Diversity & Inclusion: The Metrics We Need!
March 23th, 2022 | Diversity & Equality, From our CEO
“What gets measured gets done” is a famous maxim attributed to thought leaders like Tom Peters, Peter Drucker, Edwards Deming, and so forth. Despite its doubtful origin I still think it is true that metrics can drive behavior, and that is important to measure the right things.
The bad news is that corporate Diversity & Inclusion initiatives are not measuring the right things. The result is no real progress on Diversity & Inclusion objectives. Behaviors are not changing.
In short, things are not “getting done”! People still act biased as they have always done.
Things are not getting done!
The problem with Diversity & Inclusion initiatives is that almost all of them use quota-based metrics to assess their progress. How many women do we have in the leadership team? – How many foreigners do we have in our talent pool? – What is the share of Afro-Americans in managerial positions?
These metrics are easy to track, but here is a caveat.
When we use quote-based metrics (Like mentioned in this article – Sorry, having one woman on your board does not make you diverse), we are not measuring the right things. We are not measuring impact variables. We are not measuring what drives the behavior.
Analogy: We measure the number of apples, not the quality of the apples… and certainly not the roots of the tree, that will tell us if we can deliver the same quality output next year
Instead, we need to measure, how the workforce interacts with each other – its behavior.
It is only by nurturing the right interaction we can achieve the diversity & inclusion objectives, and make sure we can achieve it every year.
Instead I recommend we use metrics like:
- How coherent is our diverse workforce in its collaboration? – Remember coherence drives performance and diversity is good for innovation (Inspiration: 18% of your employees are not collaborating)
- What is the bias in our talent, resource allocation and performance management practices, and how much is caused by blind spots? – E.g. are younger women not supported in the same way as younger men, when they reach out for help?
- How does team or business unit performance correlate with degree of diversity? – Remember diversity should produce a business outcome.
- Where are the hidden barriers in collaboration? (Also read this one: Who are you collaborating with? – Chances are she is just like you)
I believe facts are essential to achieve a more inclusive behavior.
Facts are essential to achieve a more inclusive behavior
People are less likely to act on their conscious or unconscious biases, when the facts are made transparent, and they know they might have to explain their behaviors.