6 Questions to Ask When Tracking Your DEI Strategy

Workplace diversity has been a growing priority in the HR space, with more companies seeking to create a fairer and more representative workplace. Today, more organizations are adopting Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategies, moving beyond Diversity and Inclusion and emphasizing equity as a key component for achieving workplace parity.

So what does equity look like in the workplace exactly? According to Catalina Colman, director of HR and inclusion at Built In, “Equity is the process of ensuring that processes and programs are impartial, fair and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual.”

Incorporating equity into your diversity strategy requires some reworking of your team’s methods and goals. You may also need to question the systems and supports that you currently have in place to carry out your diversity efforts.

Does your workplace provide opportunities for minority employees to learn, grow, and contribute? What systemic barriers limit your diversity efforts? How can your company continually ensure opportunities for all employees, regardless of their background?

Once your teams move towards establishing an equity-centered mindset, it’s important to set out measures for tracking your DEI strategy. Planning out which information you seek to gather as well as setting measures of success are important for achieving tangible results.

Below, we’ve outlined some key questions for you and your teams to consider when tracking your Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategy:

1) Are Your Diversity Goals Well-Defined?

Defining which dimensions of diversity you seek to measure is critical for establishing which groups you will be monitoring. This will allow you to set targets and goals as well as determine which data you collect. Thinking about diversity dimensions will also allow your teams to develop diversity plans with groups that may have been overlooked previously.

In this step, it’s important to remember that workplace diversity goes beyond just gender and race. Other groups to consider include ability, educational background, expertise, and parental status, among many others.

2) Is Your Applicant Pool Diverse?

Many workplace diversity problems can largely be addressed through tackling applicant diversity. Analyzing applicant demographics is a critical way to see which groups are underrepresented and provides opportunities to source candidates differently.

These inequalities can often be the result of gendered language, rigid and specific skill requirements, or posting jobs to very few job boards. Tracking applicant diversity is a great way to address and uncover ways your teams can create greater applicant representation.

3) Does Your Hiring Process Invite Too Much Bias?

Having a diverse applicant pool is only the first step. Candidates are screened and interviewed, and this process can be riddled with barriers and biases that may hinder DEI efforts.

Many biases related to a candidate’s perceived background including race, gender, ethnicity, and education that occur during resume screenings. Interview procedures as well as the demographics of the interviewers themselves may also be contributing factors.

Analyzing how your team’s current recruitment practices have impacted diversity measures is a great step to take towards more fair recruitment. Comparing key metrics such as candidate pool diversity vs the demographics of hires is another way to pinpoint areas for making greater progress with your organization’s DEI strategy.

4) Are All Groups Represented Uniformly Across Departments?

While hiring more employees from underrepresented groups is a great accomplishment, it’s also critical to see where these employees are placed. Historically, some groups have been underrepresented in certain fields, such as women in tech and racial and ethnic minorities in STEM jobs.

Setting goals to increase diversity across all departments is a great way to work towards diversity in hiring. Equality and uniformity with respect to job placement is important for helping increase representation of all groups across your entire organization.  

5) Are All Employees Rewarded Fairly?

A key component of DEI is equity across employee experience and ensuring that everyone, regardless of their background, is provided equal compensation and promotion opportunities throughout the time that they are a part of your team.

Monitoring these measures across time is a great way to pinpoint who is being left out of rewarding opportunities. Being critical of your company’s criteria for rewards and approaching your analysis with an equity-centered mindset to look for biases is another greater measure to undertake.

6) Are Retention Levels Consistent Across All Groups?

Finally, paying special attention to employee retention can tell you a lot about how your company is doing to support employees of all backgrounds. Who tends to stay with the company versus who leaves after a short time? Which employees express more grievances with their workplace? Do employees from underrepresented groups feel supported during their time with your team?

Tracking employee retention can ultimately help you gain a greater understanding of employee experiences of workers from all backgrounds. This will allow you to move forward towards addressing biases and barriers and make a more inclusive and supportive environment for all.