Diversity Metrics: What to Measure and How

“You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” This famous quote, often attributed to management consultant Peter Drucker, still has a lot of wisdom to impart today.

Keeping track of workforce diversity metrics helps companies start DEI initiatives, adjust course, keep track of wins, and celebrate successes. For businesses interested in improving their diversity and inclusiveness, though, measurement can be a challenge. How can workplaces measure something which seems abstract, such as diversity? How can a business know when they are inclusive enough?

This is where diversity metrics can help.

Key takeaways:

  • Measure DEI metrics across the employee lifecycle, from hiring to leadership diversity, to ensure inclusion at every level.
  • Use AI and advanced analytics to track DEI metrics accurately and efficiently, reducing bias and providing clear insights.
  • Demonstrate the positive impact of DEI initiatives by linking diversity data with performance indicators such as sales, customer satisfaction, and innovation rates.
  • Engage leadership in DEI efforts through training on unconscious bias and regular accountability to build a culture of belonging.
  • Utilize tools like Diversio to capture, analyze, and act on diversity metrics, ensuring continuous improvement and accountability in DEI initiatives.

What are the key diversity metrics & why do they matter?

Diversity metrics in the workplace vary from company to company. What you want to measure will depend in part on your business’s needs and goals. Perhaps your team is generally diverse but that’s not reflected in leadership, so you want to keep track of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) efforts in the C-suite specifically. Or perhaps you have implemented a new DEI program and need to measure how effective your spending is. Either scenario will require tracking different numbers.

Overall, however, it makes sense to base diversity metrics on the employee lifecycle to make sure inclusion is happening at every level of your company. Let’s take a look at some diversity metrics examples to see how that might work:

  • Hiring metrics. Measuring the diversity of hiring team members, applicants, & eventual hires can help pinpoint potential areas of improvement. For example, if not many diverse applicants are applying, it may be valuable to consider ways to attract applicants from all backgrounds. If diverse talent is applying but final hires do not reflect this, it may be informative to explore any unconscious bias in the hiring process.
  • Advancement metrics. Examine who is being promoted, when, & at what levels. Are all employees being given comparable pay increases & opportunities for advancement after a specific amount of time on the job? Are some groups having an easier time getting promoted than others?
  • Resource access metrics. If you offer mentorships, training, or other resources to help employees advance their careers, are all employees using these opportunities? If some employees are not taking advantage, it may be useful to investigate further to see whether accessibility is an issue.
  • Retention metrics. Measuring attrition & employee turnover among specific groups of employees can be eye-opening. If women, workers living with disability, or other employees are leaving at a higher rate when compared with the workplace overall, it could indicate that a specific group is not being included or made to feel welcome & supported.
  • Leadership metrics. Do management & leadership reflect the diversity of your workplace?
  • Employee satisfaction metrics. Job engagement & job satisfaction are harder to quantify, but actively seeking worker feedback & conducting employee surveys can help companies get the pulse of their organization & uncover any cultural obstacles that may affect inclusion.
  • Accessibility metrics. An audit of accessibility can mean determining whether bathrooms are accessible, whether parental leave is available, whether there is adequate accommodation for team members living with disabilities, & whether you recognize all types of holidays from a range of cultures.
  • Partners & supplier metrics. Looking beyond your company, you may also wish to examine whether you work with vendors, suppliers, service providers, partners, & other organizations owned & operated by underrepresented groups.

Looking at these sample diversity and inclusion metrics, you need to consider which metrics make sense for your organization. At the same time, consider the ways diversity and inclusion require a holistic approach because they affect every part of your company. If you are most concerned about leadership diversity right now, for example, you may still wish to consider whether any unconscious bias in vendor relationships and team hires could also be impacting leadership. By examining DEI efforts holistically by looking at multiple metrics, you may be able to get a clearer picture so you can develop an actionable roadmap for your company.

How are companies tracking diversity metrics?

Companies have many tools at their disposal. They can conduct employee surveys or seek feedback from individual team members. They can conduct internal audits or spend time asking questions and having honest workplace discussions about diversity and inclusion.

