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  • Practical Steps to Achieve DE&I In-House: Practical Step #8 – Measure Your Success



In the Framework Materials our Working Group Group identified 10 Practical Steps to achieve D&I In-House. This material, which has been developed by an Agile Team drawn from the Working Group expands on Practical Step 8 [ as it relates to using Surveys to measure success].

Practical Step 8 states: Measure your success: Ensure that assessment, measurement, and research regarding D&I guide your decisions. Conduct an inclusion survey and use the results to create a baseline and an action plan – measure annually. Introduce KPIs to follow the progress of your team’s D&I and track them regularly and hold leaders accountable. Study internal and external best practices and benchmarking to improve.”

There are two ways to  approach measuring your success:  firstly to understand the diversity demographic profile of your workforce  (the data) and secondly to collect feedback from  your workforce around  the team and organisation’s performance on DE&I and their own personal experience (the culture).

NB: The Practical Steps are drafted on the basis that the business seeking to implement them has already embraced the business case for D&I. If your organisation is not yet at this stage of its journey, then we would recommend that you first refer to the business case materials and other resources on the GCD&I website.



Carrying out surveys is one of the ways you can collect diversity and inclusion data and measure the inclusiveness of your team through qualitative data. With the right questions and voluntary participation by team members, the answers can often provide insights into your team’s D&I culture and enable the identification of potential areas for improvement in promoting D&I.

How to conduct a D&I Survey

Understanding any limitations

When pulling together or constructing the survey, it is important to understand the legal landscape and any limitations from a personal data and privacy law perspective –  in your relevant jurisdictions – with respect to the data that you are proposing to collect through the survey.

it is also equally important to understand the cultural landscape and be aware of any cultural sensitivities, social norms and individual willingness to disclose personal data.  These factors could impact the types of questions asked and  how they are framed.

Determining scope, jurisdiction

Once you have understood any existing limitations, it is important to determine the scope of the survey; with respect to both the categories of diversity that you are seeking to collect data on and the geographical scope of the survey (i.e. whether it is limited to specific regions or global).

How to structure the questions

 There are various ways in which the survey questions can be framed and asked which may include asking participants to:

  • Provide rating responses i.e. select a rating from a scale of 1 to 5, depending on whether respondents “Agree” or “Disagree” with any statement.  Example: “Rate the legal function in relation to diversity.”  or “Rate the legal function in relation to equity and inclusion” . These types of questions could potentially take less time for participants to complete and may be a quick way of gathering data. Ratings alone however would not enable you to fully understand the reasons driving those responses.
  • Provide responses in free text boxes: Free text boxes can be useful for gaining further feedback and insight to better understand the reasons behind a particular view or perception on D&I culture within the team and the specific issues that would need to be addressed. This can also supplement the rating response by asking participants to expand upon their reasons for a particular rating.

Launch plan and timing

Consider appropriate messaging to be launched alongside survey and when would be the best time to do so. For example, if it is the first time conducting the survey, you may wish to consider if it can be launched alongside a D&I Strategy launch. Conducting the survey on an annual basis can also ensure measurement of progress.


Approach to data analysis

The data you collect can be a snapshot of how your team is performing against existing (or future-planned) D&I objectives, help to identify problem areas, and provide a baseline measurement to assess the progress of future activities against.

Consider both outcome metrics (i.e. ‘body count’ in various areas) and process metrics (measuring challenges in employee-management processes such as hiring, evaluation, promotion, and executive sponsorship). The latter – e.g. measuring the number of women that progress through promotion rounds to the executive team – can give a powerful insight into problem areas.

Before you begin with data capture, consider:

  • Have you allocated resource for analysis of results?
  • Do you have HR resource allocated for support with data capture and analysis?
  • Have you allocated time with engaged senior sponsors for discussion of results (to ensure the data is efficiently used) and is there senior buy-in and budget allocated to persistently remedy any identified problems?
  • Who should be included in your analysis? (Is there an extended/wider team to involve?)
  • For an effective baseline, consider how broad you can make your data capture at the outset (e.g. if your organisation does not currently set targets relating to ethnicity, but plans to in future, it could still be beneficial to capture ethnicity data early on).
  • How does the data you will capture fit within your existing data-retention policy (or do you need to create a policy)?

How to use and analyse the data collected from survey results

Sharing the data

If your team sits within a wider team, consider whether it is appropriate/beneficial to share the results with the wider team. This should be balanced against the risk of exposing individual respondents within a small team, which could undermine the overall objectives and likelihood of future participation. How widely you choose to share the results will depend on how risk-averse and risk-tolerant your organisation is.

  • Sharing the results openly can send a powerful message that D&I is valued and the organisation takes a transparent approach to its D&I journey. Sharing openly – e.g. via a presentation with opportunity for structured discussion – can also create opportunity for greater participation and more ‘open answers’ from which to capture data.
  • However, you may prefer to restrict access to those who are used to or accustomed to handling sensitive material and/or are involved in the D&I program. Similarly, not all of your data needs to be shared; particularly for those D&I trouble spots that will take longer to solve.

