsible for ensuring that their staff reflects the communities they cater to and create an inclusive culture for them to become successful. Having your diversity and inclusion KPIs allows you to objectively measure your performance to help identify biases, fairness, and justice in the workplace.
Internally, knowing your DEI metrics can help you pinpoint risks, set DEI goals, prioritize strategies and evaluate the effects of your DEI programs.
Diversity KPIs also show evidence that you are an equal and fair employer, strengthening employee satisfaction, employer branding, and reputation.
6 Helpful diversity metrics
So how can you measure diversity and inclusion in your organization?
Hiring & Recruiting
Diversity in hiring can help increase your workforce’s range of skills and abilities, which is vital in expanding your customer base and accommodating each customer's needs. Reaching out to more customers means opportunities to make more sales and increase your company’s revenues.
When you want to measure diversity in your hiring process, here are some of the metrics to consider:
- Diversity in your candidate pool - receiving applications from job seekers from different backgrounds
- Diversity of the hiring panel - get interviewers of varying demographics like age, gender, sexual orientation, race, and level of skills and experience. It helps make diverse applicants feel comfortable because they can relate to one of these interviewers with the same background. It also prevents unconscious bias from creeping in during job interviews.
- Diversity of the candidates hired - the number of applicants given the job offer belonging to the underrepresented group
- Diversity in the source of hire - different recruiting channels used in attracting diverse candidates like social media, job boards, and career events
Among the metrics mentioned above, the number of diverse applicants versus the number of diverse applicants hired is the most important because you can see tangible information on the effectiveness of your diversity hiring process.
So if you notice homogeneity in your hired candidates, there are definitely things you can improve.
There are a few options to work on this: one is using software to eliminate biases in your job description to encourage more diverse applications. Another is gathering feedback to assess your employer brand: does it appeal to or speak to candidates of various backgrounds?
Review your talent acquisition strategies to detect biases, like expanding your internship recruiting to cover not only Ivy League universities but also local community colleges.
Employers must pay their employees equally if they want to boost employee productivity, creativity, and efficiency. Pay equity helps in attracting the best talent and retaining them.
There are two areas of concern currently affecting pay equity: pay disparity between genders and among races.
In the 2022 State of the Gender Pay Gap Report by Payscale, women earn 82 cents for every $1 made by men.
The gender pay gap is attributed to occupational segregation, educational attainment, and work experience. Moreover, women’s attempts to negotiate salaries can often be met with an unfounded perception that they are overly demanding, thus discouraging them from even making the attempts in the first place.
The pay difference is even more pronounced among different races. Workplace racial bias continues to place people of color at an economic disadvantage over their white counterparts at every level.
In the same Payscale study, American Indian and Native Alaskan women (who make $0.71 for every $1 white men make) and Hispanic women (who make $0.78 for every $1 white men make) have the widest gender pay gaps.
Another study found that for every dollar earned by a white man, Black men made only $0.51 and Latin men made only $0.73,
So how do you fix the pay inequity in your organization?
In the book Hiring for Diversity: The Guide to Building an Inclusive and Equitable Organization by Arthur Woods and Susanna Tharakan, here are a few questions you can use to determine if you have an equitable approach to your employee compensation:
Conduct a pay equity audit to determine the discrepancies and the reasons for such. Aside from obvious factors like seniority, education level, or job experience, audits also help clarify the unexplained reasons for pay gaps that are more likely connected to gender or racial biases.
According to Payscale, you can start your audit by looking at these four areas:
- Pay gaps are hidden in specific job titles or departments
- Underpaid high performers and overpaid low performers
- Significant differences in promotion rates, raise frequencies, and bonuses
- Men and women who do similar work but are not at the same job level
When organizations have strong people who come from diverse backgrounds, it sends a message to future employees that success is not limited to just one specific type of person. Representation not only gives a voice to those who were previously underrepresented, but it also gives hope for all of us to learn about people we might not understand or who are different from us.
Knowing the latest diversity statistics will give you insights:
- Yahoo published that only four Fortune 500 companies have black CEO as of February 2021
- Fortune reported that only 8% of Fortune 500 chief executive officers are women
- Mckinsey and Company studies revealed that women of color accounted for only 4% of C-Suite executives.
- Women of color only make up 4% of the computing workforce and almost no senior leadership roles despite making up 16% of the general population, according to a McKinsey and Company’s research
Ensuring equal representation of people from different segments in your organizational hierarchy may be difficult but not impossible. You can start by measuring the percentage of employees' demographics by level and function. For example, measuring gender diversity for middle managers provides information on challenges and opportunities.
