What is a Diversity Scorecard, Why is It Important for Gender Equality at the Workplace

What is a Diversity Scorecard and Why it is Important

Typically, organizations have what is known as a Balanced Scorecard for measuring and tracking outcomes against goals. By “keeping the score” on how well they have been doing on various measures related to strategy, policies, and other imperatives, organizations use metrics and KRAs or Key Result Areas to monitor and report the overall progress on the goals and objectives that they have set for themselves.

Similarly, in recent years, organizations have also been using specific and function wise scorecards as well as scorecards that “tie in” the progress of each function or department with the overall organizational goals and objectives.

Examples of such scorecards include the HR Scorecard which is used for measuring the performance of the HR function and how it fits into the larger and broader organizational objectives. In this context, it is worth noting that one can “drill down” further as well as move “sideways and crossways” to prepare what is known as a Diversity Scorecard.

This emerging trend in management theory and practice has caught the imagination of many business leaders worldwide wherein their efforts at actualizing a workplace free from gender discrimination, the absence of the glass ceiling, the removal of visible and invisible barriers to women and their career progression are some of the KRAs that are sought to be tracked and monitored to measure how well the organization is doing on these counts.

The Parameters That Go Into the Diversity Scorecard

A Diversity Scorecard can be used to measure how many women were recruited in a certain fiscal, how many women were promoted, and at what levels, the percentage of women being given raises in their salaries and bonuses, the number of cases of discrimination reported, as well as other parameters such as how many women are managers and senior managers when compared to men.

Indeed, all these parameters can be used to capture the organization’s state of gender equality and its conformity with the regulatory rules and requirements in addition to the very critical aspect of whether the organization is indeed “walking the talk” as far as gender diversity is concerned, or is merely “paying lip service”.

As mentioned earlier, the Diversity Scorecard would mirror the actual progress made on the efforts to make the organization a diverse place as well as to the actual outcomes when measured against the goals.

The Many Benefits of a Diversity Scorecard

The importance of such a Diversity Scorecard lies in the way in which it uses data to report the progress leaving little scope for “linguistic gymnastics” wherein senior executives routinely talk about diversity but very little is achieved on the ground.

Moreover, the parameters and the metrics being tracked can be tied to the pay raises and bonuses of the senior leadership as well as middle managers so that they are incentivized as well as run the risk of punitive action lest they fail to meet the goals set for them.

In addition, the Diversity Scorecard can also be part of the Annual Reports so that shareholders and other stakeholders can “see for themselves” the progress being made in actualizing a workplace that is diverse and free from discrimination.

Apart from this, a Diversity Scorecard can also address the “pay gap” between men and women employees that is at the heart of many problems related to gender and racial discrimination at the workplace.

Talking about racial and sexual orientation as well as physical disabilities, a Diversity Scorecard can also be helpful in addressing the challenges of Racial Diversity, Actualizing an Inclusive workplace for the LGBTQ (the acronym used to capture the broader categories of employees who differ in their sexuality and sexual orientation) employees.

Further, it can also foster a workplace that is free from discrimination of the physically challenged employees.

A Gender Scorecard Should Not be a Substitute for Window Dressing

Having said that, by preparing a Gender Diversity Scorecard alone, organizations cannot claim to be diverse entities despite what they report as progress.

Indeed, in our experience, we have come across many organizations that pretend to be diverse and report progress whereas in reality, what they are doing is “window dressing” wherein they “showcase” some prominent faces of women and other minority categories and in reality, things are what they were without any discernible change.

This is the reason why some experts call for external entities to audit such Diversity Scorecards in the same way in which their financial statements and the strategic outcomes are vetted by auditors and management consultants.

Indeed, there is always the temptation to show progress since such results are tied into the performance appraisals of executives.

Further, unless such Diversity efforts are backed by the executives and the complete cooperation of the middle managers and the full participation of the HR department is assured, having a Scorecard alone would not reflect the extent to which an organization is diverse.

Don’t Judge a Player by the Scorecard Alone

Lastly, it is often said that in Cricket, a scorecard tells half the story alone of the match and hence, it is important to watch the match fully as well as subsequent matches as well to gauge how well a particular player has performed.

To conclude, a Gender Scorecard can be the first step towards actualizing a Diverse Workplace, though not an end by itself.

This is the reason why experts recommend that organizations secure the “buy in” of the workforce so that a Carrot and Stick approach can be adopted wherein the incentives are also accompanied by the rewards.

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The article is Written By “Prachi Juneja” and Reviewed By Management Study Guide Content Team. MSG Content Team comprises experienced Faculty Member, Professionals and Subject Matter Experts. We are a ISO 2001:2015 Certified Education Provider. To Know more, click on About Us. The use of this material is free for learning and education purpose. Please reference authorship of content used, including link(s) to ManagementStudyGuide.com and the content page url.

Organizational Diversity