Organizational Audit FAQ
About the Deep Diversity® Organizational Audit
What is the Deep Diversity® Organizational Audit?
The Deep Diversity® Organizational Audit is an innovative new assessment tool by the award-winning team at Anima Leadership. Given that many organizations cannot afford a costly equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) audit by a third party, the Deep Diversity® Organizational Audit seeks to provide invaluable information to organizations, helping them map their unique EDI journey.
This instrument is designed to be completed anonymously online by employees from across the organization to provide a solid perception map of EDI strengths/weaknesses analysis.
The Deep Diversity® Organizational Audit includes:
- A 47-question instrument that can be used to gather data from an unlimited number of employees;
- A comprehensive set of equity and inclusion-related benchmarks across six key categories;
- An average EDI Score, which can be tracked across time to assess organizational progress;
- Step-by-step instructions and templates to support staff buy-in and engagement;
- A detailed planning guide for next steps following assessment analysis.
What kinds of questions can I expect to see?
Anima Leadership has designed tested questions in a number of categories important to measuring EDI progress:
- Leadership and Accountability
- Human Resources (i.e., Recruitment, Selection, Retention and Advancement)
- EDI Policies and Procedures
- Organizational Climate and Culture
- Data Collection and Representation
- Employee Experience & Psychological Safety
- Five demographic questions
The audit is voluntary and you will also have the option to skip any question you do not want to answer.
Why should we conduct an EDI assessment of our organization?
Research demonstrates that advancing equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) is essential for any modern organization to succeed and thrive. There are a number of reasons that make an EDI audit an essential component of organizational development.
The reasons may be moral (e.g., “It’s the right thing to do”), legal (e.g., “The law requires we improve EDI”) or for economic competitiveness (e.g., “The world is increasingly diverse and we have to do this if we want to survive”).
To ignore feelings of exclusion or homogeneity can lead to toxic workplace relationships, high employee turnover, or even a loss of business.
When will the assessment be conducted?
The audit administrator for your organization will indicate the timeline to complete the instrument.
Is now the right time to do an assessment?
Every organization can benefit from an assessment of EDI at any stage of the journey. Depending on the level of organizational commitment and proficiency to advancing EDI, the pathway will vary. Some organizations are quite far along in meeting their EDI goals and others are just beginning. Depending on the structure and goals of the organization the action plan following the assessment may differ as well. Every organization can benefit from an EDI assessment at any time, with the qualification that there is commitment from leadership to follow up on the results.
What benefit will it have for me?
Data is an essential part of the EDI journey. Without data, issues can be seen as individual problems or anecdotal experiences as opposed to system-wide issues. Data provides a useful starting point for having discussions and measuring progress. This benefits each employee as the ultimate goal is to improve inclusion within the organization.
Is the audit mandatory?
The auditis voluntary.
Although voluntary, it would be most beneficial to have as many people as possible participate in the audit as this will improve the reliability of the results and ensure that the initiatives developed from the instrument meet the needs of all employees. The results will help inform realistic equity, diversity and inclusion goals, and enable progress measurement over time. Further, the information from the audit will facilitate the development of plans and strategies that improve the experience of employees.
Are my responses in the EDI assessment anonymous?
Yes! The audit is completely anonymous, and is intended to indicate general trends. The questions do not ask for identifying information, such as names, job titles or any contact information, and cannot be tracked back to any employees.
In fact, anonymity is one of the requirements for collecting self-identification data in accordance with the guidelines provided by the human rights commissions and privacy legislation.
Why should I participate in the EDI assessment?
The more your organization knows about employees’ perceptions of the workplace culture and systems, the better any initiatives can be targeted to improve EDI outcomes. Without maximum employee participation, the picture will be incomplete. Understanding the composition of the workplace will allow for creating an environment that is inclusive and welcoming for all.
Is it even legal to ask demographics questions like ones on this audit?
Yes. Data collection for the purpose of identifying and addressing equity gaps is now considered a best practice in most industries. Legislation such as the Ontario Human Rights Code in Canada permits the collection of voluntary demographic data (e.g race/ethnicity, gender, disability) if it is used to reduce barriers and improve services for historically excluded groups. Similarly, in the United States the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission requires employers of 100 or more people to collect demographic data based on federal laws such as the Civil Rights Act, the Fair Housing Act, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
How will employees be able to access the EDI assessment?
The audit administrator for your organization will send you a link to complete the instrument.
How long will it take to complete the audit?
The audit should take about 30-40 minutes to complete. This is not designed to be a standard survey, but rather a systems audit. The questions are detailed because we want to provide your organization with comprehensive data to make decisions about equity, diversity and inclusion policies and practices.
Data Storage and Analysis
Where will the audit data be stored?
The data will be stored in a secure, confidential database accessible only by authorized staff of Anima Leadership.
Anima Leadership’s website and security is handled by our hosting partner WPCloud who offer firewall protection on all servers. All sites are physically hosted in Canada, on server clusters that meet all requirements for federal and provincial web data privacy.
Who will have access to the data?
The data will be accessed by qualified staff at Anima Leadership, who have been trained to process, analyze, and report data. The data is completely anonymous, and individual responses cannot be traced back to any particular participant.
A final report showing aggregate results (i.e., providing averages that identify EDI strengths/weaknesses) will be available to the administrator of your organization and the leadership team.
How will the data be analyzed?
Anonymity will be protected. Individual responses cannot be identified. The data will be analyzed and presented in a summary format based on aggregated data. This means a final report will show the averaged responses to helps identify EDI strengths and weaknesses.
Does the collection of this audit data comply with legal, privacy and confidentiality requirements?
Yes. The tool complies with privacy legislation regarding the collection, storage and reporting of data. As Anima Leadership is based in Toronto, the privacy legislation followed is that of the Province of Ontario, Canada.