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The smart way to set diversity goals.

The smart way to set diversity goals.

Goals are intrinsically motivating. They draw attention to the distance from where we are currently and where we like to be, and they aid in directing efforts toward that goal. Setting diversity goals can assist you in achieving a balanced representation of various groups at all levels of your organisation. Diversity objectives are difficult to achieve. Have you found it difficult to establish a harmony between aspirational and practical goals? Do you feel like you're picking targets out of thin air? These are common obstacles to overcome. Goals must be realistic, specific, motivating, and inclusive in order for people to connect with them and feel driven to work toward them.


In this post, we'll show you how to get started with a goal-setting framework and how to use data to develop objectives that are appropriate to your organisation's context. This is only the first instalment of our series. In the future posts, we'll discuss how to hold leaders and managers responsible for your goals, as well as how to connect goals to the rest of the group so that everyone is on board. So let's get this party started!


Actions that should be taken:

  1. Consider what you would like to improve and where you desire to be in terms of diversity.

  2. To gain relevant feedback on your goals, benchmark your company's makeup.

  3. Set clear, quantifiable, aspirational, relevant, and time-bound diversity goals.


A. Examine the composition of your company.

Setting good goals necessitates careful consideration of the feedback. Goals must be defined, but if the figures seem random, you will struggle to reach them. It is critical that your goals are inspirational enough to inspire individuals to work toward them. Nothing will change if things are too simple. People will feel set up to fail if they are overly tough.


You'll need to do some study to develop reasonable and clear goals. Benchmarking oneself against industry norms and community representation will help you grasp what "good" looks like. It will offer you a good notion of what other people have accomplished and what you ought to aim for. When you attain a good idea of what you want to achieve, you possess all of the elements you need to create your goals.


B. Consider where you desire to be in regards to diversity.

You'll have a decent sense of where you'd like to go and how much diversification you want to attain now that you've gathered the data. You should establish lofty goals for diversity, but keep them focused. Spend a couple hours with key stakeholders brainstorming ideas and discussing the scope of your aims. Here are a few questions to consider:


What do we excel at as a company?

When making goals, it's critical to examine what needs to change. Consider the following traditional new year's resolution: "I want to be healthier." That could entail a variety of things, such as going to bed earlier, eating more vegetables, exercising more... Perhaps you're a marathon runner, but your cup of tea contains 5 sugars. You should concentrate your attention on things that require change, rather than on what you currently do really well.


When you recognize your diverse strengths, you can build on your accomplishments while focusing on your weaknesses. Benchmarking will establish a solid sense of what to focus on, but an audit will provide you the most in-depth information into what you do effectively as a firm. Fair HQ can analyse your people, processes, and behaviours to provide you with a complete picture of where you thrive and where you need to enhance in the areas of diversity, equality, and inclusion.


What areas need improvement?

Examine the figures carefully. You may have a lot of diversity at the lower levels, but it diminishes as you move up the ladder. Perhaps you've reached gender balance across the organisation, but Black individuals are underrepresented at the management level. Maintaining diversity objectives laser-focused on aspects of diversity that require improvement can greatly increase their impact.


Where are we trying to go?

Consider how you would like the business to appear in the future. Which diversity metrics do you wish to concentrate on? The vast majority of the time, the discussion of diversity revolves on ethnicity and gender. Make sure to account for intangible diversity measures including such disability, neurodiversity, educational levels, and motherhood. Looking too far into the future might be intimidating. It's difficult to predict how much will shift in the next several years if you're a young company. If you're a one-year-old startup, your best bet is to look one year ahead. Consider the following 24 months for scale-ups. And for a mid-sized company, think three years ahead.


C. Establish your diversity objectives.

It's now time to consider how you're going to get there.


Utilise the SMART acronym to keep objectives inspiring and motivating. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound Goals If you check each of these items, you will eliminate all uncertainty and bring the major milestone in sight.


Let's look at several examples and step by step create a SMART diversity goal:



Consider the goals you've set for yourself. Perhaps you want to "read 20 books this year," but that seems a bit ambitious. "Read two novels per month" sounds more manageable, doesn't it? Breaking down goals into bite-size bits makes them easier to achieve. Let us now adapt it to diversification:  From 'We will increase diversity in our organisation.' to  'We will boost women's representation in management.'



You can't manage something if you can't measure it. Add particular figures to your goal to make it measurable. Otherwise, your targets would feel like a blind alley. Setting measurable goals will assist you in keeping track of your progress and define what success looks like. From 'We will employ additional women in our organisation.' to 'We will reach 40% female management representation.'



Outside factors play a role here. Use the data to set a reasonable goal for your organisation. Include references to your benchmarks to make your goals feel more tangible. Individuals will believe in the process and be more dedicated about seeing it through if they know your goals have been well examined. From 'We will employ 25% extra women in the coming year.' to 'We will reach 40% female representation in management. Women hold 38.8% of managerial roles in London, and we can match that figure.'



Goals must be connected with your organisation's objective in order to be effective. People will be more motivated to strive toward goals if they can connect them to both personal and organisational achievement. Why is diversity vital for your firm, and what advantages does it provide? Make careful to incorporate the answers into your objectives. 'We will boost the participation of women in leadership since our organisation lacks gender balance.' to 'Diverse teams are more innovative, better at problem solving, and approach projects from a range of viewpoints.' That is why we are working on increasing gender parity at the executive level...'



Establish a time limit for when you'd like to complete your project. Make sure to include checkpoints along the route so that your goal never appears too far away. It will make it easy to prioritise work and keep moving forward. From 'We intend to attain 40% female representation in administration in the long run.' to "By 2025, we will reach 40% female participation in management." We plan to increase this number between 13% to 20% by the end of the year.'


This is just one method for establishing diversity objectives, but it provides a reliable framework for overcoming all of the common roadblocks that firms face.


How will you attain your objectives?

Diversity objectives aren't about checking boxes. You must couple your goals with a strong hiring and promotion procedure in which individuals are evaluated fairly based on their ability rather than their past. Hiring for diversity allows you to reach a larger applicant pool, and when combined with a fair hiring process, you will hire the best candidate for the job.