How can you improve Diversity Equity and Inclusion at work?

Ruby Dark

Jun 3, 2024

How can businesses prioritise DEI? To get it right, you need a holistic strategy. It’s not about tick-box exercises or once-a-year initiatives. DEI needs to be woven into everything you do as a business.

Like any other business deliverable, DEI needs resources, attention and accountability to make sure you deliver on promises. You need a 360-picture of how well you’re currently doing when it comes to DEI. With this insight, you can develop a tailor-made, data-driven strategy to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in your workplace.

How to develop a DEI strategy

To start developing your DEI action plan:

  1. Compare your business against benchmarks in your industry. This will give you a sense of how well you represent the local community and how you compare to your peers.
  2. Understand how employees experience your workplace. Send out an employee survey to assess their perceptions of inclusion. It’s not enough to just look at the overall score though, you need to dig into the gaps between different employee groups (such as men and women, white people and ethnic minorities).
  3. Analyse your company processes and policies. You should have transparent structures to guide manager decisions across all of your people processes, including hiring, pay, performance and promotion. Codify this guidance in policies that employees can view.
  4. Set goals to improve. It’s important to have specific targets along with the actions you’ll take to achieve them. Your DEI goals should set the vision for where you want your business to be.
  5. Nominate responsibility so that DEI doesn’t slip down the to-do list. Set a specific owner and deadline for each task in your strategy. Senior leaders should be responsible for part of the strategy to show your employees that improving DEI is top priority.
  6. Monitor results so that you can measure the impact. Learn from your successes and focus efforts on actions that make the most difference.
  7. Refresh your DEI data at least every year so you can find out if priorities have shifted. Hopefully, you’ll see huge improvements by running a data and science-backed DEI strategy.

Examples of strategies to improve equality, diversity and inclusion

Here are some examples of successful DEI strategies and actions that drive change:

  • Build transparent and fair processes across your people processes to give people equal opportunity to thrive. Read how Beamery doubled their scores for Equality and communicate EDI with their team.
  • Develop a gold-standard hiring process to minimise bias and broaden your reach. Read about how CharlieHR increased the representation of ethnic minorities across the company by 67%.

Gathering DEI data

Your DEI strategy should be personalised to suit your business priorities. For example, if you’re lacking diversity across the company, you need to shift your hiring strategy to reach underrepresented talent. If you have a high churn rate of new hires, you should probably pay attention to your onboarding practices.

The best DEI strategies are informed by data. With data, you can diagnose what you need to work on and focus attention on actions that make a difference. It’s important to measure metrics regularly so you can gauge the impact of your actions.

Here’s some data you’ll want to gather:

  • Diversity of junior employees, senior employees and leadership team
  • Promotion rates of different employee groups
  • Rates of pay across different employee groups
  • The exit rates of different employee groups
  • Inclusion gaps between employee groups in openness, fairness, voice, belonging and psychological safety

And much much more.

DEI data can be overwhelming, but Fair HQ makes it simple. With our platform, you can explore all of your DEI data in digestible reports. We give you actionable guidance to improve, tailored to your DEI needs.

With this insight, you’ll have the confidence that you’re taking actions that really make a difference.

With Fair HQ, you can translate your values into action. Say goodbye to half-baked initiatives that don’t pay off. Say hello to real transformation.

How can Fair HQ help you improve?

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Backing it up

Abad, M. V. & Wynn, A. (2022) Building Resilience in Diversity and Inclusion Programs. MITSloan Review.

Beach, A. A., & Segars, A. H. (2022). How a Values-Based Approach Advances DEI. MIT Sloan Management Review.

Creary, S. J., Rothbard, N., & Scruggs, J. (2021). Improving workplace culture through evidence-based diversity, equity and inclusion practices. The Wharton School.

Cox, G., & Lancefield, D. 5 Strategies to Infuse D&I into Your Organization. Harvard Business Review.