EYE-OPENING EMPLOYEE DEMOGRAPHIC DATA
After the data collection and analysis process, Cassels Brock received
a highly detailed report on the demographics of their
organization, as well as the responses to the inclusion survey questions,
cut by demographic group. Prior to participating in the
Diversity by the Numbers project, the firm was not collecting demographic
data beyond gender and age. The level of detail of the
information they received has proven extremely valuable.
“To go from a complete void to having so much information has
been completely eye-opening,” said Taylor. “The information has
also revealed how important it is not to make assumptions, especially
with regard to inclusion.”
Cassels Brock is using this information to create data-driven,
informed strategies and initiatives to improve diversity and inclusion
within the firm.
“It’s the start of a very important dialogue,” said Taylor. “It has
helped us to identify certain priorities and areas that we need to
pay more attention to. Although receiving so much information
at once can be overwhelming, in order to be effective we are trying
not to tackle everything at once. We have identified our top
three priorities for next year, which include training, communications
and outreach to certain groups to better understand their
experiences in our firm. Also, additional attention will be directed
toward recruitment, especially for lawyers.”
Collecting and interpreting the data will have impacts for the organization
in the immediate future as well as in the coming years.
“There will be changes to HR initiatives and policies,” said
Taylor. “We will continue to measure and gather more information
and do additional outreach. Priorities will adapt and shift as
we move along our diversity journey and as the information we receive
changes as well. We don’t know if we will ever be perfect, but
we are definitely striving to be better.”
THE IMPORTANCE OF MEASUREMENT
The importance of measurement cannot be overstated. Most
HR professionals already know that the most important initiatives
within an organization have robust measures associated with
Yet, many organizations do not dedicate the resources to properly
measure their employee demographics or other areas of their
diversity and inclusion initiatives.
However, organizations can’t afford not to measure.
Measurement is key to understanding your workforce, improving
inclusion and showing the value of D&I initiatives. The bottom
line in any organization is that what gets measured gets done. ■
Cathy Gallagher-Louisy is director, Knowledge Services at the
Canadian Centre for Diversity and Inclusion. In 2015, the Canadian
Institute of Diversity and Inclusion and the Canadian Centre for
Diversity merged to form the Canadian Centre for Diversity and
Inclusion (CCDI) – a national charity focused on diversity and inclusion
in both places of learning and places of work.
Advance your human resources career with
Algonquin College’s Human Resources
Management Ontario College Graduate
Certificate program. Designed for
professionals who want to expand their
HR knowledge and work towards their
Certified Human Resources Professional
designation (CHRP) from the Human
Resources Professional Association (HRPA).
The program is available full-time online
or paRt-time online, choose the option
that works best for you.
20 ❚ MARCH/APRIL 2015 ❚ HR PROFESSIONAL