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Asking the right questions for effective "diversity" audits.

Updated: Mar 3

The ability to ask the right question is more than half the battle of finding the answer.’— Thomas J. Watson, IBM Founder


A first step to finding ways to enhance an organization’s diversity, equity and inclusion results is conducting an audit of all diversity-related plans, personnel, offices, units, committees, affinity groups and constituencies. For such diversity audits, having an outside consultant enables independent assessment and candid reporting on institutional diversity capabilities. Asking the right questions is more than half the battle of finding ways to effectuate an organization’s diversity goals. Here are some starter questions for conducting effective diversity audits:


1. In defining its “diversity” goals, how much does your organization emphasize diversity as a strategy for furthering its legal compliance; demographic; institutional culture; community relations; or central mission/business objectives?


2. Has your president, managing partner, pastor, chief/sheriff or chief executive officer along with other senior leadership team members (e.g., provost, deans, executive partners, department heads, assistant pastors, deputy chiefs, chief financial officer, chief operations officer) clearly and publicly committed to “diversity” as a means of transformative change and to building diversity, equity and inclusion into the mission, core values, planning, resource allocation and accountability measures of your organization?


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5. Does the CDO operate in a vertical structure that is aligned to accomplish the organization’s diversity plan as a collaborative officer (w/only administrative support staffing), unit-based manager (administrative and professional staffing such as programming, marketing, technology and research) or as a portfolio director (dedicated divisional infrastructure with supervision over administrative as well as diversity officers who supervise other units)?


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Contact DEI Facilitation & Consulting (386-473-1336) to discuss how Ted Small can assist your organization with asking the right questions to accurately assess and meaningfully report on your institutional diversity, equity and inclusion structure and capabilities.

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