A diversity assessment can measure an organization’s progress in increasing diversity not only within its human resources functions but also in its activities in the creation of products or services. While there is no shortage of diversity audit surveys out there, one, in particular, stands out to me and that is the Diversity Audit Tool (DAT) developed at the Diversity Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University. I like that it has been well used in examining both profit and non-profit organizations and adapted for use by many businesses over the years.
The DAT is a useful tool for assessing and identifying leading practices to increase diversity in organizations. The DAT was created by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, in partnership with Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance Women in Technology (CATAWiT) Forum, as part of a project on increasing women’s participation in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector, led by Wendy Cukier. The DAT is divided into six key organizational levels or functions:
- Leadership and governance – Success of diversity initiatives depends on senior management’s commitment to diversity in addition to the integration of diversity goals as part of the organization’s strategy
- Transparent HR practices – Identifies areas where organizations can increase diversity in recruitment, performance management, promotion, education, and knowledge building as well as training and development.
- Organizational culture & Quality of Life – Flexibility and ensuring that the organizational culture is inclusive and accommodates the divergent needs of its employees.
- Metrics – Used to track and measure progress relative to diversity goals.
- Integration into the Value Chain -- Diversity in product development, marketing and customer service programs, communication (both internally and externally), media buys, philanthropy, government relations, as well as in procurement decisions.
- Developing the pipeline – Develops a future workforce that is diverse and inclusive