3 Diversity Metrics You Should be Tracking in 2019


Diversity is a many-layered metric, encompassing workforce composition, compensation levels, and hiring trends. Tracking diversity metrics, therefore, can be equally complex. With valuable inputs from Charu Sharma of NextPlay.ai, we simplify this conversation with insights into:

  • Three diversity metrics you should be keeping an eye on
  • Technologies working towards inclusive and diverse workplaces
  • The benefits of diversity measurement


In the post #metoo world, diversity and inclusion are integral to most conversations about positive work environments. However, measuring diversity and its many impacts can be a challenge, given its intangible nature. Consider this recent report Opens a new window from Harvard Business Review (HBR): HBR uncovered that companies and geographies which value diversity, show a direct uptick in market share. For example, the telecom sector in Western Europe (known for its gender inclusive focus) witnessed a seven percent increase in market value for every 10 percent rise on the diversity index. Interestingly, this is specific to scenarios where there is a proactive and “attitudinal” diversity stance, beyond only laws and regulations.

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To understand this question of diversity measurement and which diversity metrics organizations should track, we sat down with Charu Sharma, the Co-Founder and CEO of NextPlay.ai, a mentorship, and engagement solution. In our detailed discussion, she shared her perspectives on diversity metrics and how emerging technologies can help organizations in this area.

Three Diversity Metrics to Watch out for in 2019

In today’s highly competitive talent marketplace, monitoring diversity metrics is essential to productivity, retention, and recruitment success. “Companies can no longer get away with inequity. If you don’t pay a female engineer fairly, she knows she can find another higher paying job in today’s tight labor economy. Hence, it’s important to be tracking the seniority levels, salaries & diversity on teams to implement fair and inclusive practices to prevent the leakage in your bucket and hence reduce the cost of hiring,” Charu explained. To achieve benefits such as these, HR must monitor and measure the following diversity metrics:

#1: Is your retention level consistent across women and minorities?  

It is not enough to only recruit women and under-represented ethnicities. It is important that work environments are conducive to these individuals, and new hires are not left looking for greener pastures, only a few days/months into their tenure. For example, women who are not offered a flexible, family-friendly workplace report dissatisfaction, leading to a 40 percent probability of voluntary turnover Opens a new window within a year. As Charu put it, “Companies have been obsessed with hiring diverse talent, but given the war for talent and increasing cost of employee turnover, employee retention for women and underrepresented minorities is crucial to track.”

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#2: Are your diversity metrics uniform across different departments?

Average male/female ratios may not be an accurate indicator of gender diversityOpens a new window . For roles such as HR or marketing, organizations have traditionally hired more women than men, while in technology or managerial positions, biased hiring remains a challenge. “It’s important to track diversity of gender, race, backgrounds, etc. at the team level and not just at the company level to truly leverage diversity of thought in the work the various teams produce,” Charu recommended.

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#3: Are organizational practices perpetuating bias?

Often, internal policies carry forward existing biased attitudes, instead of battling them. Charu shared interesting insights in this context: “Generally men are hired/promoted based on potential, but women and minorities based on performance, which leads to severe underleveling for women and minorities.” The issue of performance versus potential-based evaluation is a discussion unto itself. Research shows that poor performing companies are 50 percent more likely to link performance to compensationOpens a new window , instead of considering genuine growth and future potential. Therefore, accounting for any bias-friendly practices, and measuring pay gaps accordingly, is essential.

How to Track Diversity Metrics in 2019?

Once you know exactly which diversity metrics to target, it is time to deep dive into the solutions marketplace and find the right technology. Fortunately, HR Tech companies are turning the spotlight on employee data collection, revealing valuable insights into diversity. “Products like Culture AmpOpens a new window and SurveyMonkeyOpens a new window make it easy to survey employees, but keep in mind that data collected thoughtlessly becomes noise,” warned Charu. “My biggest advice is to be intentional in what you measure and what you want to improve for the business by improving a certain diversity metric.” To this end, she shared three tips:

  • Every company is unique; approach every vertical, team, and department as an individual unit.

Break down big goals into smaller milestones and regularly monitor diversity metrics. “For example, if you want to increase women from 20% to 30% on your engineering teams, you can break down that 10% increase [in the] number of women that need to be hired, promoted and retained every year, and then say if your female employees keep leaving, you can track if this number of women leaving goes down after say 12 months of implementing mentoring and sponsorship programs at your company,” Charu advised.

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Benefits of Diversity Measurement

By following these guidelines, organizations can achieve significant improvements in their diversity index, which have been proven to translate into positive business outcomes. Charu explained how tracking and continuously working on diversity metrics could positively impact HR essentials, such as recruitment and culture. “Imagine that you’re spending millions of dollars to fill a bucket with water but the bucket has a big hole and the water is leaking out of the bucket faster than you can fill the bucket with water. That’s exactly how companies feel about hiring and retaining their employees, especially diverse talent.”

In conclusion, Charu summed up exactly why inclusivity, powered by comprehensive diversity metrics and detailed insights, is so important for HR. “If your employees feel fairly treated and included at the company, they are more loyal, work harder, refer their friends to work at your company and exude a sense of community & belonging while interviewing candidates.”

That’s the entire aim of employee engagement, right?

How are you planning to measure and improve diversity metrics at your company? Share your insights with us on FacebookOpens a new window , LinkedInOpens a new window , or TwitterOpens a new window . We are always listening!