Diversity initiatives. What are they, exactly?

They're the ideas, measures, and programs - such as specific hiring policies and ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) - put in place to create a more diverse, inclusive, and better-performing workforce and workplace.

To realize the benefits of diversity and inclusion - for instance, there's a 20% increase in innovative thinking from demographically diverse teams - diversity initiatives need to be consistently reviewed. As the team at Project Include say:

"A one-off initiative approach simply cannot achieve systemic change; in many cases it does harm." - Project Include

Regular reviews also help to determine whether the diversity measures are working, need improvement, or need to be swapped for different initiatives altogether.

This diversity initiatives quarterly improvement process will take you through the entire review process, looking at initiatives regarding mental and physical health, gender, race, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, and parents and caregivers. You will note down the current initiatives in place, review them, and then scope out other alternative initiatives, should the current ones need replacing.

For consistency, this should be launched every quarter.

Add basic information:

The first part of this diversity initiatives improvement process asks for your basic information (name, email, and the date) in addition to the company's current D&I metrics.

Input your basic information

Add your basic information (name, email, today's date) to the fields below.

Putting in this basic information will help to distinguish this checklist from previous and future checklists that are launched from this template.

It will also be useful for the CHRO or CPO, as when they read through the review themselves, they can talk about the review with the person who completed the checklist afterward.

Add company's current D&I metrics

Add your company's current diversity and inclusion metrics in the text box below (and provide a link to the data if possible).

By adding your company's latest diversity and inclusion metrics (which will inevitably change over time), you can see where improvements have been made and where there's still work to be done.

Via the magic of variables, the information you put in these boxes will be displayed in later tasks.

Health initiatives:

Work can often be taxing. And considering that 1 in 5 adults will experience a diagnosable mental health issue in any given year, it's important for your employees to prioritize their physical health and mental health.

It's for these reasons that the next section focuses completely on health initiatives.

Add info regarding mental & physical health initiatives

Add information regarding any mental and physical health initiatives currently in place.

Putting certain initiatives in place - like DuPont's ICU program - will not only help to alleviate the stigma concerning health. It will also help any sufferers of mental health issues to appropriately deal with their circumstances, should health issues flare up.

If you have mental and physical health initiatives in place, write down their names/titles and describe them in the box below.

If there are none, type 'none'. 

Review the success of the initiatives

Review if the current mental and physical health initiatives are successful or not.

To help you review their success, you'll find pointers (not an exhaustive list) on what to look for below. Write your review in the text field.

Reviewing mental and physical health (what to look for):
  • Burnout. Are your employees taking on too much work and burning out?

  • Tiredness. Being mentally and/or physically tired at the workplace means there are underlying issues. (Encouraging healthy eating initiatives and after-work meditation programs are simple-yet-effect initiatives to combat this.)

  • Negative emotions. Work can oftentimes be stressful. But if negative emotions like anger, frustration, irritation, or apathy become predominant, that shows mental and physical health could be improved. 

  • Too much time off to rest/ for mental health days. Prioritizing mental health should be encouraged. However, if there's an employee or employees who are taking successive off time due to stress or other mental health issues, that could be a sign the initiatives aren't working well.
Mental and physical health initiatives:


Research other appropriate health initiatives

Research other appropriate and useful mental and physical health initiatives.

If the mental and physical health initiatives are working, they should be sustained. If they're not improving matters or having no effect, it's worth replacing them with alternatives.

Using prior knowledge and/or internet searches, find other mental and physical health initiatives that could be put in place. Include their names/titleslinks to your research, and descriptions of how the initiatives work.

Gender-related initiatives:

Gender-related initiatives are important. Companies who ranked in the top quartile for gender diversity (on executive teams) were 21% more likely to garner above-average profitability.

The following section will provide you with the tools to assess your current gender-related initiatives.

List current gender-related initiatives

In the text box below, list the current gender-related initiatives in place.

Think about the current gender-related initiatives (these could range from initial hiring initiatives to ERGs for part and full-time employees) in place at your company, then list them down. Also include brief descriptions about them.

Review the gender-related initiatives

Review if the current gender-related initiatives are making a positive difference or not.

Now that you've listed the initiatives, it's time to review them. Pen the review in the text box below. 

Reviewing gender-related initiatives (what to look for):
  • The correlation between hiring practices and diversity metrics. If the diversity metrics show that your workforce has high gender disparity, there could be an issue with the current initiatives.

  • The job roles different genders hold. Having a diverse company means there are people of different genders holding junior and senior positions alike.

