Using Data to secure funding for your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives
19th October 2023
At Divrsity we usually speak to organisations that already "get it" when it comes to DE&I but this poem was inspired by a lady who I recently met at a Diversity & Inclusion conference
It transpired that Alex has explicit responsibility for improving DE&I in her (large and extremely profitable) organisation, but was struggling to gain funding for her initiatves.
This went so far that her boss didn't see the value in her attending the FREE conference so she had to take a half day holiday !
There's still a lot of work to do...
Once upon a time...
(N.B. All the stats herein are from real surveys that we have run)
There was a lady, whose name was Alex
Who loved her colleagues and her company
But she knew that it could be better
If they improved Inclusion and Diversity
So she was brave and made a presentation
Full of charts and a McKinsey quote
And took it to THE BOARD
Who said "Yeah, Yeah, this is just anecdote"
The board didn't want to spend money
And said "We've decided, that we're the best
So surely all our processes
Are already the Inclusive-EST"
"We know all these stats, And we've read the books
But if you want a mission
Go right back to your cubicle
And do something about our attrition"
This setback didn't get her down
It just made her irate
Because she was right and they were wrong
As she vowed to demonstrate
She needed some hard data
That they couldn't brush away
So she went to the Divrsity website
And ran a Diversity & Inclusion Survey
The response rate was amazing
And she learned some terrifying facts
And went back to THE BOARD
Who said "Hmmm, Why are YOU back?"
And she was brave, she stood up tall
And said "Well, you're gonna want to see this data"
And they mumbled a bit and thought about
The expensive wine that they'd drink later
She said "I'll start off with an easy one"
As she waited for the murmours to subside
And they all looked down at their phones
And she pointed to her slide.
"Our entire 30-person sales team is from a middle-class background"
"It's a bit weird, but perhaps okay
But there's a lack of plausibility
When recruitment and retention in that team
Excludes social mobility"
"All of the 18 people we promoted last year were male"
"So this is really scary
And I don't want to overreact
But our company is 30% female
So there's Bias, and that's a fact"
"90% of the people who speak at conferences are male, and 85% are white"
"Do you think that doesn't matter?
What message does that send
About our corporate Inclusivity
But wait, that's not the end"
"50% of our networks team are neurodiverse, and neurodiverse members of staff are 40% less likely to believe that their differences are valued"
"That's also interesting
They feel that they don't Belong
No wonder they keep leaving
They feel like this company is wrong"
"Every person that interviews more than 6 people per month is white AND male"
"So you know you set that target
Where you wanted to improve Diversity
People don't join organisations
If they 'don't see people like me'"
"I've saved the most awful one 'til last"
And I'm sorry to the non-believers
But this data is from the horse's mouth
I've solved the riddle of the leavers"
(*deep breath*) "5% of the white community think racial slurs are tolerated"
"but 65% of the non-white community think they are tolerated"
In the room you could hear a pin drop
Until a bespectacled Swede
Stood up from his chair and said
"Oh Sh*t! How much money do you need"
If you're struggling to get funding for D&I Initiatives, maybe consider taking a data-driven approach. Divrsity was built to enable clients to uncover actionable data that will meaningfully improve Diversity, Inclusion, Equity, Bias and Belonging.
More Blog Articles
Learn why we created Divrsity
Understand how Lenses help you create an inclusive company
Or explore one of the articles in our Diversity Dictionary Series: Intersectionality, Ableism, and Transgender
Or learn about best-in-class comms strategy to help you get a 92% response rate like Alex