Diversity and inclusion have become top priorities in the clinical research field as companies work hard to increase representation in terms of gender, ethnicity, neuro-diversity, age, race, and more. A major reason why companies struggle to improve diversity in the workplace is that it is difficult to measure. Inclusion can be even harder to measure because it is even more abstract. Here are some of the strategies companies are using to measure diversity and inclusion.
Improving diversity begins during recruitment, which means it’s crucial to measure the effectiveness of your recruiting and hiring strategies as it relates to diversity and inclusion. When recruiting or hiring, it is important to consider potential in addition to qualifications and to neutralize any unconscious bias you might have. It is also important to use neutral language when describing roles and to use the same questions and criteria to evaluate all candidates.
An important aspect of measuring diversity is tracking representation. At any given time it’s important to be aware of the composition of your workforce so you can track representation by gender, race, age, ability, and other diversity groups. It’s also essential to set goals so you can give direction to the metrics you collect. For example, if your goal is to have 50% of your workforce to be women within five years, you need to track hiring and retention data to see if gender representation is moving in the right direction.
The composition of your workforce is the most obvious measure of your company’s diversity, but it isn’t the only one. Moreover, diversity doesn’t necessarily equate to inclusion. You have to measure other factors, such as the attitudes of your employees, to gain a more complete sense of how inclusive your workplace is. Do your employees who are members of minority groups feel as safe and as valued as your other employees? Who is receiving promotions? Who is taking parental leave? These types of questions tell you more about how inclusive your company culture is.
Transparency is essential when measuring diversity and inclusion because it makes leaders more accountable to their employees. One way to achieve this is to compile your metrics into a scorecard and share it with everyone who works at the company on a regular basis. This will signal to your team that you are serious about improving representation in the workforce and allow them to see for themselves whether the company is becoming more or less inclusive.
Diversity comes with a variety of benefits, such as improved performance and higher engagement. Yet, measuring diversity and inclusion isn’t straightforward. You have to make sure that diverse groups are not only represented in your workforce but they feel like an equal part of your organization.
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