Data Driven Diversity + ROI

A superb case-study I just discovered that was published earlier this summer, outlines many of the strategies EqualTogether is working on enabling employers to seize—and, huzzah, make measurable strides from! Private-facing functionality for employers to see how their employees performance reviews fare by age, race, and gender, are among the powerful Employer Dashboard tools slated for development in the year ahead. 

A great snippet from the article on how employers can act on diversity analytics to see a quick returns, is below:

One of our customers shared a story with me recently. Their VP of Culture and Diversity was puzzled that despite hiring  a more diverse workforce, their minority ratio hadn’t improved. By digging into their full range of data and quickly analysing results for different locations, teams, roles, tenures, pay grades and more, they were able to uncover and pinpoint the exact cause of their challenge. They found that  three groups of specific minority employees were walking away faster than they were hiring. Diverse employees in a certain department and role, with a certain age and tenure, were more likely to resign. They were then able to cost and implement programs to address these very specific groups, and get quick results. More importantly they were able to use evidence to explain this to their executive leadership team.

By having a clear picture of the overall health of your organization’s diversity levels, you can identify areas for improvement, then implement diversity programs with laser-guided precision. By tracking progress over time, you can demonstrate the ROI of your efforts.

My sole "nit" with the article, is that they reference gender equity as "the female ratio." This just feels abrasive. Why? Because first and foremost, it demonstrates a poor understanding and subsequently, a superficial plan-of-attack around rectifying gender imbalance across roles and throughout a workforce. 

Gender inequity isn't just about getting more women on staff, or more women in specific roles. It's about balance. It's about ensuring that fathers on staff receive the same opportunities in schedule flexibility to tend to parenting matters, as mothers. It's about ensuring that men who get promoted, aren't just coming from the office cliques that watch sports & chug beer together, or participate in other, innocently gendered, unofficial team gatherings. It's also about ensuring that the pool of admin assistants and other assistive roles, is well balanced between men and women—and that (as is often the case) it's not mostly a group of attractive young women.

Targeting superficial and poorly understood KPIs, rarely works. Hacking ecosystems is what gets results. Not simply establishing a problem, with a follow-up targeted metric identified as "problem solved!"

Yes, when the oil tank in a car runs dry, that's a problem—but it's a problem because the piston-rings need lubricant to carry up through the cylinders, lest the friction caused from a dry piston's travel cause the metal parts to overheat, bulge in the process, and eventually seize. Which is both dangerous at-speed, and really expensive to repair. As a mechanic though, I will admit—it is always fun to pull a piston with some gnarly seizure-skids on the side, and a toffee-twisted/shattered crank-arm to match. :)