“Defining Inclusion has bottom Line Impact”

By Eric Davies 1/23/12, This article is re-blogged from Diversity Executive

Inclusion is the invisible thread that ties the elements of an organization’s culture together. It helps to promote open communication, knowledge sharing and innovation by creating a collegial, mutually respectful environment. It allows workers to bring their full faculties to bear in the workplace by fostering a unified culture of acceptance.

Therefore, it makes sense that programs promoting inclusion have a measurable impact on an organization’s bottom line and on workforce productivity. That may explain why the Institute for Corporate Productivity’s (i4cp) 2010 Inclusion Measurement study, released in March as part of its “Inclusion Measurement: Policies and Practices of High-Performance Organizations” report, found a 14 percent gap between high- and low-performing organizations — 22 percent compared to 8 percent — when it comes to the use of productivity data in determining inclusion success.

The goal of the study was to determine how high-performance organizations are approaching the inclusion challenge and how they are measuring success. A high-performance designation was based on i4cp’s Market Performance Index (MPI), which is identified through a series of questions that determine a company’s current performance in revenue growth, market share, profitability and customer satisfaction vs. those same items five years ago.

Make Measurement Follow Initiatives
The aforementioned finding on productivity as a metric for inclusion success demonstrates increased interest among higher-performing organizations in evidence-based human resources (EBHR). EBHR is driven by the need for more stringent HR metrics that are relevant to business goals and the bottom line.

The study showed that, though 62 percent of organizations overall reported that one driver of inclusion initiatives is to increase productivity and engagement, only 15 percent of respondents reported using productivity data to assess the success of those efforts. This begs the question: How are the others going to know if they have addressed the driving forces behind their inclusion program’s inception? Based on supplemental interviews and focus groups done for the i4cp study, the answer is either the business case for inclusion has yet to be made in those organizations or the case was made based on inspirational definitions and drivers for the inclusion initiative that don’t lend themselves to measurement.

Results show high-performing companies are more likely to use metrics that support business drivers for their inclusion programs. For example, the aforementioned gap between high- and low-performing organizations on the use of productivity measures relates back to data showing high performers are more likely to say increased productivity and engagement are drivers for their inclusion strategy — 72 percent compared to 56 percent among their lower-performing peers.

Evidence of the relationship between market performance scores and the drivers, definitions and metrics used to measure success came primarily from the study data, while further insight on weighing multiple metrics to build a more comprehensive inclusion picture was derived from interviews and focus groups. Most practitioners interviewed also confirmed that inclusion definitions and drivers that are more business critical and less inspirational make for more concrete success metrics.

If the driver for inclusion programs is to support ongoing diversity initiatives, diversity metrics will weigh more heavily on determinations of success. Metrics such as employee resource group participation and retention of diverse employees may become more prominent in this measure of inclusion. If inclusion is defined as a separate talent management initiative, like engagement, then engagement survey measures or retention rates will produce a more accurate measure of success.

Building a Bigger Inclusion Picture 
The i4cp study showed higher performers are three times more likely to devote the necessary resources to conducting linkage analyses between inclusion and overall enterprise productivity.

This added rigor in connecting metrics to business drivers and having those metrics demonstrate business impact is an EBHR focal point.

EBHR has surged in importance as workforces strive to create leaner functions that demonstrate the efficiencies gauged by standard metrics, and display effectiveness demonstrated in strategically aligned, qualitative metrics tied to organization goals.

This evidence-based approach is a measurement philosophy and approach that is increasingly being applied to all talent management processes, such as recruitment — quality of hire; retention — quality of attrition; and on-boarding, development and succession — quality of movement.

However, the concept and definition of inclusion can make finding effectiveness metrics tricky. The inclusiveness of an organization’s culture is difficult to pin down. How can a diversity executive report to the CEO or board of directors that the organization is now 5 percent more inclusive than the year before and quantify what effect that statement has on the bottom line? In the absence of direct measures, it’s often necessary to rely on indirect observations to determine if goals are being achieved. Metrics such as engagement scores, retention rates, productivity measures and diversity representation at various tiers often must be combined to create a broader picture of an inclusion strategy’s impact on the overall organizational culture.

