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Diversity and inclusion in the workplace
Diversity and inclusion in the workplace

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2.3 Benchmarking

Another way to measure progress is to use existing benchmarks.

Global diversity equity and inclusion benchmarks (GDEIB)

The Centre for Global Inclusion helps organisations to ‘determine strategy and measure progress in managing diversity and fostering inclusion’. It does this through the GDEIB, which is a free booklet that can be downloaded after submitting their ‘user agreement’. They also offer a suite of user tools to help with implementation and analysis, all aimed at businesses of any size.

The GDEIB contains 275 benchmarks, divided into 15 categories across four groups. Each category has five levels ranging from ‘little work being done’ to ‘best practices’. Examples of best practice from each group (GDEIB, no date) include:

  • Foundation Group, Category 2: Leadership and Accountability
    • A large majority of employees across a wide array of diversity dimensions rate their leaders as trustworthy, citing equitable and inclusive treatment.
  • Internal Group, Category 6: Job design, classification, compensation
    • Regular reviews of pay differentials are conducted and discrepancies between underrepresented groups and the dominant group eliminated
  • Bridging Group, Category 10: DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) learning and development
    • DEI is integrated into all learning offered internally and externally to key stakeholders
  • External Group, Category 13: Services and product development
    • The organisation successfully leverages diverse teams, including diversity networks, customers, partners, the community, and other stakeholders, to improve its products and services.

Users describe the tool as ‘a practical guide for leaders across a variety of business functions’; ‘a powerful enabler of strategic conversations and an effective planning tool to create an inclusive culture in organisations’; ‘a great roadmap to build a culture of inclusion’ and ‘a valuable framework to create diverse and inclusive organisations.’ (GDEIB testimonials, no date).

Activity 6 Choose a tool

Timing: Allow about 20 minutes for this activity.

Choose the tool from this section that resonates most with you and spend a few minutes exploring it in more detail. Useful resources include:

  • Soar analysis template [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]
  • Korn Ferry Diversity and Inclusion model
  • Global diversity quality and inclusion benchmarks (Please note: The Centre for Global Inclusion has recently ceased its formal operations, but the providers of the GDEIB benchmarks are currently constructing a new website. If the site is not yet available when you click here, make a note of the web address and check back later. These free-to-use benchmarks have the potential to be extremely useful and are worth waiting for access to! For the purposes of this activity, either choose one of the other links or explore a benchmark for a specific diversity characteristic, such as Business in the Community’s Race at Work charter described below this activity.)

Make some notes in the box below about why you think this tool might be useful to use within your organisation.

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).


If you want to take this a step further in your own time:

Choose an aspect of your organisation that you’d like to consider in more detail, for example your recruitment processes, and spend some time applying your chosen analysis.

Ideally this would be your current workplace, but it could be one you’ve worked in previously, or perhaps an educational institution or a club you are a member of.

It is important to include colleagues in these types of analytical activities, so you will probably find it useful to repeat this exercise with your team, or even across your organisation.

Sharing and building on each other’s ideas can be a really positive, motivating activity, and will allow you to invite a crucial range of diverse views and inputs. However, starting your thinking in advance can give you the confidence to participate fully or even steer the discussion.

You can also find benchmarks that focus on a particular diversity characteristic, such as the seven calls to action described in Business in the Community’s Race at Work Charter (no date).

  1. Appoint an executive sponsor for race
  2. Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress
  3. Commit at board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying
  4. Make equity, diversity and inclusion the responsibility of all leaders and managers
  5. Take action that supports Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse employee career progression
  6. Support race inclusion allies in the workplace
  7. Include Black, Asian, Mixed Race and other ethnically diverse-led enterprise owners in supply chains.

An internet search focusing on your chosen diversity characteristic, alongside‘benchmarks in the workplace’ should present some ideas that are relevant to your needs.

Once you have a good understanding of where you are now and where you want to be, you can write your strategy, using these tools to determine appropriate measures of success.