How to Measure Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Your Workplace

Practical, meaningful ways to track DE&I efforts

October 21, 2021


With the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the COVID-19 pandemic setting women’s careers back a decade, organizations everywhere are rightfully prioritizing diversity and inclusion. Not only is it an urgent and necessary social issue, but data also shows diverse businesses continuously outperform their less diverse competitors. We’ve written several articles on diversity and inclusion and the benefits of a diverse workforce—you can check them out here, here, and here.

As Global Diversity Awareness Month continues, we wanted to highlight a major challenge facing DE&I efforts: how to measure diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Setting goals and measuring DE&I efforts through tracking is a top priority for DEI leaders, a Gartner Survey revealed. Having demographic information and tracking underrepresented groups across geographies, however, is difficult. While “85% of D&I leaders cited organizational inclusion as the most important talent outcome of their D&I efforts,” only 57% currently use a metric to track DE&I. How does an organization determine if they are doing a good job in terms of diversifying their workforce? Measuring inclusion can be even more difficult. How do you measure how supportive your culture is and if your environment is one where everyone feels valued, represented, and equal? We’ve identified the following tools to help your business track its progress.

Gather Employee Feedback

Employee feedback is the quickest and most effective way to keep your finger on the pulse. While a variety of information types are necessary, direct feedback from your team is far more revealing than the hard data we’ll discuss later. Anonymous employee surveys are a simple way to gather feedback. These surveys should be completely anonymous for several reasons…

  • It gets better response rates. Employees concerned about their identity being connected to specific responses are less likely to participate.
  • You’ll gather more accurate, actionable data. Employees are more likely to be honest when their identity is hidden instead of offering answers they believe will keep upper management happy. The more honest the feedback, the more actionable it will be.
  • It establishes trust. Protecting employees’ identities signals you value every team member’s honest opinion regardless of seniority and that they can feel safe sharing their true feelings. It’s democratic and will lead to less bias.

But what should be included in your survey? After surveying 10,000 workers across the globe, Gartner’s Inclusion Index identified seven key aspects of inclusion: integrating differences, decision-making, psychological safety, trust, belonging, diversity, and fair treatment. According to Gartner, your survey should ask to what level employees agree on the following:

  • Integrating differences: Employees at my organization value and respect each other’s opinions.
  • Decision making: Members of my team consider ideas and suggestions offered by other team members fairly.
  • Psychological safety: I feel welcome to express my true feelings while at work.
  • Trust: The communication we receive from the organization is open and honest.
  • Belonging: People in my organization care about me.
  • Diversity: Managers at my organization are as diverse as the broader workforce.
  • Fair treatment: Employees at my organization who help the organization achieve its strategic objectives are recognized and rewarded fairly and equally.

Using an ordinal or interval scale, have employees rate to what degree they agree with each statement. The more they agree, the more inclusive the organization. It’s also beneficial to have a text entry portion at the end of the survey where employees can add additional thoughts and details that can’t be captured by a quantitative survey. Lastly, make sure to communicate why you’re conducting this research and why employees’ honest responses are so valuable.

Use Diversity Scorecards

Diversity scorecards should be conducted monthly or quarterly and should be shared with senior leadership to hold managers accountable. Scorecards can quickly identify early warning signs and problems in your organization. Scorecards should track:

  • The number of women and underrepresented minorities hired. Tools like Fetcher can optimize recruiting efforts to fill your pipeline with qualified candidates from diverse backgrounds. Our customizable metrics will help you understand which searches are delivering the results you want, and which ones aren’t, so you can find tactical ways to improve.
  • The number of women and underrepresented minorities promoted.
  • The number of women and underrepresented minorities who have left the company. If minority members of your organization are leaving at a higher rate than others, it’s a clear sign you have an inclusion issue. Make sure to always conduct exit interviews to determine why employees are leaving.
  • The percentage of women and underrepresented minorities in your organization in total and in senior roles.

Check out how Salesforce used its scorecard to improve its diversity metrics.

Implement Tech Tools

Today, there are plenty of platforms aimed at tracking different areas of diversity and inclusion. For instance, a George Washington University study found that when men are talking to women, they interrupt 33% more than when talking to other men. The Woman Interrupted app aims to change this unfortunate statistic by recording dialogue, analyzing, and reporting interruptions.

Technology can also help us monitor unconscious biases in emails and Slack messages. The AI software company, Text IQ, dedicated months of R&D with leading ethicists and business leaders to build an Unconscious Bias Detector. The Detector delivers a high-level and granular report to give managers insight into language issues and empower them to take action once aware of the problem. These kinds of metrics can also be tracked manually but the process is time-consuming, so check out what other tech tools are available if you are looking to start measuring your DE&I efforts quickly.

Communicate Results

Once data has been collected and analyzed, it needs to be communicated with leadership so action items can be established. It should also be shared transparently with the rest of the workforce so they can hold managers accountable. Make sure to include measurable goals with clear next steps. When data presents a problem, it can be tempting to manipulate numbers to present a more favorable outcome. Companies that do this are only hurting their own employees and futures. Only honesty will lead to a clear path forward and eventually, a more diverese, equitable, and inclusive workplace. However, tracking DE&I shouldn’t cease once you start seeing results. Track them regularly and on a long-term basis to make sure progress continues and avoid backtracking.

In an ideal future, we won’t need DE&I programs as diverse and inclusive workforces will simply be the norm. Until then, however, we need to do everything we can to ensure equity in the workplace. Employees won’t stand for performative efforts anymore. Almost 70% of all job seekers reported a diverse workforce to be an important factor when assessing job offers. To capture and retain top talent, you must make diversity and inclusion a priority, and lasting progress can only be sustained if you’re tracking the right metrics. Rather than just claiming to be working on diversity and inclusion efforts, having concrete metrics allows your business to showcase the real progress your team is making. Use the tools above to start measuring your efforts now.

Check out our other blog posts for more talent acquisition tips and insights into recruiting trends.

About Fetcher

At Fetcher, our mission is to introduce companies to the people who will help them change the world. Our full-service, recruiting automation platform automates those repetitive, top-of-funnel tasks, so you can focus more on candidate engagement & team collaboration. Simplify Sourcing. Optimize Outreach. Hire Top Talent. Learn more at

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