Guides to improving diversity and inclusion within the workplace regularly focus on three key steps: understanding company culture, prioritising interventions to improve it, and tracking progress to increase accountability. Yet businesses still lack the tools necessary for measuring these in the most effective way.
Two of the most common pitfalls firms face when seeking to make a substantive improvement in D&I are generalised training with minimal flexibility and diversity roles that lack authority. To ensure that inclusion initiatives really make a difference and that D&I champions can properly navigate the problems buried in long-established company cultures, it’s time to realise that inclusion needs to be measured more granularly than attrition and retention only.
Capture the data that counts
Currently, companies are collecting D&I data from two ends of the spectrum. At one end, generic engagement-type data from annual surveys, and at the other, data from whistleblowing solutions or exit interviews. But neither of these sets captures the real lived experience.
InChorus, now two years old, was born from an understanding that not just companies but whole industries have not been capturing the best data around inclusion. We compiled a report looking at technology solutions around the world, and of the 200-plus solutions included, over 95% were focused on how you bring diverse talent in. In other words, there has been very little innovation so far to focus on inclusion.
Our belief is that the key to unlocking more inclusive environments lies in everyday behaviours, interactions, and the lived experience for different demographics. Leaning into the long-studied academic field of microaggressions – a much truer gauge of what company culture is really like – we developed a web app that allows employees to share these incidents anonymously in 60 seconds.
The aim of this is not to handle each individual case but rather when viewed in the aggregate, companies can view their macro cultural trends. These behavioural trends can be used to steer interventions, which in turn enables better measurement of the effectiveness of solutions and interventions that are put in place.
Return on Inclusion
Let’s use the example of a spike in sexist banter. The data shows a 25% rise in these incidents this quarter on last. You can now react to that insight as you see fit. At the end of the next quarter, you can measure the effectiveness of your response. Did sexist banter continue to rise, plateau, or drop? In this way, we can move from a scenario where we only have generalised or unhelpful inclusion data to a much more empowered position where we not only have the data to unearth insights, but also to measure the effectiveness of our actions. We call it Return on Inclusion.
While there might be much goodwill surrounding D&I across an industry like FinTech, translating this into effective action has always been an immense challenge. ‘Culture’ and ‘Inclusion’ can themselves be nebulous, unactionable words, and in discussing systemic racism or sexism we often lack the data from the ‘system’ itself to start making real improvements. InChorus serves to pull that data, and in turn develop a whole new framework and evidence base from which to tackle institutional and structural inequalities. By helping to break down Inclusion into everyday behaviours, this data can reveal the best course of action to take in order to truly progress and ensure that both microaggressions and micro-affirmations are recognised.
As further regulation and legislation are likely forthcoming, it is increasingly important that progressive organisations start to consider which datasets they capture around inclusion, not just diversity. In turn, this enables a more proactive approach to preventing serious incidents, which is in everyone's interest.
Please visit the InChorus website to learn more about how you can audit, benchmark and track how inclusive your organisation truly is.