Why measure inclusion?

website post banners

By Caitlin Bethell, Head of Psychology

Organisations have been measuring their diversity data for decades, yet the progress made has been slow.  Even now, in 2020, there has been little change across many organisations in terms of representation of their leadership teams.  For example, in 2017 the Parker Review Committee [1] were commissioned by the government to consult on the ethnic diversity of UK board of directors.  They set the target of at least one non-white director by 2021 for the FTSE 100, and at least one non-white director by 2024 for the FTSE 250.  It’s fast approaching 2021 and very little progress has been made.  37% of FTSE 100 companies have no ethnic representation on their boards in 2020, compared to 51% in 2017.  This only equates though to 11% (98 out of 868) of directors in the FTSE 100 being from an ethnic minority background.

This article comes in the same week the Football Association announced their commitment tackle racial inequality in the English game through meeting a recruitment diversity target.  The clubs that have signed up so far are agreeing to:

  1. 15% of new executive appointments will be from Black, Asian or other marginalised group background, with 30% female.
  2. 25% of new coaching appointments will be Black, Asian or other marginalised group and 10% of senior coaching appointments.
  3. 50% of new coaching appointments at women’s football clubs will be female, with 15% Black, Asian or other marginalised groups.
  4. Shortlists for interview will have at least one male and one female Black, Asian or other marginalised group candidate, provided applicants meeting the job specifications apply.

These commitments are fantastic, and we want organisations to make targets, but focusing entirely on diversity metrics is not enough.  As the old adage goes, “it’s not just being invited to the party, it’s being invited to dance”.  Organisations need to start looking at their culture and if they can create an environment which is inclusive.  Cultural inclusion, alongside diversity, is what needs to be measured and it’s important that we do.  Organisations with inclusive cultures have been found to drive innovation, welcome breadth of perspectives and truly understand their clients and customers.

Organisational culture can be difficult to measure as it isn’t just a single thing.  Culture is multi-faceted.  It is made up of behaviours, the systems within the organisation, the experiences of individuals and teams, the stories that are shared by investors, customers and employees.  More often than not, people attempt to measure culture through how engaged employees are or how well an organisation is performing.  This is where culture measurements can fall short, as the most important aspect to bear in mind when thinking about the culture of an organisation is how it makes people feel, which can be hard to quantify.

Organisations need to stop focussing on hitting a statistic and ensure that they create environment that has an inclusive culture.

This is why we need to measure culture and diversity with inclusion.  Inclusion can be measured, but there needs to be a focus on (1) behaviours – those of leaders and teams; and (2) the organisational systems e.g. the corporate governance, communications, understanding of customers, and supply chain.   When people feel included in their workplace, they feel like they belong, they feel that their voice is heard, and they are valued.  Through having these, inclusion can enable the creation of inclusive cultures.

In Diverse Company has its own unique patented methodology which measures inclusion: Inclusion Maturity Model™.  This gives organisations an annual inclusion measurement by assessing the behaviours of leaders, teams and employees and auditing the organisational system over several months.  By having a measure on behaviours, organisations can review this and be able to drive behaviour change slowly and gradually whilst monitoring it.  Through having a measure on the system, the policies and processes are provided with an accreditation which gives a benchmark, meaning there is a focus on what needs to change.

Measuring inclusion is important if we want to be able to move the diversity agenda forward.  Organisations need to stop focussing on hitting a statistic and ensure that they create environment that has an inclusive culture.  By doing this, businesses are enabled to grow, organisations can spot new opportunities and engage better with their employees and customers.  Companies who measure inclusion are more likely to build a productive and innovative environment, where people are not afraid to challenge and feel that they are equal.

If you would like to hear more about our Inclusion Maturity Model™ and how it can work for your organisation, you can visit https://www.indiversecompany.com/inclusion-maturity-model/ or get in touch with our consultants at info@indiversecompany.com.




[1] Ethnic Diversity Enriching Business Leadership: An update report from The Parker Review. (2020). Sir John Parker, The Parker Review Committee.

Related Posts