Measuring Equity and Inclusion: Our takeaways and resource guide to help you evaluate your DEI efforts

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On December 8, 2021, YW Boston hosted our second and final event in our virtual 2021 Elevating Lives Series with a program entitled “Measuring Equity and Inclusion: Using Data for Organizational Change.” Drawing from YW Boston’s unique approach and findings from our extensive DEI Services, the event explored the key drivers to behavioral change and how organizations can go about measuring new and existing workplace inclusion initiatives.

​​​​​​The virtual, interactive event helped attendees become better equipped to make change within their organizations. Attendees were able to reflect on how they measure diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives, actively discuss strategies with fellow attendees, and participate in a live poll on data and organizational change. The event featured YW Boston’s internal experts:

  • Anouska Bhattacharyya, Ph.D., Director of InclusionBoston
  • Rebecca Booth-Fox, InclusionBoston Manager
  • Sarah Faude, Ph.D., Director of Research and Evaluation
  • Evan Hines, InclusionBoston Manager
  • Erika Lala, InclusionBoston Manager
  • Kathleen Von Euw, InclusionBoston Manager

Elevating Lives 2021 is our fall event series featuring two virtual events focused on our work to create more inclusive spaces in Boston and beyond. Thank you to all who made our second event possible, including our sponsors, speakers, and attendees. We invite our community to learn more by viewing a recording of our event, as using resources related to evaluating DEI, below.

Captions are available for this video. To activate closed captioning, please start the video and select the icon labeled “CC” at the bottom-right corner.

How to develop equitable evaluation practices for your organization

Reflect on how your organization evaluates DEI

The first step in developing equitable evaluation practices is assessing the success of your efforts so far. Many organizations are measuring diversity by looking at who is in the room, in the organization, and in different roles. But has your organization started measuring equity and inclusion? As Dr. Anouska Bhattacharyya explained during the event, “When we expand our view beyond who is in the room or the role, we can look at other experiences, attitudes, processes, and systems.” So, take the time to consider what data may be missing or excluded, and what they key drivers are behind what you have been collecting.

Gather feedback to determine whether your organization has collected data inclusively

During the event, Dr. Sarah Faude stated, “no matter what questions you ask, or how you ask them, we want to emphasize that central to your success will be getting all voices to the table – both in hearing from all voices and in considering what questions matter most to even ask in the first place.” She stressed the importance of recognizing whose thoughts, ideas, and experiences may be ignored during the evaluation process. As you build or rebuild your evaluation strategy, take time to speak with staff across the organization about what matters to them and how to make the evaluation process inclusive.

Determine what your organization needs in order to improve

Before you can put your plan in place, brainstorm what your organizational will need, such as money, time, or staff, to have more equitable evaluation practices. How can you overcome any barriers to these resources, both in the short term and the long term? As Dr. Sarah Faude explained, evaluation “is a key way to get from where we are to where we want to be.” Going through the process of assessing and investing in your evaluation practices is a form of assessing and investing your diversity, equity, and inclusion practices as a whole.

Set your plan in place

Once you’ve reflected and gathered your resources, you can determine what your data collection and reporting will look like. Dr. Anouska Bhattacharyya asked event attendees to consider “instead of just asking “how do we measure DEI” to also or instead ask “what drives change?” and “how do we know that it has changed?” Ultimately, compiling data is not an end to itself. Instead, these reframed questions help you see DEI as a continually evolving process through which your organization can learn its own unique solutions in driving racial and gender equity and inclusion.

Fill out the form below to access our “Measuring Equity and Inclusion” resource guide:

Our InclusionBoston team has put together a resource guide which explores the importance of measuring behavioral change as a key indicator of successful equity and inclusion initiatives in the workplace. It also includes a review of our programs, an overview of our pilot research on behavioral change, and a guided workbook to help you develop equitable evaluation practices.


Need help advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in your workplace?

Whether your organization is large or small, you’re just starting out with DEI, or are further along on the journey, YW Boston will work with you to find the right solutions. We offer a variety of DEI Services:

  • InclusionBoston: Long-term organizational partnership designed to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels.
  • LeadBoston: Cohort-based inclusive leadership development program for mid- to senior-level professionals.
  • UncoverBoston: LeadBoston, our inclusive leadership program, facilitated for cohorts within the same organization.
  • DEI Workshops: Facilitated trainings that build knowledge, communication, and culture.
  • Forums: Facilitated interactive presentations about current events.
  • DEI Community of Practice: Unique space for DEI practitioners to collaborate and problem solve.

The data that Dr. Anouska Bhattacharyya and Dr. Sarah Faude presented on during “Measuring Equity and Inclusion” demonstrated the power of YW Boston’s InclusionBoston partnership.

InclusionBoston is designed to guide partner organizations through each step of this DE&I journey, including assessment, dialogue, plan development, follow up, and evaluation. Click here to request a consultation.


About YW Boston

As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and F.Y.R.E. Initiative, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.

Whether your organization is large or small, you’re just starting out with DEI, or are further along on the journey, YW Boston will work with you to find the right solutions. YW Boston offers a variety of DEI Services designed to create lasting change. For more information, please contact Sheera Bornstein at