diversity, equity and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives are often considered an issue that can be resolved by intuition by some segment of the human resources team. However, in reality, it needs to come from a data-driven approach that encompasses the entire workforce.
Remuneration is the primary aspect that companies usually consider when it comes to treating employees fairly. However, negotiating and agreeing on the need for equality does not mean that it will be achieved on an organizational scale.
Particular attention should be paid to removing inequalities in the areas of attracting and hiring candidates, integration, performance appraisal, compensation and promotion.
In a recent Mercer survey that included data from more than 1,000 companies in 54 countries, 81% agreed that it was important to have a plan to advance gender equality, but only 42% actually had a place. This suggests a suggestive attitude, indicating that companies are happy to talk about the issue without directly addressing the issue.
Despite the fact that women make up about half of all college-educated workers in the United States, they are underrepresented in positions of power – only 8% of Fortune 500 companies are headed by women, and incredibly, Colored by only 1% of women. In addition, the last US census showed that women who are employed full-time are paid an average of 17% less than men.
While steps have been taken to ensure equal pay, such as Canada’s Pay Equity Act, which mandates that men and women in the public sector be paid equally, this does not cover the private sector. Given that the Women’s Policy Research Institute estimates that equal pay will not be available until 2059, much work remains to be done.
Particular attention should be paid to removing inequalities in the areas of attracting and hiring candidates, integration, performance appraisal, compensation and promotion. Companies need to think about initiatives that are backed by objective tools to drive progress, identify problems and strategize solutions. This is where data can be a great tool for providing insight into DEI: by highlighting shortcomings and areas where there is bias.
Get started with data collection
The first step is to create a data set so that tangible metrics can be used and turned into actionable decisions. To do so, diversity and inclusion authorities must be given the opportunity to address bias.
Obviously, the data will decide on areas such as compensation. But too often, director level discussions do not involve the talent acquisition team. This needs to be changed to bridge the pay gap and ensure that compensation is equitable on the basis of individual merit. Line managers and talent acquisition teams have the best knowledge of their employees and are well placed to obtain the right information to help senior managers make equitable decisions.