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Measurement

Measurements in diversity work can be used in a variety of ways. In this toolkit, we are concerned with using measurements to create a baseline picture of how an organization looks and feels before beginning diversity work and to track progress once a diversity effort has begun. There are an infinite number of measurements to do this. The following are examples of potential measurements. Not all measurements will be relevant to your organization and what you want to accomplish. Some may not be available.

Quantitative Measurements for managers within the US

Many quantitative measures focus on how an organization "looks" and rely on traditional affirmative action definitions of diversity. Since almost all US companies are required to have an Affirmative Action plan, you will want to make sure that your diversity effort positively impacts the representation, hiring, pay equity, promotion and turnover of women and people of color. Quantitative measurements also can measure supplier diversity and the results of multicultural marketing efforts.

Representation: What does your organization look like in terms of visible diversity? You should analyze your organizational unit and identify the percent of men, women, Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. Are these percentages consistent with similar organizational units within your company? Outside your company? Which groups are under-represented? The Recruiting section has some ideas for expanding the sources of hiring and accessing all available talent. If applicable, you also should analyze the demographic diversity of technical employees and compare the percentages to non-technical employees within your company as well as to other companies in the technology industry.

Hiring: Who is getting hired within your organization? You should analyze the demographic diversity of new hires within your organization as well as the demographic diversity of the applicants and candidates who received interviews. Does this reflect the range of diversity available in the pipeline? Are certain groups less represented? What does the diversity of applicants and hires look like for external candidates vs. internal candidates? What does it look like for various recruiting sources? The Recruiting section has some ideas for expanding the sources of hiring and accessing all available talent.

Development: How many employees have an individual development plan? Dissatisfaction with development drives employees to seek opportunities outside the company. Having a development plan helps employees to see beyond their immediate position to longer-term opportunities, which ties them to the company, thereby preventing future turnover. In addition, written development plans have been found to be helpful for the advancement of women and people of color.

Pay equity: Are women, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans being paid the same as white males in similar positions? The human resource department can conduct a pay equity review to determine if all employees are being paid the same for similar responsibilities. You should review this data to make sure that there are no discrepancies.

Promotion: Who is getting promoted within your organization? You should analyze the promotion rates of men, women, Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans within your organization. Are the rates similar for men and women? Are the rates similar for Whites and people of color? If not, then you will need to research potential reasons for the disparity. The Career development and planning section may give you some ideas for resolving the disparity.

Turnover: Who is leaving your organization? You should analyze your voluntary and involuntary turnover by demographic category. If the turnover rates for each demographic group are not similar, then you will need to research the reasons for the disparity. You also may want to look at the retention of high performers. Some companies set goals to retain a certain percentage of high performers; for example, at least 90%. The Retention section of this toolkit will give you some ideas for decreasing turnover and improving retention.

Supplier diversity: What percent of purchases are made from women-owned and minority-owned businesses that are suppliers to the company? Customers and partners expect a company to have a robust and diverse supplier base. Without one, a company may lose customers to a competitor with a stronger commitment to supplier diversity.

Multicultural marketing: What have been the results of your efforts to market to multicultural communities within the US? The population of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians and Native Americans is growing. Many companies tailor their marketing messages and programs to these different constituencies. You should be familiar with your company's programs and successes within these major groups.

Quantitative Measurements for Senior managers within the US

In addition, senior managers will want to consider the following measurements:

Representation of executive employees: What is the visible diversity within the executive population? You should analyze the executive population – usually defined as the direct reports to the CEO – and identify the percent of men, women, Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. Are these percentages consistent with the rest of the organization? Which groups are under-represented?

Representation of senior managers: What is the visible diversity of the direct reports to executives? You should analyze the direct reports to executives and identify the percent of men, women, Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. Are these percentages consistent with the rest of the organization? Which groups are under-represented? The Career development and planning section may give you some ideas for resolving the disparity

Representation of senior management pipeline: What is the visible diversity of the people most likely to replace the direct reports to executives? You should analyze the people most likely to replace the direct reports to executives and identify the percent of men, women, Whites, African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. Are these percentages consistent with the rest of the organization? Which groups are under-represented? The career development and planning section may give you some ideas for resolving the disparity.

Quantitative Measurements for managers outside the US

Many quantitative measures focus on how an organization "looks", for example, the percent of women as compared to the percent of men, or the percent of minorities as compared to the majority culture.

Representation: What does your organization look like in terms of diversity? You should analyze your organizational unit and identify the percent of men, women, and minorities. Are these percentages consistent with similar organizational units within your company? Outside your company? Which groups are under-represented?