  • Gender equality in the workplace. Do men feel comfortable taking paternity leave? Do women feel like they can apply for the jobs you're advertising for?
Current gender-related initiatives:


Search for different initiatives

Search for different gender-related initiatives which could be more useful.

Through an internet search or using your own knowledge, list different gender-related initiatives which could be more useful. Add a link to your research, in addition to the names and descriptions of the initiatives.

If you don't have any initiatives relating to gender, this is a good time to search for measures you can begin applying. 

Race-related initiatives:

Increased innovation. Reduced turnover. Higher revenue. This is only a small selection of the benefits that come from having racial diversity in the workforce.

The next tasks will help you review and improve your race-related initiatives.

Input details of current race-related initiatives

Input the details of current race-related initiatives.

In the text box below, input the names and titles of the current race-related initiatives that are in place, followed by a description of what the initiatives are. 

Assess the race-related initiatives

Assess whether current race-related initiatives are having an impact or not.

Seeing as you've listed the race-related initiatives you have, the next step is to review the impact they're having - or not having.

Assessing race-related initiatives (what to look for):
  • The correlation between hiring practices and diversity metrics. If your diversity metrics show that there's a large racial disparity, there could be an issue with current hiring initiatives.

  • Does your company have links with race-related workplace organizations? Having links with organizations like the American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) or ColorComm could provide your employees with an additional support network. 

  • Can employees work flexibly? People from varying races and cultures may have certain holidays, religious practices, or cultural events they need to attend. If your aim is like Google's - for employees to bring their whole selves to work - flexible working allows for this to happen.
Current race-related initiatives:


Look for other initiatives to include

Look for other race-related initiatives which could be implemented.

After writing the review of race-related initiatives, it's time to look for other initiatives to implement in lieu or in addition to current measures. 

Using the fields below, write down the title of the initiative, a link to your research, and an explanation of what the initiative is.

LGBTQ-related initiatives:

The following section will encourage you to review your company's LGBTQ-related initiatives.

Recent findings show that if LGBTQ employees have supportive co-workers and can be themselves at work, their productivity is increased by 30% (in most countries).

Add information on current LGBTQ-related initiatives

Add information on your company's current LGBTQ-related initiatives.

In the text box, write the names/titles of LGBTQ-related workplace initiatives you have, and add information regarding their purpose.

Determine whether the initiatives are working or not

Determine how much of an impact your LGBTQ-related initiatives are having.

Similar to how you've reviewed race, gender, and health-related measures, now do the same for LGBTQ initiatives.

Use the bullet-point list as a reference point for the review you write in the below text field.

Remember, the list below is not exhaustive.

Reviewing LGBTQ-related initiatives (what to look for):
  • Are other employees consciously or unconsciously biased? It's important to not disregard skillful workers due to their identity. Unconscious bias training initiatives will help to shed biases about others.

  • Are internal LGBTQ networks or ERGs in place? Similarly to how people from other races may benefit from Employee Resource Groups or internal networks, LGBTQ people might benefit from them too.

  • Are there links with external organizations? Partnering with - or getting help from - organizations such as Pride at Work will help LGBTQ employees bring their whole selves to work.
Current LGBTQ-related initiatives:


Consider different LGBTQ initiatives

Consider different LGBTQ-related initiatives which could be utilized.

Look for other LGBTQ measures which could be utilized in the near future. Write down the title of the initiatives, followed by links to your research and descriptions of the initiatives.

If you have no LGBTQ-related initiatives in place, use this as an opportunity to research potential schemes.

Disability-related initiatives:

1 in 5 people have a disability in the U.S. Roughly 30.6 million have difficulties with walking or using stairs, while 8 million have fundamental difficulties with their sight.

While disabilities can be both visible and invisible, it's important to put in measures to assist people with disabilities. This way, they can be their best and whole selves at work.

List the disability initiatives put in place

List your company's current disability initiatives.

List the current disability-related company measures in the text box, followed by brief descriptions of them. The initiatives may be related to both physical disabilities (i.e. having step-free office access) and invisible disabilities (increasing screen resolutions for those who are hard of sight).

Evaluate if the initiatives improve matters

Evaluate if current disability-related initiatives are improving the lives of employees.

Use the text box to write an evaluation of current disability-related initiatives. Think about if the initiatives benefit people with visible and invisible disabilities alike.

Evaluating disability-related initiatives (what to look for):
  • Are flexible working measures in place? Working at home can often increase productivity - 65% of people agree. And for those with certain disabilities, working from home might be an easier option.

