Using Data to secure funding for your Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives

19th October 2023

Board Member saying No to money for DE&I

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