Employer Branding

How Can You Measure Success on a Diversity Program?

Priding yourself on being an organisation that boasts a fully diverse and inclusive workplace, but just how do you measure how well you’re doing compared to others? Do you simply count the number of diverse staff you have or is it a tick-boxing task in the recruitment process?

One thing is for sure and that is recognising the need for a diverse workplace will always put your head and shoulders above those who don’t. But just how do you measure it? Well, our panel of diversity and inclusion experts can tell you.

Natasha Broomfield-Reid

What gets measured gets done, fact. Accountability is a key driving in the success of diversity and inclusion training, and all too often in the past organisations have dipped their toe in the water and deliver a single course (usually unconscious bias) and seen little impact as a result. Instead organisations need to put in place a structured programme and clearly measure their impact.

Equal Approach has developed a new Return on Inclusion Tool to support organisation to measure the financial return of their inclusion programmes, which can evidence the return on investment of each pound invested in D&I strategies.

Natasha Broomfield-Reid, Head of Development at Equal Approach.


Caroline Stokes

Measure your situation at this point, have a vision for where you want to be in 1 years time, get buy-in from the organization with some steps on how you’re all going to get there – then track it from an activity and results level.

Caroline Stokes, Executive Headhunter & Coach. Founder of FORWARD.

Nicola Crawford

It’s always useful to have an open dialogue with your HR team, compare hiring stats to previous years, compare percentages of applicants from different groups and see if there are any trends to gauge successes or points for improvement. A staff survey can also be a useful tool in assessing how staff feel about equality and diversity in the workplace.

HR can undertake a study into pay equality and staff turnover should also be factored in along with exit survey responses.

Nicola Crawford, CFIRM, Chair of the Institute of Risk Management.


Joanna Abeyie

For me, I have always felt most proud of my involvement in a diversity scheme if talent had been retained and promoted in that industry or business as a result of it.

Getting your foot in the door is one thing, and in some cases diverse talent wouldn’t get an opportunity unless they apply via a diversity scheme because the businesses are not inclusive in their hiring practices and don’t have fair selection processes. But, if it’s just an internal exercise to appear to be doing the right thing then it’s just a brilliant piece of PR for the named business and nothing more. The real measure of success is how hard you’ve really tried as a business to set this person up for success and to retain them in your business, or business sector.

Joanna Abeyie, Managing Director, Hyden, SThree.


 Suki Sandhu

Measurement of diversity can be both sensitive and tricky. There are many different metrics you could use as a barometer. For instance, employee satisfaction surveys and feedback, tracking diversity, employee retention as well as how many diversity events you’ve held or supported. Sometimes it’s difficult to put these into place, so you could start with something simple like the number of employee resource groups (ERGs) you’ve established over the course of a year.

Suki Sandhu, CEO and founder of Audeliss.

Charlotte Sweeney

Measuring diversity and inclusion activity is important and, unfortunately, overlooked by some. Without this, it’s difficult to show the impact the work has had on the business as well as impossible to create your own business case for change.

It is important to know what you are measuring and, for the biggest impact, should be both diversity AND inclusion. When measuring diversity you should consider elements such as the demographic data from a representation point of view as well as throughout the whole employee life cycle (recruitment, promotion, access to training and development etc). When measuring inclusion you should consider elements such as employee perceptions by group via the employee engagement / opinion survey.

Charlotte Sweeney, Managing Director of Charlotte Sweeney Associates Ltd.


Sarah Nahm

When most people think about measuring the success of diversity and inclusion, what probably comes to mind is the commitment from large tech companies to release their diversity stats every year, and disappointment when progress is slower than hoped for.

Instead, listen to your employees. Find out what they care about. Is it unconscious bias education? Mentorship programs? Growth and development opportunities? More transparency around compensation? Would they like to see more underrepresented minorities in management? Use what you find to direct your strategy and set goals, and be sure to report out on progress and wins.

Sarah Nahm, CEO, Lever.

By Ushma Mistry

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