How to monitor progress towards your D&I goals
Here’s a good general rule to go by: If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Keep on top of your D&I goals by regularly tracking progress and following up with the managers responsible. You’ll be able to adjust expectations and offer support where necessary to ensure your diversity targets remain in clear sight.
There are no quick fixes when it comes to balancing diversity on your team. The road to success is long and sometimes rocky, and you’ll need the whole team to pull together if you want to reach your targets. Even if you’ve taken care to set specific, motivational goals with clear lines of responsibility, sometimes they can feel distant.
To keep the fire burning, regularly monitor progress towards your goals and share updates with everyone involved. This keeps diversity goals at the top of your priority list and enables teams to share successes and overcome struggles together.
✅ Checklist of actions:
- Share D&I goals with managers involved in meeting them
- Nominate a senior team member to monitor progress and hold managers account
- Review progress regularly
- Offer support and share learnings across teams
🎓 Example bank:
Sharing progress towards goals is a powerful incentive. Take Pinterest for example. Without specific targets, . So in 2015, they tried out a new approach: they set public diversity goals, regularly updated progress, and gave lots of support to those involved.
The figures speak for themselves. Here’s what they achieved
• 49% of employees were women, up from 42%
• The percentage of women in leadership almost doubled from 16% to 30%
• 8% of US engineers were from underrepresented ethnic backgrounds in 2020. The figure was less than 1% in 2015.
1) Share your D&I goals with managers
Managers need to know exactly what is expected of them. Share team-wide diversity targets with relevant managers once you’ve broken down your company North Star goals.
Diversity goals may slip down the list of priorities for managers in fast-paced and time-crunched teams. A great way to keep diversity as a key concern is to have your diversity targets live in the same place as your other strategic KPIs or OKRs. It prompts managers to review D&I goals just as regularly as other key business metrics.
2) Nominate a senior team member to monitor D&I goals
This should be someone with an in-depth understanding of your D&I goals, recruitment practices and promotion process. They should also have time carved out specifically to offer support to managers struggling to hit diversity targets.
It’s important for this to be a senior colleague so that they have the authority to hold managers to account. The Chief of Staff, Head of People or COO are perfect candidates.
Once you’ve decided, make sure to spread the word! It’s important for managers to know this person will regularly check in on their progress towards targets — it acts as a simple nudge towards staying on track.
3) Review progress regularly
At least every quarter, meet with talent managers to review their progress.
- Gather diversity figures from managers at least quarterly, especially after recruitment drives.
Some companies choose to gather diversity data at the point of hire and some collect it even earlier at the application stage. However you gather diversity data, it’s sensitive information, so make sure to check you’re being GDPR compliant.
- Monitor metrics of diversity relevant to your goals.
Track how many men, women, and people from different ethnic groups you hired and promoted. Are you on track to meet your targets?
Sinead Daly, Director of Culture and Experience at Beamery, recently told us all about her approach to setting goals for D&I. She believes it’s important to aim high whilst also keeping the finish line in clear sight, and this is key to how she’s thinking about building accountability into Beamery’s strategy:
“Diversity and inclusion targets are often a “5 years’ time” problem, but when you’re working in startups, in five years things could look totally different. You have to set a specific road map that keeps things in perspective… We have a bigger goal in mind, but we need to have a year on year focus if we want to move the needle.”
4) Offer support
Once you’ve had a look at the figures, you’ll be able to tell whether teams are on track to hit targets or whether they’re not keeping up. This means you’ll be able to adjust expectations and offer support where necessary.
- Where teams are (close to) achieving their targets, celebrate! Share their approach with other teams – it’s important to learn from good practices.
- If teams are falling behind, explore:
• What are the challenges the team has come across that has made it difficult for them to achieve the target?
• Are they implementing objective and bias-free processes, or sticking to the old status quo?
• What training or resources could you offer to help managers progress?
✨ Hint: If you find out that a team isn’t on track to hit their targets, take a look at their processes to find out what they might be missing.
For example, if a team is lagging behind on their target of hiring 15% more women this year, then review their job postings, interview practices, sourcing of candidates and other recruitment practices to see where improvements could be made.
Diversity goals aren’t silver bullets. You need the organisational structures and processes that make it possible to reach a diverse candidate pool. And it doesn’t stop at recruitment. It’s crucial to foster an inclusive work environment so that your company can harness the power of diverse teams. Read our other posts to find out more about how to embed diversity and inclusion across your business.
Backing it up
The Behavioural Insights Team (2021) ‘How to set effective targets’ How to improve gender equality toolkit
Bohnet, I. & Chilazi, S. (2020) ‘Goals and Target for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’ Harvard Kennedy School White Paper
Whelan, J., & Wood, R. (2012). ‘Targets and Quotas for Women in Leadership: A Global Review of Policy, Practice, and Psychological Research.’ Centre for Ethical Leadership, Melbourne Business School.
Morgan, C. (2017) ‘What We Learned from Improving Diversity Rates at Pinterest‘ Harvard Business Review