Putting Diversity and Inclusion Data at the Top of the Agenda 

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Collecting diversity and inclusion data is often at the top of many HR team’s agendas. However, we are seeing a current trend where these ‘data projects’ are deemed too difficult, daunting, and intimidating to followed through. In other instances where data is being collected, best practice approaches are not being taken. For example, diversity data is often limited to gender, age and sometimes ethnicity, and inclusion data is omitted completely.

The Clear Company are here to help dispel the myths that D&I data collection is too difficult and help your organisation begin your journey to robust and thorough data collection that objectively informs your understanding of D&I at your organisation.

Understanding the diversity of your organisation sets the scene for informed planning and decision making and it is important to understand diversity in its richest sense.

Best practice diversity monitoring:

  • Collect data for each of the protected characteristics and beyond (e.g. social mobility)
  • Use this data across the employee lifecycle and processes e.g. measure diversity across each stage of the recruitment process, and across pay bands to understand where there may be adverse impact
  • Conduct intersectional analysis to understand the unique experiences of individuals with multiple protected characteristics
  • Continuously review and report the data e.g. after every recruitment drive, review and report on diversity data across each stage of the recruitment process to understand where diversity may ‘drop off’
  • Benchmark diversity data against local demographics

The second key point of data to understand is how inclusive your employees feel the culture is.

Best practice inclusion monitoring:

  • Use valid and reliable scales to measure culture and inclusion
  • Ensure questions are easily understood such as removing acronyms and double-barrelled questions
  • Compare inclusion data to diversity monitoring data to understand the unique experiences of inclusion of different people in your organisation
  • Include the questions as part of an annual engagement survey and report transparently on an annual basis with associated action plan

It is all well and good venturing to collect diversity and inclusion data but positioning cannot be ignored. Your communications associated with asking employees to disclose their diversity monitoring data and to participate in diversity and inclusion engagement surveys must be well thought out and sensitive to the ask to share personal data.

Best practice communications:

  • Open and honest dialogue about why employees are being asked to disclose data
  • Open and honest dialogue about how employees will benefit from sharing their data (e.g. improving organisational inclusion and fairness)
  • Reassuring employees that data will be anonymous and where it isn’t, clarity over who will have access to the data, how will the data be kept safe and confidential so it is not used against them
  • Inclusive and inviting language and tone to create a positive experience and positivity around participation
  • Transparency about sharing results and consequent action as a result of the data to give confidence that the data will be used for the greater good

It is time to recognise that diversity and inclusion data monitoring should be at the top of the agenda and carried forward as a business imperative, particularly as we begin our diversity and inclusion journeys. Putting the processes in place to collect diversity and inclusion data not only helps identify immediate risk points of adverse impact that can be quickly solved to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace, but also allows you to track progress overtime ensuring D&I remains on the agenda.

Find out more best practise on D&I Data Collection here. 

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