Getting to the root of discrimination or a lack of inclusivity in the workplace is difficult. Making the move to monitor, record and publish what is going on in your company is an essential step. At Aspiring to Include, we would encourage every company to do this, and on this page, we will give you the hows and the whys.
Why Are EDI Figures Important?
EDI stands for equality, diversity, and inclusion. They are critical aspects within a workplace and they are subjects employers should be thinking about often.
EDI figures can tell us what is going on within our companies. In exact terms. Without such figures, we might hazard a guess that our diversity approach is going well. However, this might not be the case at all.
Monitoring, recording and publishing EDI figures is about taking the steps to a more inclusive workplace via a data-driven approach. It is about being open and accountable for what is going on within your company and then taking data-informed steps to sort out any problems or misalignments. Accountability is a big part of this practice.
When you publish your EDI figures, you are showing both your employees and clients that you care about diversity. You are showing that you are committed to doing better. In our modern climate, this is crucial. Solidifying your company image as diverse and inclusive is what keeps your company alive in 2022 and beyond.
So, how do you go about it?
Let’s discuss the steps.
1. Collecting Data
There are several different levels to collecting data about your company, including your employees and their levels of diversity.
The most basic thing you need to find out is the demographic of your employees. This can help you to pinpoint exactly how diverse your company is. Particularly so in terms of the protected characteristics detailed in the Equality Act 2010, Once you have the demographics of your employees, you can then compare them to the national average and see how you square up.
Once you have this data it is important to start to think about why and how you have the staff you have. If you are below average, or even just average, you will want to think about why certain groups are underrepresented in your company. Are your recruitment tactics non-inclusive? Are your job adverts geared in a certain direction? Is your brand presence non-diverse? It is not enough to simply find out the data and publish it, you need to look behind the data and explore what it means.
Aside from your staff’s own diversity levels, you will then need to widen your data collection to think about your staff’s experience with EDI. Questions you use could include:
- staff member’s experiences of discrimination
- their perceptions of inclusivity in the company
- their ideas on how to improve equality, diversity and inclusion
- Implicit association tests (to root out unconscious bias)
It must be mentioned that partaking in these surveys must always remain voluntary. This could skew the results. However, you should always be trying to encourage inclusion, not enforce it. You could look at participation numbers as a reflection of how many people feel safe disclosing their identities to their company. If they are low, back to the drawing board on what you can do to improve this.
Data should always be collected with the intention of improving things. We want to know where we can improve and how. We aren’t looking to get anyone in trouble or find out something “bad” about our staff. It is all about forward movement.
2. Publishing Your Corporate Strategy
Once you have worked with your internal data, you need to come up with a strategy to counteract any red flags. Whatever your plans are, they should be negotiated, accepted and observed by the entirety of your company.
Although improving a company culture does start from the top, it cannot be imposed from above. Instead, your employees have to trust that you are committed to the plan, so they can hold you to account. They also need to trust that they can be open about their identity without fear of discrimination. To help achieve this, you have to publish your corporate strategy openly and honestly.
Being open about your plans means that you have nothing to hide. The data you collected was for a purpose and you are going to work towards that purpose in plain sight. Doing so can build a lot of trust and respect throughout your staff. This, in turn, has positive outcomes on their motivation, loyalty, and time they stay in their role. Being open and accountable about EDI has a lot of benefits for you as an employer within your company.
The practice also has a lot of benefits in store in terms of your clientele and customer base. And, indeed, for marketing your company as inclusive and diverse to prospective employees.
If you develop your company brand as genuinely diverse, whilst being transparent about the reasons why, you will attract a much larger candidate pool when recruiting. You will also attract a more diverse and inclusive customer base. People want to work with and buy from equal, diverse, and inclusive companies. So it is vital to show that this is who you are. Customers are far more likely to buy from a company they consider socially responsible, so publishing your corporate strategy is basically free advertising.
The Benefits of Monitoring, Recording and Publishing EDI Figures
By collecting data and comparing it to general data for the U.K. workforce, you can better identify what parts of your company are not diverse or inclusive.
When you collect this data, you can also explore it. You can look into the possible reasons why this might be happening and who is responsible for it. Looking for specific trends within the data will help with this. It is within one department? Are the decisions made by one particular recruitment panel? Is there a clear, cohesive structure for disciplinary measures? Questioning all of these things will help you work on your internal EDI picture going forward.
Given how hard it is to find and root out things like unconscious bias, monitoring, recording and publishing diversity data is the most effective way. It is vital to know exactly what is going on inside your company in an empirical way. Once things are out in the open, you can work on them effectively and honestly.
Showing your customers, clients, and staff members that you are committed to monitoring EDI and making any necessary changes and improvements is very important. It discloses your identity as a diversity-positive employer and attracts the right attention.
Being a diversity-positive employer is one of the best things you can be. It holds so much power for your company and your staff alike.
If you want to get involved with EDI and level up your company, you can do so with Aspiring to Include and our packages for employers. You can use our inclusive and diverse services to help reach a wide pool of candidates and to recruit them equally and fairly.
The benefits that inclusivity has to offer are impressive, so why not get started on the right path going forward? Take a look at what we can do for you, right here.