Four ascending bar graphs measuring the DEI metrics of your organization

When diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work is discussed by the public, it often isn’t done from a scientific standpoint. In the workplace, DEI generally focuses on the people. Companies will take employee experiences into account when developing DEI strategies so that they are specific to the needs of the company. While this is true, any DEI professional will tell you that there is science behind DEI and a strategy that isn’t based in research won’t see many favorable results. Both qualitative and quantitative methods for measurement should be used when developing a DEI strategy. 

“…any DEI professional will tell you that there is science behind DEI and a strategy that isn’t based in research won’t see many favorable results”

Collect Your Data

Measurement is essential to a successful DEI strategy. In order to make progress in your strategy, you have to be aware of where your company stands. This requires a practice called benchmarking, or an evaluation of the company’s standing. Once a benchmark has been established, it can be used to continually measure the progress of the strategy and improve upon it based on the data collected. At every stage in the process, data should be derived and utilized in the strategy. 


The beauty of DEI is that numerous people are involved in the process, meaning there are multiple perspectives and departments from which data can be derived. Because the strategy should impact all parties, all should be considered in data collection. When there are multiple areas to study, beginning the data collection process can be difficult. Here are five methods for collecting both quantitative and qualitative information to improve your DEI strategy. 

Anonymous Surveys

Surveys are a great way to collect information about the culture of your workplace. They can cover a range of topics such as psychological safety, encounters with microaggressions, and work-life balance issues, all while allowing employees to express themselves and speak their minds without fear of repercussions. This data can be revisited at any time and implemented in various ways. To get the most out of the survey, the participants need to be assured that their responses will not be used against them in a negative way. This is done by ensuring anonymity and using an outside/unbiased party to assess the data. 

Focus Groups

Focus groups encourage productive conversations. The advantage of a focus group versus a survey is that they emphasize a shared experience. The people in the focus group are able to feed off each other and may feel more inclined and encouraged to share their thoughts. You are also able to take body language and silence into account which can both speak volumes. It would be wise to utilize an outside/unbiased party for this method. 

1:1 Confidential Interviews

Confidential interviews can provide the most direct answers from multiple groups of people. Interviews can be conducted between executives and employees, stakeholders, business partners, or anyone who has a vested interest in the company. This is an intimate conversation that requires an established sense of psychological safety in order to be most effective.


While anonymous surveys do provide quantifiable data, metrics are typically the main quantifiable approach to measurement. The main areas DEI tends to focus on in terms of metrics are hiring, retention, pay, internal mobility, accessibility, budget, and representation. Studying each of these dimensions can provide quantifiable data that can be used to assess and improve the DEI strategy.

Documentation Reviews

Documentation reviews are used to review company policies and written expectations. Through the review, a company is able to identify the gaps in implementation of the DEI strategy. It can be used to benchmark a company as well as identify the areas for improvement. 

Implement Your Findings

Black and white male coworkers happily discussing DEI metrics in the workplace

Black and white male coworkers happily discussing DEI metrics in the workplace

Once you’ve collected your data, you can begin to implement your findings and see significant improvement in the reception and execution of your strategy. This is where your documentation reviews come in handy. Once you have collected your data and reviewed your policies, written expectations, and workforce analytics, you can fill in the holes where your standards aren’t being met with specific, company-oriented data. 

For example, if you find through anonymous surveys that many employees do not gain much from meetings and actually feel that their time would be better spent working on their projects, and your company strategy encourages employee autonomy over their approach to work, there is a clear gap in policy and action that the DEI strategy can now address and repair. 

Data drives effective DEI policy and procedure. Without it, many companies will not see ample improvement in the areas their strategy seeks to address. It is important to utilize both quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection as DEI is a science but one of the people and is most successful when it is tailored to the specific needs of a company. 

“… DEI is a science but one of the people and is most successful when it is tailored to the specific needs of a company”

Learn More About DEI and Measurement

If you are struggling to get started assessing and measuring your company’s DEI strategy, we offer a service that would be perfect for you. Our DEI cultural assessment service is the total package when it comes to jumpstarting data collection. In the assessment, we establish a benchmark, help you facilitate and conduct the necessary interviews and surveys, and help you identify appropriate metrics that address your company’s specific needs. The service is a great place to start when taking your DEI strategy to the next level. All of the details are on our website should you want to explore further. 

Measurement is key. A DEI strategy cannot thrive without it. Be sure to implement measurement methods as soon as possible and take your strategy to the next level. 



Kaya Hill

Kaya Hill  is a marketing intern at DEI and You Consulting.

Her passion for DEI work lies in the many experiences she has had where DEI was clearly needed but never utilized.

She has received multiple awards and recognitions from her University for her writing and has presented research in numerous conferences. She hopes to continue in the field of DEI and eventually become a
Chief Diversity Officer of a law firm.

The importance and benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion are undeniable. Partner with DEI & You Consulting to unlock your company’s potential for all your employees to thrive.

Contact us today to learn more about our consulting services or our workshops: