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October 4, 2022
The Swarm

Track DEI Progress

Keep up with your DEI goals by tracking both quantitative and qualitative metrics. Collect and compile your findings to tell a story that demonstrates your company’s continued DEI efforts over time.

1.Track your DEI numbers

As an established business, it will be relatively simple to track your diversity numbers and history of DEI practices like seminars and pay equity efforts.

If you are an emerging business or startup, it’s helpful to look at standards within your industry. What are your competitors doing to champion more inclusive work spaces? How can you improve on their methods? 

Setting this baseline will help you set goals and track your long-term progress. But how do you know which metrics to track?

2. Quantitative DEI Metrics

Identify impactful DEI metrics that give a clear picture of your demographic breakdown. Demographics can include race, ethnicity, gender, disability status, and sexual identity. Give space for employees to self-identify, and give them the option to opt out if they feel uncomfortable.

As a starting point, consider tracking these metrics:

  • Employees overall
  • Leadership positions
  • Candidate pools
  • Employee lifecycle
  • Promotions and compensation rates

3. Qualitative DEI Metrics

Qualitative data is just as crucial in tracking DEI progress as quantitative metrics. Surveys go a long way when it comes to understanding employees’ satisfaction with DEI initiatives. 

When composing your survey, keep in mind:

  • Avoid complicated language. Write questions straightforwardly, so that as a result respondents are easily able to decipher what you’re asking without getting confused or lost in a really convoluted sentence. See what we did there?
  • Keep it short. Respondents are more likely to lose interest and opt out of a  long questionnaire. 
  • Ask neutral questions. Double-barreled, emotionally-charged, or leading questions will confuse respondents and complicate your results.

4. Storing Your Data

Since some of the information you’re tracking is sensitive, your data needs to be stored in a secure database on a secured drive in a secure cloud-storage system. Avoid local systems like a desktop because technical malfunctions can lead to the loss of data. Your data system should have limited access, so consider password protecting or adding personnel-specific permissions. 

5. Data Storytelling

The more data you track, the more likely you are to uncover a compelling story. Use your data over time to demonstrate how your business has improved DEI (i.e. diversity, employee satisfaction), or conversely, how DEI has improved your business (i.e. revenue, productivity). 

Visualize your data in a captivating infographic. Color-coded charts and graphs make understanding your data more accessible and engaging. 

6. Publishing Your Data

Data transparency is an important step in holding your business accountable and goes a long way with potential employees and shareholders.

Craft case studies and regular progress reports to demonstrate your long-standing commitment to improving DEI. Publish your data and case studies alongside your diversity statement. 

Either way, you and your new data tracking system are ready to go! With DEI tracking in place, you can move on to diversifying your recruitment strategies.

Additional resources