DEI Measurement: Ask Catalyst ExpressJul 13, 2023
To go beyond performative policies, organizations must hold themselves accountable for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) by forming concrete, measurable goals and monitoring progress. Implementing self-identification options for employees, auditing talent management decisions and outcomes, and distributing employee engagement and inclusion surveys are common approaches in building a data-rich DEI infrastructure. Disclosure of DEI metrics and goals illustrates a deep strategic commitment to a fair environment and should be a universal corporate practice.
Measurement is critical for monitoring and resolving pay inequities. The Gender Pay Gap: Ask Catalyst Express offers resources on implementing holistic organizational solutions to closing the gender pay gap and keeping it closed.
For organizations starting a diversity initiative, the following entries in the Ask Catalyst Express series will be especially helpful:
Measuring for Change
Measuring for Change is a group of DEI advocates, corporations, academics, and trade organizations that supports the adoption and use of a set of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure gender and other types of diversity in their organizations. The KPIs include:
- Percentage of representation on an organization’s board.
- Percentage of representation by employee category.
- Pay equality: the ratio of compensation by employee category (i.e., equal pay for equal work).
Catalyst Measurement Resources
- Beginning a Measurement Process: A Tool for DEI Leaders Supporter Exclusive
Understand Your Organization’s Equity Gaps, Challenges, and Areas of Opportunity
- The Vital Signs Toolkit Supporter Exclusive
- Determining Actions for Inclusive Policies and Practices Supporter Exclusive
Hold Leaders Accountable
- How to Hold Your Organization Accountable to DEI Goals Supporter Exclusive
- Boston Scientific: Accelerating Progress for Women by Creating Equal Opportunities for Growth Supporter Exclusive
The first steps in accountability are setting goals and measuring progress over time. Boston Scientific therefore set annual DEI goals for each member of its Executive Committee, which can be cascaded to managers throughout the organization. In 2019, the company then invested in building more advanced capabilities within its Talent Analytics and Insights (TA&I) team. The TA&I team built the firm’s first robust DEI dashboard featuring data visualization, which is updated monthly for leaders. The dashboard tracks hiring, promotion within and across business units, and attrition metrics by gender, ethnicity, region, age, tenure, and career level, among other characteristics. The TA&I team is also exploring ways to measure other dimensions outside of the United States and Puerto Rico, where asking about race and ethnicity may be prohibited, to capture as much of employees’ full identities as possible.
- Enbridge: Informed Insights and Inclusion Supporter Exclusive
Enbridge shares its Diversity Dashboard with all employees, with the ability to segment the data by job level, functional area, and geography, including trending information on hiring, promotion, and turnover rates. Enbridge further shares its representation goals publicly and reports on progress. Within the energy industry, this level of transparency is groundbreaking.
- The Hartford: A Deliberate and Courageous Transformation Supporter Exclusive
The Hartford enhanced its performance goals for DEI by launching its Unit DEI Planning Process in 2021. Every year, all 16 of The Hartford’s units—with the help of their unit DEI councils—create these customized plans. CEO Chris Swift then personally reviews them and finalizes the score, based on recommendations from the Chief Human Resources Officer and Chief Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Officer. To ensure that the scoring is transparent, the company has sharply defined “foundational,” “good,” and “best” performance characteristics for each of its four pillars (accountability, inclusiveness, brand, and talent), setting very clear expectations for all employees. The Hartford takes this process a step further by combining these scores with qualitative feedback that focuses on how the work is accomplished.
- Promises vs. Progress: 2 Keys to Keeping Employees Feeling Good and Staying Put
When employees perceive that their organization is held accountable for DEI goals, they are twice as likely to feel included, be engaged, and intend to stay with their employers.
- Intersectionality: When Identities Converge
Adopting an intersectional framework at work starts with asking critical questions of yourself, your employees, and your organization. Start with reevaluating or revamping your approach to metrics.
- Towards a More Equitable Future: The Catalyst CEO Champions For Change
Establishing a baseline of the current racial and ethnic diversity at your organization is a critical step toward positive progress. Outside of North America, gathering consistent and accurate data on race and ethnicity can be challenging. Consider the tips in this report to jumpstart your efforts in collecting reliable data.
- Inclusive Self-Identification Supporter Exclusive
- Catalyst Measuring for Change Event: Nuts and Bolts: Building and Growing Your DEI Measurement Process Supporter Exclusive
- Measuring Diversity in a Global Environment Supporter Exclusive
- Propelling Change Through DEI Measurements Supporter Exclusive
A Brief Note About Benchmarking
Catalyst does not have a benchmarking service. Freely available benchmarking data can be difficult to find and sometimes may not even exist. We have attempted to gather what is publicly available, understanding that while external benchmarking can be useful, it doesn’t give a complete picture of an organization’s talent pipeline. Catalyst believes organizations should seek solutions through internal benchmarking to identify the organization’s own strengths, challenges, and opportunities. The Vital Signs Toolkit will help you ask the right questions to gain insight into your own organization’s talent pool.
Gather External Data
- Spreadsheet of Organizations with Publicly Available Diversity Data Supporter Exclusive
- To receive this, please submit a request.
Other Benchmarking Resources
- Women in Business Grant Thornton
- Women in the Workplace Lean In / McKinsey & Company
- Spencer Stuart Board Indexes Spencer Stuart
- Overview of BLS Statistics on Employment U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
- EEOC Statistics U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- Corporate Diversity Database USA Today
- Gender Data Portal World Bank
- Global Gender Gap Report World Economic Forum
Do you need additional resources or questions related to measurement? The Catalyst Information Center can help.
Return to Ask Catalyst Express.