The development of new AI and machine-learning technologies has also helped companies track metrics more easily. Diversio’s system, which includes natural language processing and matching algorithms, for example, is an example of the ways companies can use technology to measure DEI efforts accurately.

What are some challenges to tracking DEI metrics?

Tracking diversity metrics in the workplace is important. Companies with diverse team members are 35% more likely to have higher financial returns when compared with their industry overall, and tracking is a powerful way to ensure you’re making measurable changes in your DEI initiatives. Of course, these efforts are a journey for most businesses, with a few challenges:

  • Time: Companies need to both find time to devote to their efforts & need to time their metrics gathering correctly.
  • Accuracy & interpretation: Gathering data is only the first step. Businesses need confidence that the snapshot they have gathered is reliable & then they need to interpret the information correctly. If a company is not getting enough diversity in job applications, for example, is the issue the wording of a job ad, where recruiting efforts are being focused, or another issue?
  • Reaction: The ultimate goal of examining sample diversity & inclusion metrics & gathering data is to make changes. One challenge which can arise is that decision-makers at an organization may have differing opinions on how to act on specific data.

A third-party vendor like Diversio can help with some of these challenges. The system allows for ongoing, accurate metrics capture. An AI-powered Recommendation Engine develops a bespoke plan for making changes, while datasets and an AI-powered DEI Dashboard allow for easy retrieval and comparison of metrics data gathered.

Integrating diversity metrics with business outcomes

Linking diversity metrics with business outcomes provides concrete evidence of the benefits of DEI initiatives. For example, if a company tracks how diversity improvements correlate with increased sales, higher customer satisfaction, and enhanced innovation rates, it can clearly see the positive impact on its bottom line. Diversity efforts and DEI strategy should be seen as integral to the company’s success, embedding them into core business strategies rather than treating them as standalone projects.

Use of technology

Companies can implement tools for blind hiring practices to minimize bias during the selection process. These tools can analyze skills and qualities objectively, ensuring a fair recruitment.

Organizations can also leverage advanced analytics or business intelligence platforms that offer custom dashboards for visualizing diversity data. These platforms can help track and measure the effectiveness of DEI initiatives more efficiently.

Useful resources to track DEI metrics in your organization

Creating a culture of belonging

An inclusive culture starts with proactive leadership. Executives and managers should deeply engage in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, not just endorse them. Training on inclusivity and unconscious bias can help leaders identify and address biases effectively. Making DEI goals part of their performance evaluations holds them accountable and demonstrates a genuine commitment to fostering an inclusive workplace.

Equally important is ensuring that all employees have a voice. This means creating platforms for regular feedback, such as surveys and focus groups, where employees can express their concerns and suggestions. It’s also vital to provide equal opportunities for professional development and advancement. Encouraging employees to share their cultural celebrations and providing spaces for reflection can make everyone feel valued and respected.

How can Diversio help?

If you’re not tracking your DEI metrics, you may be relying on chance to create a more diverse and welcoming workplace. You also have no way to quantify whether your DEI efforts are working or need some tweaking.

Diversio uses AI technology to help you capture, analyze, and act on diversity metrics at your organization. Our unique pulse survey gathers initial data, which can be viewed on your AI-powered DEI Dashboard, helping you track pain points and DEI improvements over time. A bespoke plan keeps you on track and ensures you attract and retain the right talent while our Client Success Team is there to address challenges and provide support as needed.

We also offer certification and the other tools you need to make a measurable difference at your organization. Try a demo of Diversio today to see how this powerful technology can streamline your DEI approach.

Diversio DEI Expert
Diversio DEI Expert
Diversio's DEI expert shares everything about diversity that you need to know.
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"We needed to slice and dice the data in multiple ways and visualize the data in clear and accessible ways and you know Diversio’s survey and platform ticked all the boxes."
Ekua Quansah
Head of EDI, Canadian Institute for Advanced Research

Diversio helps companies become 43% more profitable and reduce employee turnover by 23%

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