In either circumstance, ensure that senior stakeholders are briefed and prepared to answer challenging questions that may result; for example, by referencing future D&I strategy plans.

Identifying actions coming out of survey results

When pulling together actions coming out of the survey results:

  • Identify short, medium and long term objectives, recognising known challenges to fulfilling those. Identify priority areas, but don’t lose sight of those areas that will need attention in future.
  • Be clear with colleagues on follow-up activities and plans to report against further activities.
  • Assess the frequency for future surveys; against the activities you have planned. Running an annual survey, for example, will show a continued commitment to revisiting D&I progress, but may not allow sufficient time for many of your planned DEI activities to have impact. In the absence of an annual survey, an annual discussion or touch point on D&I (reporting on activities undertaken in the previous year) can ensure momentum is maintained and engagement remains high.
  • Consider whether to run a pilot in specific action areas. A well-run pilot should be cross-disciplinary and have a clear mandate, specific goals, and a limited time frame. Running a pilot can identify blockers to progress, such as access to senior sponsors, speed in changing HR process, or budgetary constraints.
  • “Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time” (RBG). In communicating your results, carefully manage expectations of colleagues in terms of achieving D&I goals and aim for a sustained series of small, incremental improvements.


Objective and benefits

Metrics and KPIs are a useful tool for clarifying and emphasizing D&I expectations, identifying priorities, measuring performance and progress against specific targets and goals and driving accountability.

Starting considerations

Before setting metrics and KPIs for your team, it is important to firstly know your team’s D&I vision and strategy and your organisation’s risk tolerance for establishing metrics for D&I. This would help in terms of understanding what are the specific D&I dimensions that would be meaningful to track and monitor, which is aligned to the broader vision and strategy.

Given that the D&I vision and strategy of an organisation and team may vary, we appreciate that the specific components of the metrics and KPIs may need to be tailored accordingly. However, these steps are intended to provide guidance on how to develop meaningful metrics and KPIs.

Understanding the challenges

Metrics and KPIs are generally set by fixing certain targets against diverse characteristics and often measured through data. Understanding the challenges with data will be important when developing the metrics and KPIs as it can help avoid wasted efforts or misaligned expectations.

Legal landscape

Depending on the jurisdiction and geographical scope in question, data privacy and labour law restrictions may impact the types of data that can be collected and measured against. It is therefore important to understand the legal landscape and navigate those limitations.

Cultural landscape/sensitivities

It is also equally important to understand the cultural landscape and be aware of any cultural sensitivities, social norms and individual willingness to disclose personal data, which may impact the ability of your organisation to collect (or obtain complete data) and measure the relevant diversity data, beyond gender.

Results of D&I Survey

Where a D&I survey is conducted, the results should be used to create a baseline and an action plan that may translate to specific metrics and KPIs to be measured annually. For example, if the results of the D&I survey indicate a low score from the surveyed employees on equity and inclusion, consider whether it may be worthwhile setting metrics and KPIs around achieving a higher score in that area and how that may fit into your team’s broader D&I vision and strategy. Any such metrics and KPIs however should not be set in isolation and should go hand in hand with specific actions that can be put in place to help drive change and improve the rating in this area.

GCD&I Metrics

In 2022 the GCD&I Collaboration Taskforce published the GCD&I  Metrics; a set of standardised enquiries that Signatories can use to obtain data from their law firms about D&I performance as a basis for more meaningful conversations about D&I. These Metrics should be a useful reference point for those seeking to establish Metrics for their in-house legal function (and potentially share these externally).

The  Working Group and Metrics Collaboration Taskforce will shortly be publishing more detailed Guidance on In-house Metrics but in the meantime  it proposes that the following Annual Metrics are used for In-House Teams:

  1. Percentage of team members that are diverse* at each level or role
  2. Annual promotions and attrition of diverse team members to relevant seniority levels
  3. Percentage of diverse team members working flexibly.

*We recognise that definitions of diverse characteristics may vary and would need to be considered having regard to an organisation’s focus and priorities, as well as the legal and cultural landscape. In developing your own internal definitions of each category, you may refer to  Annex 1 of the GCD&I Metrics for some suggested definitions.

Aspirational Goals and Targets

Aspirational goals and targets can be fixed along these Metrics as a way of encouraging and driving initiatives. Examples of such targets can be framed in terms of the percentage target to be achieved and the timeline for achieving such targets, for example: “Achieving gender balance at each level or role by 2030” or “[x]% of team members rate the Legal function highly (score of 8-10 in a scale from 1-10) in relation to equity and inclusion.”



GCD&I Working Group 2024






Published on 29 May 24

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