The Diversity Performance Review Framework™* was developed as a result of Susanne Moore’s Research Project, “The Profit Impact of Organisational Gender Diversity Programs”. This was initially an assignment for SGY240, a Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia) sociology and research subject, with the research proposal submitted on 24 August 2012. Leading up to this a number of focus groups were held to gain insights into the possibility of finding a causal link to profitability, and to gain feedback from the participants about their views of gender diversity programs, the impact on them personally, as well as their opinions of the success of those projects.
The completed research proposal was then refined further for commercial application and shown to a number of leading Australian organisations for their opinion. This included a major Australian bank, The Workplace Gender Equality Agency and the Diversity Council of Australia. It was refined further, and the need was identified for a more concise way of addressing how the research would be conducted, how data would be collected and analysed, and how the causal link might be found. As a result the Diversity Performance Review Framework™ was developed. It became clear that not only was this a tool that could collate, assess and analyse data, it was also a tool that could be applied to the whole of organisations, to give them an insight into the ways that diversity could increase innovation and performance.
An enormous amount of academic literature, ad hoc informal research and personal experience has gone into the design of the framework; some sections of the framework were previously developed by Susanne Moore and proven to work in practice. These sections include: the system to determine the capability maturity, the surveys and survey dashboards, and the the assessment spreadsheet and processes. The remaining areas for development were the framework dimensions, the elements within each dimension, the benchmarks, the survey questions, the assessment data, the checklists, and the capability definitions for each dimension.
Over thirty people participated in focus groups during 2012-2013, with many more interviewed individually. Others have informally corresponded by email or through social media responding to my blogs, on LinkedIn and Twitter, or as part of the university online network. People who took part represent companies such as Westpac, Perpetual, Brookfield, Tripoint, EMC, Dell, NSW Transport, BSI People, Sydney Water to name a few. For privacy reasons the identity of participants is not published, however those that give their permission will be included on the Contributors and Acknowledgment page. The demographic of those interviewed individually or in focus groups was representative of diversity, and included a gender mix of male and female and LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Transexual), different age groups from 25-70, people of different ethnic backgrounds, and those with a disability.
The participants careers ranged from academics, university students, diversity practitioners, company owners, senior executives and managers, IT and other contractors, long term employed and primary care givers not working outside the home.
Both the research proposal and the Diversity Performance Review Framework™ and its components have been peer reviewed by academics and diversity specialists where appropriate.
*Previously known as the Diversity Program Review Framework™