While the majority of organizations combine inclusion and diversity under the same umbrella — 47 percent — it’s not unusual for inclusion to be considered a talent management initiative — 19 percent. Several of the organizations contacted for this study likened inclusion more to engagement, reinforcing the finding of engagement surveys as the most commonly used measure of inclusion success, used by 41 percent of all companies surveyed.

But it was productivity data and participation in third-party employer of choice lists in which the largest gap between high- and low-performers can be seen — the latter showed a 25 percent usage rate among higher performers compared with only 11 percent adoption among lower performers.

Study practitioners were opinionated about participation in third-party rankings. While participation speaks to organizational adoption of inclusion to bolster talent acquisition and the employment brand — both of which rank as top drivers for inclusion initiatives — not all practitioners were convinced of this practice’s ROI.

Almost half of the supplemental interview and focus group subjects said there were negative aspects connected to participation in third-party rankings. Though most saw the benefits in public exposure and external benchmarks, they acknowledged that a lot of time and resources were required in the application and data collection processes. So, although higher performers are more likely to use these lists as an inclusion metric — and are more likely to have something to publicly crow about — the resources required make it a choice that deserves careful consideration to ensure it aligns with larger organizational goals and strategies.

Surveys Determine Success 
Although analysis of productivity data and participation in third-party employer of choice lists are differentiators, survey results indicate a majority of respondents use other measures to demonstrate inclusion success as well. Roughly 63 percent of high performers report using the measurement techniques queried in Figure 3 at least to some extent, while more than 29 percent report using them to a high or very high extent.

This shows these organizations are looking for a way to demonstrate that inclusion makes a difference, and it speaks to the difficulty in trying to quantify inclusion. It also backs up data that shows higher performers are trying harder than others to quantify the inclusion advantage. Almost a third of high performers reported their organizations attempt to quantify the effects of their inclusion strategies and initiatives to a high or very high extent, while no low-performing organizations reported attempting to quantify the effects of inclusion to a very high extent and only 16 percent reported doing so to a high extent.

Most organizations recognize a diverse workforce alone cannot improve organizational performance. Inclusion is the key to fully leverage the advantages of diversity. The Inclusion Measurement study found 69 percent of high-performing organizations used inclusion as a diversity or talent management strategy, as well as 58.5 percent of low-performing organizations. But it’s the higher performers’ predilection for measurement that allows them to gauge the effects of their efforts in a way that supports the drive to become and remain high performers.

To measure inclusion, diversity executives should:

• Review the current definition and drivers behind the organization’s inclusion initiative and make sure they describe the desired cultural effect as well as the employee behaviors expected to achieve the desired results. Establishing a definition for inclusion that spells out some measurable elements and is understood across the entire organization can maintain focus and help develop metrics.

• Align the organization’s inclusion definition and drivers with strategic organizational goals. If the organization needs to improve its talent pipeline, weave inclusion initiatives into existing talent management functions. If increasing innovation is critical, promote inclusion programs that will facilitate knowledge sharing. Both of these goals may require raising awareness of the employment brand by competing to become an employer of choice.

• As organizational goals help to develop drivers, and drivers help to develop programs to support those goals, make sure to measure to ensure programs are having an effect. Select or develop metrics that circle back to align with the original drivers. By carefully articulating outcomes, organizations can define measures that assess the impact of their inclusion strategy. For a concept as ephemeral as inclusion, multiple qualitative, quantitative, effectiveness and efficiency metrics may be required to imply success or indicate the need for a course change.

Eric Davis is senior editor for Institute for Corporate Productivity. He can be reached at editor@diversity-executive.com.


How Diversity Can Drive Innovation

Reblogged from HBR online archive.


December 2013

How Diversity Can Drive Innovation
by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, Melinda Marshall, and Laura Sherbin
Most managers accept that employers benefit from a diverse workforce, but the notion can be hard to prove or quantify, especially when it comes to measuring how diversity affects a firm’s ability to innovate.