If feasible, you can also analyze individuals across departments. When a position does not indicate responsibility or level, you can try counting the number of direct reports to members of underrepresented groups because it provides more accurate information on leadership representation.
To improve your diversity representation across your organization, you can start by implementing DEI employee surveys. Doing this can help discover missing or specific groups, from entry-level to leadership positions.
According to a report by Mckinsey and Company, only 86 women are promoted compared to 100 men getting promotions. And among the women promoted, only 71 Latinas and 58 women were promoted.
Diversity metrics related to promotion somehow go hand in hand with representation.
Creating career-advancement opportunities for diverse employees increases employee morale and engagement. It encourages people looking to move up in the company to perform better, which has a significant impact on organizational depth and growth.
To find out if there is inequality in career advancement options, track promotion applications across demographics: gender, race, educational background, etc. Monitor the time it takes each group to get promoted. Also, compare the learning and development opportunities per segment.
A gap among groups may suggest performance vs. potential biases that favor a particular class.
DEI means fostering a workplace that's accessible and comfortable for everyone... People who feel at ease at work are more likely to stay, thus reducing employee turnover rates.
And companies employing individuals from the underrepresented group (like ex-convicts) experience high employee loyalty and low turnover rates. Manufacturer Nehemiah's average employee tenure is 5½ years. It has 150 to 180 employees, and about 80 to 85% of its workforce is considered “second chance.”
You can measure how many diverse employees leave your company by knowing your actual employee retention numbers. Then segment these data according to age, race, gender, skills, and experience.
People resign from their jobs because of toxic company culture, mismanagement, and lack of career advancement. If a particular group of employees experienced these work conditions, it's no surprise that these people are quitting because they don’t feel a sense of belonging to the organization.
Meanwhile, involuntary separation of employees from a company happens due to economic reasons, company restructuring, or a poor fit between the employee and the company.
However, if only employees from a particular demographic were given the pink slip, the organization could be guilty of discrimination.
How do you improve your diversity employee retention rates?
First, identify if these folks resigned or were retrenched. Then collect data from exit interviews and engagement surveys to find reasons for quitting. There should be an investigation for involuntary attrition targeted at particular individuals to discover indications of conscious or unconscious bias.
Employee satisfaction should be part of your diverse employee retention strategies.
If you have a high employee turnover from an underrepresented group, this may indicate employees were unhappy with their job or feel left out.
How do you measure your diversity employee satisfaction rates?
Check employees that are leaving and staying. If you realize that most diverse employees are resigning, this signals inclusivity problems, which points back to employee satisfaction.
One way to address this is to make sure your company is accessible to all like, developing work benefits that appeal to different types of people:
- Providing equipment for employees with disabilities
- Paid parental leaves for working parents (women, men, or gender non-binary) who want to take care of their new children. This can also help with your employee retention
- Tuition assistance or student loan refinancing for employees who want to finish a 4-year college degree
How to choose which DE&I metrics to track
Diversity in organizations is a work in progress; hence there are no standard diversity metrics to follow. Metrics need to be tailored to your organization’s goals.
Every organization should take a personalized approach in selecting which metrics they want to measure.
Create a diversity metrics dashboard, so you track those important DEI metrics.
When choosing which metrics to include to measure diversity and inclusion, here are things to consider:
Business goals - Many studies have shown the benefits of a diverse workforce, like enhanced creativity, increased productivity, and higher revenues. Think about these benefits when you decide which metrics to pursue.
Do you want to increase the number of diverse employees in your management team? Do you want to ensure that each department has an equal number of male and female members?
More than complying with the new HR trend of employing people from various backgrounds, you also want to think about business goals that directly impact your ROI or help you achieve more sales.
For instance, if you notice that a high percentage of Gen-Z people are using a product you offer, it makes sense to employ more Gen-Z staff.
Size of your company - compared to smaller companies that practice a typical recruitment process, it's easier to roll out diversity hiring in larger firms doing volume hiring because you can measure the percentage of diverse individuals recruited because of a larger candidate pool.
More than age, gender, tenure, race, family status, and educational background, leading organizations can even go granular with their metrics: tertiary institution, sexual orientation, disability, health status, employment status (full-time, part-time, project-based), professional expertise, immigration status, religion/faith, veteran status, languages spoken, etc.
DEI strategies are an ongoing process that needs to be measured over time. Monitoring your diversity metrics is essential in evaluating the effectiveness of your company’s DEI initiatives. And setting achievable goals and tracking progress can help you become a genuinely inclusive company!