Bridging the gap: diversifying your approach through data

Written by Carmen Watson - Chair and Managing Director, Pertemps Ltd

With technologies advancing, and our population increasingly diversifying, the growth of people analytics is rising. Research continually shows that bringing in more diverse perspectives boosts businesses innovation and financial performance.

Events in recent months have shown that people often feel that their voices are not heard. Businesses need to foster a culture where all employees feel included and appreciated. But I’m pleased to see an increased focus on race as employers bolster their efforts to understand the issues ethnically diverse employees face. Other voices need to be heard and be represented at all levels and meaningful action needs to follow.

Diversity monitoring should be an integral part of your organisations strategy if you want to promote inclusivity and diversity within the workplace. Data and analytics enable organisations to identify the gaps within their diversity and inclusion strategies, as well as giving a view of their current workforce composition.  Through the use of both, we are in a better position to create an environment where everyone can reach their full potential and by applying the two, create a more diverse and inclusive workplace.

A culture of data underpins a culture of inclusion. Building an inclusive culture takes time, research and thought. But data’s not always enough to deliver meaningful change. Collecting data analytics is beneficial but shouldn’t be the only focus. Data helps you to understand the problems your company faces and contributes to your wider solution, but it’s not a shortcut to diversity.

Often businesses state what they should do with their D&I approach and ask questions later, but struggle to justify their reasoning. When using diversity monitoring within your D&I approach, you need to be confident in explaining to yourself and others why you are using it. Always consider the following: why should we collect this data; how will we use the data and how should we collect the data?

It’s important to regularly review your diversity and inclusion data to assess the effectiveness of the changes that you’ve made. Data can help you to assess the current lifecycle of your employees, do you need to review your recruitment practices? It’s important to involve HR and recruiters within the conversation, their expertise and the data will enable you to build a narrative to why the numbers look the way they do. By examining your employee composition, you can highlight and assess any gaps.

It’s imperative for businesses to collect D&I data as part of their wider drive to create a more inclusive future. By utilising data, it helps businesses to create meaningful and realistic goals/targets to ensure they are continuing and maintaining a successful D&I approach.

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