  • Are there suggestions or complaints regarding facilities? People with disabilities might not have the required tools or facilities to do their job. If they face roadblocks, either an initiative isn't working or measures need to be put in place.

  • Are people with disabilities aware of additional resources, programs, or initiatives at their disposal? Having a resource - like an employee handbook, or a code of conduct - in which people can learn about how they're supported at work will help reduce stress, fear, and apprehension.  
Current disability-related initiatives:


Find other possible initiatives

Find other disability-related initiatives which could be implemented.

In the corresponding fields below, put in information regarding the names/titles of the initiatives, links to the research you've done, and descriptions of the initiatives.

To help with finding relevant disability measures, it may be worthwhile sending out a questionnaire or email (which could be answered anonymously) regarding what improvements could be made.

Initiatives for parents and caregivers:

Nearly 90% of U.S. families with children have at least one employed parent. Initiatives should be put in place to ease stress for parents and caregivers, so there's a healthier work/life balance.

The next section will help you to implement and review care-related initiatives.

Write about initiatives in place for parents and caregivers

Write about current initiatives in place for your employees who are parents and caregivers.

No matter if you offer flexible working hours or day-care solutions for working parents, write about the current care initiatives in the text box below. List the names/title and provide brief descriptions of them.

Assess how the initiatives are functioning

Assess the usefulness of your company's current care-related initiatives.

For parents and caregivers, think how useful current initiatives are. Write your assessment review in the text field below.

Current care-related initiatives:


Reviewing care-related initiatives (what to look for):
  • Are parents and caregivers comfortable discussing their home life/caring duties? Being able to discuss work and home life/caring duties means there isn't a negative culture surrounding parenting and caregiving. Initiatives which encourage conversation could help diminish apprehension.

  • Are parents and caregivers comfortable altering their work schedule? Similarly, if parents and caregivers feel secure in their job, they will feel more inclined to shift their work schedule for a more harmonious balance of work and home life/care duties.

  • Can parents and caregivers work from home if needed? For some parents and caregivers, working from home could be an easier solution that also results in increased productivity.

Investigate other initiative options

Investigate other care-related initiatives that could be implemented.

Look for other measures which could help improve the lives of parents and caregivers. For instance, increasing maternity leave period. When Google put this into practice, the rate of new mothers quitting their job decreased by 50%.

Write down the names of the measures, descriptions of what they are, and links to webpages you've used for research.

Reflect on the data:

Seeing as the deep-dive is now complete, it's time to reflect on the data.

The following tasks will take you through the process of understanding what has improved, what could be better, and what should change going forward.

Write down the improvements that have been made

Consider what improvements the initiatives have made, comparing your reviews to the D&I metrics.

Knowing which initiatives are bringing benefits is crucial. You and your team can then decide which initiatives to funnel time, effort, and financial resources into.

Using the text box below, write down the improvements the initiatives have brought.

D&I metrics:


Initiative reviews:

Mental and physical health initiatives review:

Gender-related initiatives review:

Race-related initiatives review:

LGBTQ-related initiatives review:

Disability-related initiatives evaluation:

Care-related initiatives review:

Reflect on what could be better

Reflect on what could be better by comparing your reviews with D&I metrics.

Unless you're hitting all of your diversity goals, there's always room for improvement. No matter whether it's a small change to your office's facilities or a large change to your hiring policies, reflect on what could be better using the text box below.

D&I metrics:


Initiative reviews:

Mental and physical health initiatives review:

Gender-related initiatives review:

Race-related initiatives review:

LGBTQ-related initiatives review:

Disability-related initiatives evaluation:

Care-related initiatives review:

Contemplate what should change

Contemplate what should change by comparing your reviews with D&I metrics.

If diversity and inclusion measures - from specific hiring practices to team building activities - are having little to no significant impact, then they should be altered, swapped, or removed.

Write down what should change in the text box below.

D&I metrics:


Initiative reviews:

Mental and physical health initiatives review:

Gender-related initiatives review:

Race-related initiatives review:

LGBTQ-related initiatives review:

Disability-related initiatives evaluation:

Care-related initiatives review:

Assign CHRO or CPO to review the findings

Assign your CHRO or CPO to this task.

Using the assign button above, assign your CHRO or CPO to this task. They will be able to read your comments on what's improved, what could be better, and what should change, via variables.

The CHRO or CPO will then provide feedback for you in the comment box below.

D&I metrics:


What's improved:


What could be better:


What should change:



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