What Makes a Good Diversity Scorecard/Dashboard?

Best Practices From Sodexo, Monsanto, Nielsen and General Motors

By DiversityInc Staff

For an example of a diversity dashboard from Monsanto, click here.

Diversity scorecards used to be all about representation. They would measure gender and racial percentages for the workforce, management and top executives. And that was it.

Today’s successful scorecards and dashboards, like today’s diversity-management initiatives, link directly to business strategies and include more relevant variables, such as supplier diversity, engagement, retention, talent development and contributions to market growth.

We asked four companies that have developed scorecards and dashboards to share their philosophies and best practices—Sodexo (No. 2 in the DiversityInc Top 50), Monsanto (No. 46), Nielsen (No. 50), and General Motors, one of DiversityInc’s 25 Noteworthy Companies.

Difference Between Dashboard and Scorecard

Before we share their best practices, let’s clear up terminology confusion at many companies—what’s a diversity scorecard and what’s a diversity dashboard?

Although many companies use the two terms interchangeably, there really is a difference. A scorecard is a report that displays Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) with performance targets. A dashboard shows scorecard information with other related items, such as reports, charts and grids. Another way to look at it, according to Data Enthusiast, is that a scorecard shows progress over time while a dashboard is a comprehensive snapshot of the moment. Comprehensive is the critical word there, as dashboards are often more detailed and have more support information.

Best Practices for Diversity Scorecards/Dashboards

• Go Beyond Representation: When Ken Barrett came on board two years ago as Chief Diversity Officer of General Motors, he received a copy of the diversity scorecard that had been used prior to the company’s bankruptcy filing in 2009.

Ken Barrett, General Motors

“I was a little bit concerned that we were just measuring executive representation and not everything that was impactful [to the senior management],” he says.

His current scorecard focuses on talent acquisition and talent development, with emphasis on key levels for new hires, managers and senior executives. Particular emphasis is put on new hires and high-potentials with a U.S. focus on race/ethnicity and gender, and a global focus on gender.

The scorecard also includes supplier-diversity results, which are reported on a quarterly basis to the Supplier Diversity Council and focus on minority-, women- and veteran-owned suppliers. Additionally, targets for increasing minority- and women-owned dealerships are set each year, with an overall five-year plan in mind.

Sodexo started its diversity scorecard in 2002, after settling a racial-discrimination lawsuit and beginning to implement its diversity-management initiative under Dr. Rohini Anand, now Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer. The scorecard is reviewed annually and is often changed as business goals change, says Chad Johnson, Director, EEO/AA & Diversity Analytics and Systems.

“Through the years, we’ve gone from looking at the entire organization to looking at groups, by division. … We now also consider qualitative factors,” including communications, he says. “The diversity part is hardline numbers: hires, promotions, etc. … The inclusion part still has a quantitative feel to it.”

Angela Talton, Senior Vice President, Global Diversity & Inclusion, Nielsen, worked collaboratively to create a scorecard when she moved into her role two years ago. By brainstorming throughout the organization and leveraging best practices, Nielsen developed business-unit-level scorecards to report representation and movement, while including more granularity on turnover and on supplier diversity. More recently, Nielsen has added global reporting of gender by band and level.

“The scorecard is a conversation starter, a tool used to engage leaders in a conversation about internally reflecting the clients and communities we serve,” she says. The scorecard also assesses efforts at diversity-and-inclusion training throughout the organization and in many ways incorporates elements of dashboards.

Melissa Harper, Monsanto

At Monsanto, the scorecard really is a measure of progress, says Melissa Harper, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Diversity & Inclusion. Monsanto began its metrics about 10 years ago. “We were clear that metrics as a core competency was going to be the foundation driving inclusion and better transparency,” she says. Over time, the metrics focused on hiring percentages, voluntary turnover rate and promotions into management. Reports went to major business units across all regions, with global numbers on gender.

• Ensure Senior Leaders Are Accountable for Results: A scorecard isn’t effective if the business leaders (CEO and direct reports) aren’t seeing it and using it to further business goals. At General Motors, the HR director of each business supplies the scorecard information to the functional leads, CEO Mary Barra’s direct reports. Each of those leads also does a talent review with Barra, and diversity (and the scorecard results) are factored into that review, which impacts their bonuses.

At Sodexo, the diversity scorecard factors into senior executives’ year-end bonuses. Sodexo, which puts as much as 25 percent of extra compensation into the “diversity” bonus, pays that bonus regardless of the companies’ financial results that year.

Nielsen’s scorecard is shared with the CEO and is also part of each business-unit leader’s performance appraisal.

Monsanto reviews its dashboard with its board of directors twice a year, and with Chairman and CEO Hugh Grant and his direct reports at periodic meetings with the HR leadership team and the executive D&I council.

• Don’t Ignore Groups Less Easy to Count: The elephants in the room with diversity data continue to be LGBT people and people with disabilities, since it is difficult for companies to get an accurate count for both those demographics. Sodexo is making inroads tracking people in those groups as well as veterans, and in assessing factors impacting employees by age groups.

• Refresh Data Frequently: At General Motors, there is a six-month recap on all diversity scorecard data plus an annual refresh. Data on new hires are reviewed quarterly.

Angela Talton, Nielsen

Nielsen’s data are also updated quarterly and include percentage increases/decreases to show progress.

• Keep It Simple: Especially when dealing with senior executives, complicated scorecards with mind-numbing details won’t be effective, as these busy leaders don’t have time to go through all the data. Sodexo’s scorecard has a clear executive-summary page showing the bottom line on hiring, promotion and retention, with a heat map for each business unit showing progress or challenges.

As Johnson notes, this enables the company to pinpoint diversity-management areas that are part of the solution. For example, if a year-to-year comparison showed a drop in promotions, more emphasis in the scorecard would be placed on mentoring efforts, which yield more promotions.

• Share the Knowledge: Monsanto actually has created an automated dashboard that enables HR staff globally to assess its data to use for talent strategies, succession planning and people reviews. Of all of Monsanto’s human-capital dashboards, the diversity dashboard is among the top three accessed, Harper says.

Each manager receives a diversity indicator of factors including headcount shift, hiring, promotions, promotions into management and flow of talent (attrition rates) in a heat map “to make it pretty simplistic.”

• Use the Scorecard to Forecast: Sodexo’s Johnson advises companies to be predictive. “We’re not just telling the organization what happened. By the time we report everything out, it’s all history. This is the Holy Grail. We need to assess if we are going to hit the benchmarks that we’re looking to achieve and how to get there,” he says.

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