When it comes to DEI metrics, tech companies must apply the same rigor of other business and product priorities. They must agree on a minimum viable product (MVP) for DEI data reporting. Holistic data should allow companies to track the experience of different demographic groups at different stages in the employee life cycle. While demographic diversity data helps us understand who is in the room, inclusion data helps companies understand different experiences of different groups in the same workforce—and whether the company culture makes all employees feel welcome, respected, and empowered to grow. The tech industry itself should initiate and align on industry-wide DEI data reporting, standardizing, and sharing standards. This will ensure the right data solves the right problems.
Support industry-wide DEI reporting standards and share anonymized data
At a minimum, commit to collecting, tracking, and publishing intersectional data on representation, hiring, and attrition.
Disaggregate baseline metrics by function and level, and align on definitions to ensure apples-to-apples comparison.
Expand demographics beyond Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) categories (including intersectional data) through self-ID surveys.
Leverage surveys to measure inclusion and employee sentiment.
Share anonymized DEI data with an industry body that will support standardization of DEI data collection.
GLOBAL SELF-ID AT UBER
In an annual, confidential survey, Uber asks its employees around the world to voluntarily share, with granularity, how they identify. In addition to race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation, Uber has added categories like gender identity, caregiver status, disability status, and military status. A critical part of building the Global Self-ID (GSID) program was collaborating with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) as well as local HR and legal teams across the globe to identify and expand the most relevant and meaningful categories. For instance, the first survey iteration included race/ethnicity only in the U.S. However, in the updated versions, Uber expanded and adapted the race/ethnicity question to all countries where Uber has employees (subject to local laws and restrictions), including locally relevant categories for each country or region.
The company aims for at least an 80% response rate across all categories, and has seen continued growth in participation, particularly in the categories of gender, race, and ethnicity globally. This year, as part of its anti-racism commitments, Uber formed the Transparency Commitment Project Team, which leverages ERGs and other internal groups to improve response rates, better positioning Uber to collect and share reliable data.
The goals of GSID are to more precisely understand and respond to the needs of Uber’s employees, and continue to hire and retain a diverse workforce. For example, by integrating GSID with engagement surveys, Uber can appreciate the nuances of the employee experience and target actions to meet their needs—whether that’s enhancing flexible work policies for caregivers, providing mental health benefits, or creating tailored development programs. Going forward, the company will continue to iterate and refine GSID categories to better reflect the reality of its global workforce.
In some jurisdictions, including the U.S., identity categories used for government data collection like the Census or EEO-1 reporting have not kept pace with the language many people use when they self-identify. Uber has expanded and iterated its Global Self-ID Survey to take into account categories like gender identity, disability status, and caregiver status to better reflect and understand the reality of its global workforce.
LEVERAGING INCLUSION SURVEYS TO UNDERSTAND THE LAYERS OF COMPANY CULTURE
In July 2018, SurveyMonkey partnered with Paradigm, a consulting firm that specializes in diversity and inclusion, to create an inclusion survey template, which they used to survey working Americans. The results highlighted how different groups tend to experience work, and revealed key pain points around inclusion for all groups. Specifically:
- 44% of employees didn’t feel they could express a contrary opinion at work without fearing negative consequences.
- 32% didn’t feel their opinion was valued.
- 60% of employees say their compensation is fair relative to others at their company.
- But only 48% of Black workers agree with this statement*.1
*In all cases, the percentages in agreement with the statement were lower for people from the underrepresented communities surveyed (women, Black, and Hispanic/Latinx).Footnotes:
- Cantieri, B. (n.d.). Measuring Inclusion. Survey Monkey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/mp/diversity-and-inclusion-guide/#measuring-inclusion.
Measuring employee sentiment and inclusion is imperative to building and maintaining an inclusive culture, as it may tell a story that’s different from the one told by the numbers.