It's all about Analytics

Kirstie Kelly, 31 May 2016

It's all about Analytics - My #PledgeForParity

This year’s International Women’s Day campaign is all about parity. The campaign asks us to consider a pledge to:

  • Help women and girls achieve their ambitions
  • Challenge conscious and unconscious bias
  • Call for gender-balanced leadership
  • Value women and men's contributions equally
  • Or, to create inclusive, flexible cultures.
My pledge is to enable organisations to measure and improve gender equality by exploiting the power of analytics.

Let me tell you why.

Last week Capita hosted a diversity and inclusion think tank attended by D&I thought leaders where the conversation quickly turned to balancing process and culture for successful D&I.

As an ardent devotee of analytics, I am interested in how gender parity in the workplace can be enabled by analytics. In my experience, analytics has a powerful role to play in both the process and the culture elements.

Reading the IWD suggestions, it’s the last one that strikes me most. Can't all the others be achieved through ‘creating an inclusive, flexible culture’?

Using analytics to underpin process and culture change

  • Educating: It’s important that clients understand the implications of not addressing gender diversity. If we can demonstrate through data (gathered from current and past employees, managers and leadership), instances of bias, it’s a strong starting point for meaningful D&I discussions.
  • Adding depth: Changes to process can help organisations to ensure their hiring, promotion and leadership development decisions are equitable, fair and that they support the goal of ‘valuing women and men's contributions equally’. But analytics adds depth. Analytics can measure the perceptions of diversity, the desired state (and therefore the gaps), according to a wide group of stakeholders. This enables organisations to better target D&I activity.
  • Barometer of culture: In an organisation where data showed there were not enough women in certain technical roles, the business immediately put a cohort of selected women on a course, and the target number of trained women was achieved. However, communications and culture surrounding it meant the training was seen as remedial rather than developmental. That’s why I believe it’s so important that data takes into account perceptions as well as hard metrics. Process is the training; culture is the positioning of the development of high-potentials that supports ‘Helping women and girls achieve their ambitions’

My #IWD2016 pledge

It’s widely accepted that ‘culture trumps process’. In creating gender parity, process is the first port of call. Culture, however addresses longer term changes in behaviour – why we do it and how we make measurable progress through behaviour change.

I believe that analytics brings it all together.

Analytics help to challenge and iron out any blinkered thinking that may be holding leaders back from driving greater gender parity. It makes gender parity more measurable and achievable. And it helps to reduce issues that are affecting your business and your revenue.

That's why my pledge is to enable organisations to measure and improve gender equality by exploiting the power of analytics.

I believe that without timely access to data, gender parity will continue to be treated as a social or HR issue, not the key driver of productivity and innovation that it is.

If there's a way to get inclusion in front of the CEO, is there a better way than through powerful people-led data?

About the author

Kirstie Kelly Diversity and inclusion practice lead

Kirstie Kelly

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