But new research provides compelling evidence that diversity unlocks innovation and drives market growth—a finding that should intensify efforts to ensure that executive ranks both embody and embrace the power of differences.

In this research, which rests on a nationally representative survey of 1,800 professionals, 40 case studies, and numerous focus groups and interviews, we scrutinized two kinds of diversity: inherent and acquired. Inherent diversity involves traits you are born with, such as gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Acquired diversity involves traits you gain from experience: Working in another country can help you appreciate cultural differences, for example, while selling to female consumers can give you gender smarts. We refer to companies whose leaders exhibit at least three inherent and three acquired diversity traits as having two-dimensional diversity.

By correlating diversity in leadership with market outcomes as reported by respondents, we learned that companies with 2-D diversity out-innovate and out-perform others. Employees at these companies are 45% likelier to report that their firm’s market share grew over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.

2-D diversity unlocks innovation by creating an environment where “outside the box” ideas are heard. When minorities form a critical mass and leaders value differences, all employees can find senior people to go to bat for compelling ideas and can persuade those in charge of budgets to deploy resources to develop those ideas.

Most respondents, however—78%—work at companies that lack 2-D diversity in leadership. Without diverse leadership, women are 20% less likely than straight white men to win endorsement for their ideas; people of color are 24% less likely; and LGBTs are 21% less likely. This costs their companies crucial market opportunities, because inherently diverse contributors understand the unmet needs in under-leveraged markets. We’ve found that when at least one member of a team has traits in common with the end user, the entire team better understands that user. A team with a member who shares a client’s ethnicity is 152% likelier than another team to understand that client.

Inherent diversity, however, is only half of the equation. Leaders also need acquired diversity to establish a culture in which all employees feel free to contribute ideas. Six behaviors, we have found, unlock innovation across the board: ensuring that everyone is heard; making it safe to propose novel ideas; giving team members decision-making authority; sharing credit for success; giving actionable feedback; and implementing feedback from the team. Leaders who give diverse voices equal airtime are nearly twice as likely as others to unleash value-driving insights, and employees in a “speak up” culture are 3.5 times as likely to contribute their full innovative potential.

These findings constitute a powerful new dimension of the business case for diversity.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett is the chair and CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation. Melinda Marshall is the center’s senior vice president and director of publications, and Laura Sherbin is an executive vice president and the director of research.

See the original article on the Harvard Business Review here

100 Global Inspirational Women in Mining

Jenny Knott - CEO Standard Bank Plc

Jenny Knott – CEO Standard Bank Plc

This publication, Sponsored by Standard Bank looks at “the significant and varied impact of women within the global mining industry. It is a celebration of the incredible talent that exists”, and will surely influence and inspire many others.
The mining industry knows that its future depends on attracting and retaining the right talent and mining companies understand that this means attracting women to fill roles withing their organisations to bring a gender balance that assists in promoting healthy workplaces and healthy mining communities.

Jenny Knott, Chief Executive Standard Bank Plc says in the forward,

“The fact remains, sadly that mining is still not a very gender diverse sector and it seems that the overall industry has not yet acted cohesively upon the many studies that demonstrate the correlation between gender diversity and improved company performance.” 

Proving a positive link between gender diversity and improved company performance that created the Diversity Program Review Framework so we might start to baseline organisations on their diversity journey and monitor their progress and find linkages to improved profitability.
See the article here,



Preliminary findings WGEA Gender Indicator Preparation survey.

Userpage icon for supporting gender equality.

Userpage icon for supporting gender equality. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some preliminary findings of the survey are that 43% of people think that the new gender indicators will take longer to report than the previous EOWA reporting, with the majority estimating it will take more than 3 days. 50% of people said that they had a good understanding of the requirements with 43% acknowledging that the cost to report is minimal, but sadly that the benefits of reporting are also minimal. Have you say here https://diversityprogramreview.com/wgea-gender-indicators-preparation-and-reporting-effort-2014/

Diversity – not just a Business Case

Organisations need new and innovative ways to progress and create shareholder value and as the available workforce changes organisations have to transform at an increased pace, meaning managers must develop new skills to perform in these complex environments.

