DEI Metrics

DEI Metrics: What, Why and How

Diversity is good for business. Recent research from Boston Consulting Group—which spanned 27,000 employees in 16 countries—illustrated the different ways in which DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) initiatives boost financial performance. Companies that prioritize DEI are more likely to have happier and more motivated employees, and those that have diversity in the management ranks reported higher innovation revenues than their more homogenous peers.

But success in DEI doesn’t happen by accident. Despite the pledges that many companies made in the aftermath of 2020, progress has been slow. The McKinsey & Company Women in the Workplace 2023 report states that while women have made “modest gains” in corporate representation, women of color remain underrepresented.

There are, however, some companies that have outperformed others when it comes to DEI. And one of the main reasons for that, according to research by the World Economic Forum, is “rigorous tracking and course correction.”

Why Track Your DEI Efforts

Companies can gain a lot from tracking their diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. Below are four ways that setting DEI goals and metrics can help advance an organization’s progress.

Gain Leadership Support for Programs

Any company-wide initiative needs the support and resources of higher-ups (meaning a person in a position of higher authority in an organization, typically the executive roles). However, securing that support usually requires you to identify (and quantify) the benefits to an organization.

That’s where setting DEI metrics (and tracking them) can come in. Higher-ups can see tangible progress and recognize the positive business outcomes that can potentially come from that—whether that be engaged employees, an increase in applicant numbers or improved productivity. As a result, they may be more willing to provide more funding and allocate the necessary company resources to make the initiative even more successful.

DEI Metrics

Stop What Isn’t Working

Just as tracking can help you identify which initiatives are bringing success to your company, it can also help you identify programs that aren’t bringing their expected impact and adjust accordingly. In some cases, that might mean tweaking some aspects and allocating different resources. In other cases, it might make sense to stop those programs completely.

Boost Company Reputation

Tracking DEI initiatives can also improve a company’s reputation in multiple ways. When employees and potential new hires see the progress you’re making—or what you’re actively doing to advance progress—they’re more likely to stay loyal, or if they’re potential applicants, consider taking a job with your company. The 2021 CNBC/SurveyMonkey Workforce Survey—which sampled 8,233 employed adults across the US—found that 78% of employees said it was important to them “to work at an organization that prioritizes diversity and inclusion.”

Foster Belonging

Lastly, tracking DEI metrics and making them transparent to employees can go a long way in fostering a sense of belonging, particularly among members of underrepresented and marginalized groups. It sends an explicit signal that the company values them, which allows them to have a sense of psychological safety at work. When an employee feels valued for who they are, they’re more likely to trust and respect others in the workplace and collaborate better with their colleagues.

5 Valuable DEI Metrics

Depending on the organization’s goals and specific initiatives, many different metrics are worth tracking regarding diversity, equity and inclusion. Below are some things that can be measured for improving DEI in the workplace you might want to consider tracking:


Demographics are an important metric to measure for companies that want to improve the representation of marginalized or historically underrepresented groups. This data allows the company to see which groups are represented and which groups are underrepresented in the organization.

Start by tracking demographics at an organizational level to have a high-level overview, before breaking it down into categories such as leadership, new hires or contractor/supplier/vendors.

Turnover and Retention

While demographics are a useful metric for diversity, it doesn’t tell the whole story regarding equity and inclusion. Employee retention rates can shed light on that. A truly inclusive and equitable workplace will have employees who are engaged in their work. A workplace may be diverse, but if they have issues with retaining underrepresented employees (or have very low retention rates in general), there are likely deep cultural problems that are worth looking into.


External perception is an important metric to measure if the company’s DEI goals center around hiring. Organizations must make their commitment to DEI clear to potential candidates during all stages of the hiring process. While it can be a little tricky to measure, companies can track this metric by conducting surveys on the satisfaction levels among customers and external stakeholders regarding DEI efforts and progress.

Advancement and Pay

An equitable workplace is one where employees—irrespective of backgrounds or demographic—feel like they have an opportunity to advance and progress in a company. If there are noticeable pay gaps between employees of specific demographics or certain groups are underrepresented in leadership, that might indicate structural issues that the company needs to address. It may also signal that not every employee has the same level of access to talent development opportunities.


Improving DEI is a company-wide effort. Leaders can tout the importance of DEI all they can, but if their employees don’t participate, there won’t be progress. Measuring employee participation in employee resource groups, community engagement, or training sessions can indicate whether or not you have your employee’s buy-in.

DEI Metrics

Examples of DEI Programs You Can Measure

Once you’ve identified your company’s goals and metrics concerning DEI, it’s time to introduce programs and initiatives that bring you closer to those goals (and that you can tangibly measure). Here are three programs that have been traditionally effective in improving DEI.

