Gathering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Data and Monitoring Progress

This resource forms a part of Illuminate Opportunity: Equity in the Workplace, a set of HR tools developed by EHRC for Alberta electricity and renewables employers.


Diversity, equity and inclusion is an ongoing effort–gathering data and monitoring progress highlights areas where adjustments can be made for continuous improvement.

Gathering data through current initiatives

  • Gather voluntary self-identification information through the career website application process.
  • Analyze employee experience surveys separately by under-represented group, and intersections of group membership.
  • Review harassment complaints for trends (e.g. in particular work units).
  • Ask about experiences in exit interviews.

Setting targets

Set diversity and inclusion targets, track them consistently, share results (as appropriate), and hold leaders accountable for them.

Include targets for:

  • processes (e.g. “All short lists will include 2 candidates from underrepresented groups”);
  • outcomes (e.g. “20% of new hires will be from under-represented groups”).

Strengthening your business case

Once the specific business case for a focus on DEI in your organization has been clarified, collect some baseline measurements that will help to document the benefits achieved. Some indicators might be:

  • Recruitment and retention of talent
    • Numbers and quality of applicants.
    • Hard-to-fill openings.
    • Turnover rate and costs.
  • Productivity and performance
    • Improvements resulting from enhanced collaboration, reduced stress or absenteeism, greater innovation, etc.
  • Brand and reputation
    • External stakeholder assessments of the organization’s track record on DEI.
    • The organization’s reputation in the industry or the community (e.g. based on input from partners).
    • The perspectives of potential employees (students, job seekers, industry professionals) and influencers (educators, search firms, agencies).

How to Collect Data

Collect self-identification data

Here are some considerations when collecting self-identification data:

  • Benefit: Collecting demographics, starting from the application stage, can identify where barriers lie and where to take action.
  • Helping people feel comfortable: Reassure that focus is on merit, and not tokenizing individuals.
  • Engaging support: Employee resource groups and community partners can encourage participation.
  • Timing: Launch in conjunction or after recent successful DEI initiatives to maximize uptake.
  • Track: Monitor response rates to see what is effective in helping people feel comfortable in coming forward.

For more tips on improving self-identification, see page 45 of EHRC’s Aboriginal Participation Initiatives Project report.

Collect data from exit interviews

Here are some useful questions to ask in exit interviews to collect data:

  • How inclusive is our organization for employees with underrepresented backgrounds and perspectives? Can you share some examples from your own experience?
  • Do you feel like you had the tools, resources and support needed to succeed in your role? If not, how could we improve?
  • What could we do differently to get employees from underrepresented backgrounds to want to stay?