Diversity is a business imperative; it is a fundamental and necessary part of contemporary business.  Evidence exists that points to gender diversity as beneficial to organisations, but in order for this to really be of consequence, diversity needs to be more than just a program, it has to become part of the fibre of the organisations workings.  By ‘maximising’ diversity instead of just ‘managing it’ organisations will become more adaptable and flexible, (Ospina 1996).  Organisations must develop skills to manage complexity, adaptability and volatility, creatively, resilience and innovation.  To do this, organisations have to equip their managers to manage diversity and to shift it from a nice to have to a must have competency.

Diversity is about the management of complexity, building resilience within your organisation, embedding sustainable leadership thinking that enhances integration and cohesion.  By making new and diverse connections within your workplace, organisations harness and promote innovation and creativity.  Far from being a cost to bottom line profitability, diversity is a strategic imperative.  It is the new resource to increase revenue by using effective diversity programs to integrate the attributes of complexity and resilience, then leveraging them to create new environments for change and business transformation.

The question should no longer be, “Should we have a diversity program”, the question should be “how do you leverage difference and create new connections to differentiate yourself”.

Reframing ideas of diversity

Konrad (2003)[1] discusses the limitations of the business case by linking it to what she claims is an outdated “trait model of diversity”: the business case argument often ignores the destructive impact of stereotyping, prejudice, and institutional and interpersonal discrimination. Ospina (1996)[2] refers to “maximizing” diversity as opposed to “managing” diversity to acknowledge that diversity can actually push the organization’s frontier if effectively leveraged.

Reframing diversity and placing it squarely into strategy sees it working across difference as a core leadership task, getting diversity right by welcoming each person’s unique contributions, leading to a more adaptable and nimble organization in the face of today’s complex world.

Compliance to gender diversity legislation is a starting point but the real value comes when compliance converts to proactive action, realising the benefits of diversity.  The economic hit to the bottom line transcends diversity economics at an organisational level, stimulating economic growth at a macro level.

The Diversity Program Review Framework™[3]developed by Susanne Moore is a diagnostic tool that assesses and measures the effectiveness of a company’s diversity program by deploying the following  five organizational assessment dimensions; Program Management Capability, Cultural Integration and Acceptance, Organisational Vision and Strategy, Innovation through Diversity and Performance.

The Diversity Program Review Framework™ incorporates a widely accepted set of Global Diversity & Inclusion benchmarks previously developed in a US federally funded research project (O&R) by O’Mara and Richter (2011)[4].  The framework uses these benchmarks as a foundation, and builds on them to address a whole of organizational approach to Business Transformation.

The Diversity Program Review Framework™ allows organistions to;

  1. Baseline their diversity program against known benchmarks
  2. Assess the health and effectiveness of their diversity program against the five organisational dimensions
  3. Monitor the progress of the program along a capability maturity growth path
  4. Develop and Identify proactive interventions for improvement in areas where performance and innovation could be discovered or improved,
  5. Report against the programs progress and current country legislation

Find out if your organisation is on track to reap the benefits of diversity, book a complimentary, ‘coffee break session’ with Susanne today using the contact form, or call my partners, The Principal Structure for more details.

[1] Konrad, A. (2003). Defining the domain of work- place diversity scholarship. Group & Organization Management, 28(1), 4–17

[2] Ospina, S. 1996. Bringing Opportunity Back In: Organizational Inequality and the Study of Work Attitudes Journal of Administrative Theory and Praxis, 18:1, pp. 27-40.

[3] The “Diversity Program Review Framework™” (Moore, S 2012) incorporating the “Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World” (O’Mara, J, Richter, A 2011)

[4] “Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks: Standards for Organizations Around the World” developed by O’Mara, J, Richter, A (2011),

Compliance Provides a Competitive Edge

This article highlights the benefits when companies adhere to compliance standards for employment.  This not only reduces risk of litigation, but in terms of gender diversity, your organization is more likely to attract a full pool of skilled workers who see your organization as more attractive.

