A8 Human Resource Executive®
thoughts and feelings within different employee
Using this data, HR and diversity teams can
identify problem areas and plan to mitigate issues
and challenges when they arise. “Much like how a
GPS today can help us avoid a traffic jam ahead,
HCM technology can help point out problems that
are emerging within diversity, and then give us the
ability to respond and adjust to this problem,” Kropp
Employment-law firm Littler Mendelson recently
polled its clients and found that just 16 percent
of employers are using artificial intelligence/
data analytics to improve workforce-management
decisions (those tapping the technology are most
often—at 49 percent—using it for recruiting and
Aaron Crews, chief data analytics officer at Littler,
says that, while that number may seem low, if you
were to factor in variables such as pay equity and
related data points, it’s probably higher.
“That 16 percent primarily reflects employers
offering a formal analytics project designed to move
a diversity and inclusion program forward or assess
its effectiveness,” Crews says, adding that many,
if not most, employers certainly have the data to
use analytics around D&I. Yet, he says, what many
employers do instead is resort to “anecdata,” which
he says typically involves relying on proverbial
wisdom or people’s learned experience.
However, Crews says, objective data is what
should actually inform decisions when it comes to
diversity and inclusion.
Workday’s Taylor notes that having access to
effective data-analytics tools is the starting point
that can help employers understand, at a base
level, some of the challenges and opportunities of
building a D&I strategy. Naturally, she uses Workday
Human Capital Management to understand many
things about the organization. For example, she can
look at analytics to explore pay across different
demographics or to find recruiting gaps.
“Organizations can use data to really think about
where to push for more diversity across the entire
workforce, or even things like gathering employee
feedback on diversity and inclusion,” Taylor says.
“We use analytics in that way as well.”
Tracking diversity and inclusion efforts should be
a single process, Taylor adds.
“It isn’t one or the other; they go together,” she
Senior-Management Buy-In is
Underneath it all, says author Rao Gluckman,
change on diversity and inclusion requires buy-in from the top. She advises HR to start with
leadership: Praise them for what they have done so
far to promote diversity and inclusion.
“Next, tell them they can do better because we
can all do better,” she says. “Hold them and the
organization accountable. You need the leadership in
the team to set the culture.
“Diversity and inclusion are good for business,
and any organization that cares about their business
should start caring about those issues,” she adds. “If
they don’t, they will not be profitable, they will not
innovate and they will eventually fail.”