Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Survey

Diversity, equity, and inclusion is good for business. Companies that invest in diversity report seeing a number of advantages, such as an increased ability to attract talent, greater innovation, and improved financial performance.

A diversity and Inclusion program that stands out!

Understanding the basics of DEI

Before setting out on your DEI journey, it is important to ensure that you understand what DEI is and align your understanding of its three core components: diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here is how we define and differentiate them:

  • Diversity is defined as the range of human differences, including but not limited to gender, sexual orientation, disability, and age. For most organizations, diversity is the first step to DEI, as it addresses who employees are, but not how their work experiences differ.
  • Equity is the concept that all employees deserve access to the same opportunities to grow, develop, and achieve while also acknowledging that there are advantages and barriers faced by certain groups that create imbalances. As not everyone comes from the same starting point, equity recognizes that organizations need to adjust practices to meet people where they are.
  • Inclusion is the act of ensuring that employees of all identities feel welcomed, valued, and actively engaged. An inclusive workplace ensures that each individual feels like they are a part of the collective and that each member is given the same rights and opportunities.

Two other key concepts are necessary for understanding DEI. The first, belonging, is essential to whether an employee feels secure, supported, and empowered to be their authentic self at work. A key outcome of inclusion, “belonging” directly impacts how engaged and committed someone feels at work.

Finally, intersectionality is defined as: “The complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups.”

In other words, various aspects of a person’s identity interact and intersect in unique ways. These different identities can reduce or compound the (dis)advantages somebody faces at work and in society. Building a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive world requires policies and practices that acknowledge employees’ whole selves.

In that sense, intersectionality can be thought of as a critical framework that organizations should apply to every DEI endeavor.

Best Practices to Take On Your DEI Journey

DEI is not the responsibility of one person or team, and we should not treat DEI that way either. Rather, DEI is a responsibility that should be collectively shared and prioritized by every employee within your organization. As you go through your journey, consider the following best practices:

  • Understand who your employees are. Accurate information and data on your employees are necessary for setting a solid foundation for any DEI work. Keep in mind that data from human resource information systems (HRIS) may not always be accurate. Incorporating self-reported demographics can help mitigate the shortcomings and fill in the gaps existing in your HRIS data.
  • Conduct Inclusion surveys to understand the employee experience differs across demographics. Pay close attention to participation rates, large spreads in scores, and areas that are known to typically affect people from underrepresented backgrounds, such as “voice” and “fairness.”
  • Choose the right methodology for your organization. Every organization is unique, and what works for one company may not work for the other. For instance, you may find that starting with an engagement survey before sending out a complete inclusion survey works best for you. Other organizations may find that regular pulse surveys are more suitable for their company.

Whichever approach you choose, setting clear expectations with your employees on why and how the company will use the data will ensure that you are building is sufficient to take meaningful DEI action.

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