In terms of company governance, reducing risk by ensuring your organization is meeting (and hopefully exceeding) its compliance requirements will increase performance because you are reducing the potential to be exposed for non compliance.

See the rest of the article here – Compliance Provides a Competitive Edge.

Deutsche Bank reducing risk and minimising negative client perception by increasing gender diversity

Deutsche Bank Twin Towers, Frankfurt am Main (...

Deutsche Bank Twin Towers, Frankfurt am Main (Germany) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Deutsche Bank executive: Women are the future of banking

“Stephan Leitner, an executive board member and Head of Human Resources and Compliance for the bank noted that having trustworthy bankers is the first step to rebuilding confidence. However, the industry will need more. Deutsche plans to redefine itself by hiring more women, particularly women executives. As Leitner explained, “In many situations, female staff contribute toward team orientation, partnership and long-term sustainability.”

Speaking at a recent seminar for young bankers in Frankfurt, Leitner outlined Deutsche Bank’s strategy for the years ahead, saying “The banker of the future will be more female, more international, older, more team oriented and more mobile, and needs to enjoy working with technology.”

In September, Deutsche Bank announced that it wants to increase the number of female executives on its bench from 17% in 2011 to 25% by 2017. It also hopes to have 35% of overall leadership positions filled by women by 2018.”

from an article by Boyden Executive Search 16 December, 2012

AWRA Recognised Program™, Australian Women in Resources Alliance

AWRA LogoThe AWRA Recognised Program is based on the Diversity Performance Review Framework™*.



The Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is an industry-led initiative dedicated to helping employers attract, retain and reap the rewards of women in resources workplaces. AWRA is jointly funded by the Australian Government through the National Resource Sector Workforce Strategy and the resource industry employer group AMMA, with leadership from industry bodies and employers across Australia. The AWRA Program is delivering a range of projects to inform and support employers and one of those programs is the AWRA Recognised Program™ which recognises AMMA industry members as a Preferred Employer of Women against a assessment using the Diversity Performance Review Framework™ as a basis.

To be able to utilise an AWRA stamp, organisations must undergo an assessment of their workplace policies, procedures and, most importantly practices, to assess the organisation’s capability maturity against best practice management of workplace (gender) diversity.

The assessment to become AWRA Recognised™ is based on a rigorous and recognised model of diversity capability, and goes beyond traditional “HR-centric” metrics to assess more broad business dimensions with clear links to organisational profitability and sustainability.

The assessment  provides concise feedback on an organisation’s current diversity strategy, and together with the capability maturity model, helps organisations to plan the changes necessary to reap the rewards of a gender diverse workforce whilst taking into account the different stages of the organisations journey toward best practice.

The Diversity Performance Review Framework™ that underpins the AWRA Recognised Program™ allows us to baseline gender diversity program’s for future monitoring and reporting against the WGEA gender indicators.

We are very pleased to have this opportunity to complete a ‘condensed version’ of the overarching framework as part of the AWRA Recognised Program™.  The data collected from resultant assessments will contribute rich data for future analysis and research.

Related articles


*Previously known as the Diversity Program Review Framework™.

Susanne Moore

AMMA-logoThe Australian Women in Resources Alliance (AWRA) is an industry-led initiative dedicated to helping employers attract, retain and reap the rewards of women in resources workplaces. AWRA is jointly funded by the Australian Government through the National Resource Sector Workforce Strategy and the resource industry employer group AMMA, with leadership from industry bodies and employers across Australia. The AWRA Program is delivering a range of projects to inform and support employers and one of those programs is the AWRA Recognised Program™ which recognises AMMA industry members as a Preferred Employer of Women against a assessment using my Diversity Program Review Framework™ as a basis.

To be able to utilise an AWRA stamp, organisations must undergo an assessment of their workplace policies, procedures and, most importantly practices, to assess the organisation’s capability maturity against best practice management of workplace (gender) diversity.

The assessment to become AWRA Recognised™

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