Hiring: Who is getting hired within your organization? You should analyze the demographic diversity of new hires within your organization as well as the demographic diversity of the applicants and candidates who received interviews. Does this reflect the range of diversity available in the pipeline? Are certain groups less represented? What does the diversity of applicants and hires look like for external candidates vs. internal candidates? What does it look like for various recruiting sources?

Development: How many employees have an individual development plan? Dissatisfaction with development drives employees to seek opportunities outside the company. Having a development plan helps employees to see beyond their immediate position to longer-term opportunities, which ties them to the company, thereby preventing future turnover. In addition, written development plans have been found to be helpful for the advancement of women and people of color.

Pay equity: Are women and women being paid the same as males from the dominant culture in similar positions? The human resource department can conduct a pay equity review to determine if all employees are being paid the same for similar responsibilities. You should review this data to make sure that there are no discrepancies.

Promotion: who is getting promoted within your organization? You should analyze the promotion rates of men, women, and minorities within your organization. Are the rates similar for men and women? Are the rates similar for minorities and people from the dominant culture? If not, then you will need to research potential reasons for the disparity. The Career development and planning section may give you some ideas for resolving the disparity.

Turnover: Who is leaving your organization? You should analyze your voluntary and involuntary turnover by demographic category. If the turnover rates for each demographic group are not similar, then you will need to research the reasons for the disparity. You also may want to look at the retention of high performers. Some companies set goals to retain a certain percentage of high performers; for example, at least 90%. The Retention section of this toolkit will give you some ideas for decreasing turnover and improving retention.

Qualitative measurements

Qualitative measurements can be outcome-oriented or activity-based. Outcome measures focus on how an organization "feels", for example, the perceived level of inclusion felt by all employees. Activity-based measurements assess the robustness of an organization's diversity effort in its recruiting, retention and training areas.

Outcome measures

Employee inclusion: What are the results of employee satisfaction surveys? Most companies survey their employees on a wide range of work-related issues. You should be aware of the major findings of any employee research and the actions or programs that result from it. In addition, if available, it is useful to analyze the employee survey results by demographic categories to identify which issues are most important to each group.

Customer feedback: What has been the customer feedback on your diversity programs? Changing customer demographics means that your customers will be evaluating your visible diversity as well as the robustness of your diversity effort. You may want to ask current as well as potential customers for what they perceive are critical diversity issues for your organization.

Employee groups: Do you have employee identity groups at the company? How many employees participate in these groups and/or their events? Do these groups operate within the US or globally? Active employee identity groups are typically found at companies working on diversity issues. These groups can be a resource for their constituencies, provide honest feedback to human resources and senior management, and be an integral part of an overall diversity effort.

Activity-based measures

Recruiting activities

The robustness of your recruiting focus can be assessed by answering the following questions:

  • Has everyone involved in interviewing candidates received diversity training?
  • Have all job descriptions been reviewed for superfluous credentials, experiences and criteria?
  • Are diverse interviewing panels assembled for all job openings?
  • Have policies and benefits been reviewed and improved to attract a wider range of employees?
  • How many diverse interns and co-op students does your organization have?
  • How many relationships have been formed with schools that have diversity in their student body?
  • How many partnerships have been formed with organizations that cater to the needs of minority and other diverse candidates?
  • How many partnerships have been formed with community organizations?
  • Have all position openings been posted in publications and websites that cater to demographically diverse employees?
  • Retention activities

    The robustness of your retention focus can be assessed by answering the following questions:

  • How many employees have an individual development plan?
  • How many employees have attended training classes/courses to enhance their development?
  • How many employees have taken advantage of some type of development opportunity?
  • What is the diversity of employees being offered high-risk, high reward assignments?
  • How many employees are participating in a formal mentoring relationship or program?
  • How many employees are involved in community organizations or events?
  • How many employees are taking advantage of flexible work hours?
  • How many employees are taking advantage of telecommuting?
  • Training activities

    You can track the number of employees who have participated in diversity training as well as the evaluations from the training sessions. You should review the employee evaluations of such training for insight into potential diversity issues in your work environment as well as to assess the effectiveness of diversity training.

    Diversity commitment

    Answering the following questions can assess the extent of your diversity commitment:

  • How many times have you communicated to your employees on diversity, in writing, and in person?
  • Have you recognized diversity champions within your organization?
  • How many community organizations that serve diverse groups are you involved with?
  • Have you evaluated your employees on their commitment to addressing diversity issues?
  • Have you established on-going mechanisms to provide vital feedback on your diversity effort?

  • About the Leaders' Toolkit on Diversity and Inclusion

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    Web-based Leaders' Toolkit was originally developed by Technology Workforce Partners, a consortium of high technology companies that worked collaboratively on diversity issues in the workplace from 1995-2005.

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