This week I have participated in two external discussions with industry peers and academics around the importance of DEI data. It feels that this has been a subject that has been much talked about in the last 18 months, in particular.
Significant progress is being made, we are all working hard to better understand the diversity of our organisations, but what more do we need to do to enhance and add value to our data collection and analysis efforts?
Following is a summary of the key messages that were shared this week:
- Diversity data collection seems to be embedded in many organisations, however, the collection of data across global businesses in different geographies continues to be challenging
- Employee communications and engagement is critical to inform the overall DEI data strategy and to secure wide support to maximise disclosure rates
- Where possible it is important to take an intersectional approach when looking at data, to better understand the challenges faced by individuals
- How best to infer insights / trends from qualitative data derived from engagement, diversity or pulse surveys is proving to be a challenge. AI tools are evolving that help to analyse and visualise text and commentary, but overall, more attention is required here
- Qualitative data takes more effort and work, it's best to be realistic and start small when embarking on this journey
- All agreed that combining quantative and qualitative data will deliver more robust and compelling DEI insights
- How to measure inclusion? The attached article references the Gartner Index of Inclusion, which sets out their approach to the key components. Organisations are investing in and using different engagement and pulse tools to support the measurement of inclusion, but it is apparent that further focus is required here.
In summary, we are all making progress with DEI data collection, however, further investment and effort needs to be directed at combining both quantative and qualitative efforts. Ultimately this will enable us to direct our overall DEI investment in the right areas.
What do you think? Get in touch with your thoughts and feedback on this important topic.