Diversity and Inclusion Measurements

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Diversity and Inclusion Measurements

Diversity and Inclusion Measurements: Best Practices

Best practices for companies to address and measure diversity and inclusion gaps include linking diversity and inclusion metrics to business outcomes, defining the diversity dimension to measure, and insisting on accountability.

1) Link Diversity and Inclusion Metrics to Business Outcomes

  • Companies and organizations should have metrics in place to determine how successful their diversity and inclusion efforts are in achieving diversity and inclusion goals.
  • Favorable business outcomes may be financial or non-financial.
  • An organization seeking "to leverage diversity for increased innovation, relevant return on investment metrics are the number of patents or examples of process or service innovation".
  • Linking diversity and inclusion to business outcomes gives company executives reasons to care about the success of diversity and inclusion.
  • Companies with market growth goals from inclusion and diversity efforts should measure their return on investment.
  • Companies that are seeking to retain talents from diversity and inclusion should "translate the results of their effort on retention into cost savings". Companies seeking to improve engagement should measure output per employee.

2) Define the Diversity Dimension to Measure

  • Companies should not confine their metrics to data collected from existing systems.
  • Companies should extend their diversity measurement to metrics that are "relevant to the local context and business leaders".
  • Leading companies extend their diversity measurements to sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status, and socio-economic background.
  • Factors that determine relevant diversity issues include historical, political, legal, and cultural environments of different regions and countries.
  • Managing diversity effectively requires measurements that reflect different contexts. Diversity adaptation should take place at a national level.
  • Setting realistic benchmarks and communication with employees and local leaders is important in order to achieve "a deep understanding of local challenges".

3) Insist on Accountability

  • The best way of ensuring diversity and inclusion efforts are "sustained is to assign accountability".
  • Companies set themselves up to account by collecting a baseline before commencing on a diversity and inclusion initiative and having a vision on effective presentation of data.
  • Best-practice companies "set expectations early about how measurement results will be used to hold employees accountable".
  • After measuring and obtaining data, companies should use the data, support behavioral change and "process improvements where they are needed, pursuing root-cause analysis until effective solutions are defined".

Research Strategy

We started by searching through articles, blogs, and publications relating to diversity and inclusion. Our primary focus was on best practices for companies to address and measure diversity and inclusion gaps. In compiling this information, we examined case studies and opinions of experts.

After finding a large list of articles and blogs with information on diversity and inclusion, we sorted out these articles and blogs in terms of relevance and consistency. We then listed out the most common and repeatedly mentioned best practices.

Diversity and Inclusion Measurements: Case Studies

Nike was named the best place to work for LGBTQ Equality due to its diversity and inclusion efforts. According to Euromonitor, Bank of America was "the world’s best bank for diversity and inclusion " in 2018


  • In 2018, Nike introduced measures to improve the company's diversity and inclusion. It funneled additional "resources into programs designed to ensure leadership accountability and create hiring opportunities for minorities".
  • The company's 10,000 managers worldwide underwent mandatory diversity training. Employees of the company also underwent unconscious bias awareness training.
  • A diversity talent acquisition team was put in place to ensure the availability of diverse candidates for open positions. Nike also created "a leadership training program to help employees enroll in business school" and provided mentorship programs for minorities.
  • In 2018, Nike launched Amplify, an "internal development program for high-potential women and minorities at the director and senior director levels".
  • The company also corrected pay inequity by raising salaries of 10 percent of its employees.
  • In 2019, Nike was named the best place to work for LGBTQ Equality. It had a score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation annual Corporate Equality Index.
  • Over a period of one year from 2018 to 2019, Nike increased "VP-level representation of U.S. underrepresented groups by 3% to 19%". It also succeeded to reach global pay equity for "white to underrepresented groups in the U. S".
  • The company's 19% of vice presidents in the United States are from underrepresented groups. This is a "3% point increase from 2017 to 2018".

Bank of America

  • Bank of America has also successfully measured diversity and inclusion gaps. The company has programs that focus on sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability status, and socio-economic background.
  • Bank of America's employee networks provides opportunities for employees to connect with each other, "develop leadership skills, build strong ties with communities, broaden views of diversity, and address issues that matter". The company has 11 networks with more than 140,000 memberships.
  • Bank of America was the first financial services company to incorporate sexual orientation into their non-discrimination policies. The company supports their LGBT+ employees by offering them paid leaves when starting and growing their families and "specialized support for employees embarking on a gender transition".
  • The company also gives people with disabilities opportunities to achieve economic advancement and mobility. The company's Disability Advocacy Network (DAN) connects employees with a disability to opportunities and also offers them training.
  • Since 2010, DAN has grown by 70% and has about 7,000 members globally.
  • According to Euromonitor, Bank of America was "the world’s best bank for diversity and inclusion " in 2018. Over 40% of Bank of America's workforce in the US, was ethnically and racially diverse. The company's pay equity with the minority group is 99%.
  • Over the last four years, the company has hired 7,500 servicemen and women.