Organizations that have committed to making progress on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion goals know the importance of metrics and KPIs, but even the most committed to tracking metrics often struggle to identify the right outcomes to measure.

Organizations that seek to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion as measurable outcomes know the importance of metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in their efforts. DEI metrics allow organizations to better understand and operationalize their challenges, hold their leaders and other stakeholders responsible for making progress, and experiment with targeted interventions to reduce inequity. However, even in organizations that already recognize the importance of DEI metrics, leaders can struggle to measure the right ones. It’s both hard to know where to start and challenging to draw out the most important metrics from the noise.

Leaders looking to effectively measure their DEI progress must first realize that there are many categories of outcomes valuable to stakeholders deserving measurement, and that only measuring demographic representation is insufficient. For each that you choose to measure, develop a theory of change — a set of connected hypotheses that will collectively create positive outcomes — to identify tailored proxy metrics. Finally, to ensure that the hard-earned findings from your data-driven DEI efforts don’t simply gather dust on a shelf, create a plan in advance for using that data to take action, hold leaders accountable, and communicate the purpose of your organization’s DEI efforts. Taking these actions allows you to clearly prove your progress to stakeholders, form a case for scaling initiatives that are working, and effectively and responsibly deploy cutting-edge DEI interventions.

Read more at Harvard Business Review.

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