Mentorship Programs

Mentoring programs can improve the state of DEI in many different ways. Depending on the organization’s needs and reality, that might look like the following:

  • One-on-one mentor/mentee arrangements—where the mentor provides a support system and access to senior employees that a mentee from an underrepresented background might not otherwise have.
    • Mentoring circles—allows employees who share a commonality (whether it be demographic or issues) to help each other through the challenges they face at work.
    • Peer-to-peer mentoring—matches mentors and mentees of similar job titles, levels of experience and career trajectories. They can work through the challenges and goals together, and provide a support system and act as a sounding board for one another.
    • Reverse mentoring—where the junior employee acts as a mentor to senior employees or more experienced colleagues. In the context of DEI, this arrangement allows for an exchange of perspectives that is valuable in driving inclusivity and encouraging allyship.

    You can measure mentoring programs using several metrics—voluntary participation, number of meetings with participants, turnover and retention before and after mentorship programs.

    Employee Resource Groups

    Employee Resource Groups provide a support system for underrepresented employees and allow them to have sensitive conversations in a safe space. It can also foster close relationships and encourage employees of different demographics to better understand each other.

    There are a number of ways to measure the success of ERGs—the number of members’ attendance records, membership satisfaction (through surveys) and intersectionality of demographics. Companies can then aggregate those data to see how they influence company-wide metrics such as retention/turnover rate, promotion numbers and employee net promoter scores.

    Inclusive Recruitment & Hiring Practices

    An effective strategy that companies can use to reach their DEI goals is to implement inclusive recruitment and hiring practices. Doing this will ensure that your workforce reflects the diversity of your community and promotes a strong sense of belonging within the company culture. Below are four examples of inclusive hiring practices can include:

    • Develop an EEOC statement — Companies are displaying their Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) statement in job descriptions, on their website and among current employees. This signals a commitment to diversity in hiring, making them more appealing to potential applicants.
    • Write inclusive job descriptions — Inclusive job descriptions are essential for promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. To welcome all candidates and avoid unintentional bias, focus on essential job requirements and consider reasonable accommodations.
    • Utilize diversity hacks — Employing diversity hacks, like the Rooney Rule, is a strategy adopted by numerous companies to promote diversity and inclusion. These tactics aim to ensure fair representation and opportunities for underrepresented groups in the workplace.
    • Address internal biases first — Personal biases are subtle, often unrecognized attitudes and stereotypes about individuals or groups that can lead to unfair treatment. Offering employees educational resources and training can help them recognize and challenge their biases, which in turn helps to promote a more inclusive workplace.

    Furthermore, DEI metrics offer invaluable insights into the effectiveness of your hiring and recruiting efforts. You can attract and retain talent from diverse backgrounds with a data-driven approach, leading to a stronger, more innovative organization.

    DEI Metrics

    Investing in the right DEI tools

    Tracking DEI metrics is necessary for progress, but it can be a time-consuming effort. Companies can save time and resources by investing in tools that automate and streamline the process and eliminate the extensive labor that comes with measuring and tracking DEI metrics If your DEI initiatives incorporate mentoring or ERGs, consider investing in the following tools:

    Mentoring Platform

    Mentoring platforms are powerful tools that enable companies to develop their most valuable assets – their employees – while also saving time and money on administrative tasks. Since mentoring software is designed to facilitate mentor-mentee relationships, companies benefit from streamlined progress tracking and reporting solutions. This makes mentoring software a significant asset for enhancing employee development, and achieving organizational and DEI goals efficiently.

    The Chronus mentoring platform can provide a lot of assistance to your DEI initiatives. Our AI-powered matching technology takes the guesswork out of pairing mentors and mentees. Built with an inclusive lens in mind, the platform’s proprietary dashboard tracks DEI success metrics that are relevant to your organization, as well as KPIs that illustrate the ROI (Return on Investment) of DEI initiatives on your business. Most importantly, the features are built around your culture and your organizational reality, so you can design, launch and scale the programs at your own pace.

    ERG Software

    Employee Resource Group (ERG) software is another important tool for companies to track and measure their DEI goals. By implementing ERG software in your organization, you establish a company culture that prioritizes connectivity among employees who share similar hobbies or interests. From a DEI standpoint, ERGs allow members from diverse backgrounds (such as LGBTQIA individuals, parents, and military veterans) to connect and feel supported in the workplace.

    Organizations that have incorporated ERGs as part of their DEI strategy can also benefit from investing in Chronus ERG software. The software provides a place to standardize your company’s ERG enrollment process and allows your ERG leads to streamline communications and coordinate events and discussions. You can also track important metrics and collect insights and data from participants through customizable surveys.

    Companies who want to make serious gains on DEI need to be committed to measuring, tracking, and when necessary, course-correcting. That starts with setting the appropriate metrics, and ensuring that their efforts and programs are moving those metrics in the right direction.

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