Diversity Inc: How Data Geeks Exposed Diversity Reporting in the Fortune 500
It’s frustrating. Actually, it’s outright bonkers, and intentionally so.
There are 500 companies on the aptly-named Fortune 500 list, yet only a small portion track and publish workplace diversity statistics.
Worse yet, they track their data in different ways. One stat might be labeled the same, but if you read the fine print, it might be tracked differently across companies. Women % in tech might actually be self-identified women who work in anything that uses a computer.
Inconsistency between stats is just the beginning.
Although many are better than others with tracking and sharing data, companies are still in the dark ages of .pdf diversity reports shared at yearly intervals. Only some publish their stats on corporate responsibility webpages, but none actually allow easy data exports.
In short, analyzing the state of diversity in business today is a nightmare, even for publicly traded companies.
It would take days, no, weeks to compile all of these diversity reports from around the web into a centralized and comparative database for the world to view. Such a database would allow companies to compare and hold each other accountable for promoting diversity in the workplace. It would allow companies to showcase progress in historically problematic areas such as hiring women in tech.
Such a project would be a great service to the public as well as to each of the Fortune 500 companies, and it’s exactly what DJ Krebasch has done at DEI Score.
DEI Score: A New Way to Track & Compare Diversity Across Companies
After aggregating diversity data from hundreds of publicly available diversity reports from Fortune 500 companies, DEI (working with Process Zip) made never-before-seen dashboards for people to compare Fortune 500 companies on their various diversity stats.
The insights are numerous.
- Not many Fortune 500 companies publish their diversity data
- Hispanic and Black people are 3–4X under-represented in tech and other roles.
- Women are still vastly underrepresented in board positions and tech.
- Disability and LGBTQI+ tracking are rarely published in reports.
Across the board, Fortune 500 companies still have ways to go towards achieving equal representation (compared to their US average population) for many minorities and women. When data is publicly available and comparable across industries are regions, public knowledge and pressure can help incentivize companies to continue to improve in these statistics.
But this is just for Fortune 500 companies. Where the real magic of DEI comes in is for other, smaller, companies that have a desire to improve their companies’ diversity.
The Future of Diversity Tracking
DEI wants companies to commit to diversity by publishing their diversity statistics in a publicly shared database. When companies can see how they compare with similar companies in their region/state, they can begin to benchmark their performance for hiring diverse talent.
To get started tracking and comparing your company’s diversity statistics, you can visit https://deiscore.com/start/ and choose the option that best fits your situation.
Note: I am a co-founder of Process Zip, the change management and data consultancy company that created the dashboards alongside DEI Score. We help companies use data to drive change in their businesses and society at large.