Conducting a Diversity and Inclusion Survey [+ Example Questions]

diverse paper heads

Conducting a diversity and inclusion survey is a powerful tool for organizations seeking to create a more inclusive and equitable workplace or community.

By gathering valuable data on the representation, experiences, and perceptions of different groups, these surveys provide insights that can inform strategic initiatives, policies, and programs.

In this blog post, we will explore the importance of conducting a diversity and inclusion survey and provide you with the step-by-step survey process, including the best DEI survey questions to ask.

Conduct diversity and inclusion surveys with our employee engagement survey company. To learn more about our services and pricing fill out an online contact form or email [email protected].

What is a Diversity and Inclusion Survey?

A Diversity and Inclusion Survey is a tool used by organizations to assess and understand the diversity and inclusivity of their workforce or community. It is designed to gather information and insights about the various dimensions of diversity, such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, disability, and more, within the organization or group.

A diversity and inclusion study offers insight into hard-to-measure constructs such as:

  • Belonging
  • Opportunity
  • Equality
  • Voice
  • Fairness
  • Decision-making

It’s important to note although your organization may consist of diverse groups of people, it does not mean employees believe it to be inclusive.

Therefore in order to improve workplace culture for better long-term employment, surveys help provide an anonymous outlet for staff members to share their real feelings, experiences, and overall sentiment. 

Most commonly the diversity and inclusion survey is conducted online via an email invitation link. However, there are other types of market research available such as phone surveys and mail surveys.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Whereas employee surveys touch on all aspects of company culture, DEI surveys specifically focus on how your team members measure topics of inclusion, fairness, respect, and diversity.

The Purpose of Conducting a Diversity and Inclusion Survey

The purpose of conducting a diversity and inclusion survey is to obtain quantitative and qualitative data that can help organizations identify areas where diversity and inclusion efforts can be strengthened.

It allows them to assess the representation and experiences of different groups, identify barriers or challenges faced by underrepresented individuals, and measure the overall inclusivity of the organization.

By analyzing the survey results, organizations can develop strategies, policies, and initiatives to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion within their workforce or community.

The survey findings can inform targeted training programs, policy revisions, recruitment strategies, and other diversity and inclusion initiatives, ultimately fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment.

💡 The Key Takeaway: Conducting a diversity and inclusion survey helps organizations identify areas for improvement by assessing representation, experiences, and barriers faced by different groups. 

Benefits of Conducting a Diversity and Inclusion Survey

Conducting an employee survey to measure beliefs around diversity and inclusion helps bring clarifying data to a complex, yet critical topic.

With the employee experience being far from equal, it is time companies take action to create more inclusive work environments.

The first step in achieving this goal is by working with an employee survey company that has experience focusing on diversity and inclusion sentiments.

Here are a few benefits and statistics that support the importance of conducting a diversity and inclusion survey:

  • Companies with females in the top management sector saw greater returns. More specifically, diverse management boosts revenue by 19%.
  • Diversity and inclusion surveys are a safe space and avenue for employees to share feedback about company culture.
  • Companies with racial and ethnic diversity are 35% more likely to perform at a higher level.
  • More inclusive organizations create a better space for innovation and forward-thinking.
  • Companies employing an equal number of men and women manage to produce up to 41% higher revenue.
  • More inclusive organizations are more engaged, creative, and successful.
  • Highly inclusive companies are more likely to hit their financial target goals by up to 120%.

Outside of measuring diversity, equality, and inclusion, employee surveys also act as a great channel for measuring other factors of the workplace.

Oftentimes, our employee survey firm helps organizations identify areas of improvement when it comes to leadership, work-life balance, salary, opportunities for growth, and more. 

Here is a brief video that discusses the top benefits of employee surveys.

💡 The Key Takeaway: DEI questionnaires allow a safe outlet for workers to express their lived experiences when it comes to inclusion. The results of this type of VoE market research provide actionable data for how to improve culture and forward-thinking.

How to Survey Employees About Diversity and Inclusion

The process of conducting a diversity and inclusion survey is very similar to an employee engagement study. It includes steps such as:

  1. Determine project goals
  2. Host a kickoff meeting
  3. Design the DEI survey questions
  4. Program the survey
  5. Send the diversity and inclusion survey to employees
  6. Analyze the results
  7. Debrief on the results
  8. Take action

Let's dive into each step a bit further.

Step 1. Determine Project Goals

What aspects of diversity and inclusion do you want to assess? Are you focusing on overall perceptions, specific policies, or experiences of different groups? Clearly define your goals to guide the survey design.

Step 2. Conduct a Kick-off Meeting

If you are using a third party for employee surveys, the market research team will likely host a kickoff meeting with you. This is a great time to diver deeper into project goals, objectives, expectations, timelines, and other details to assure all parties are on the same page.

Step 3. Draft the DEI Survey Questions

With the client’s objectives in mind, our employee survey company begins drafting the survey. To begin, we use a Google Doc. Our team makes comments and edits until it is perfect.

After finalizing the survey draft, the document is sent to our client for review. This is their opportunity to make any necessary changes.

Both parties should be 100% satisfied with the employee survey questions.

Step 4. Program the Survey Questions

Next up, programming. Drive Research recreates the survey document into an online survey programming software.

It is the backend of what the employees will eventually see when completing the survey. In this step, we work on general programming areas such as routing logic and answer sequences.

After the survey is programmed and passes our quality checks, a testing link is sent to the client.

Doing so provides HR or leadership teams with the foresight of how the survey will appear in the eyes of their employees.

Step 5. Send the Diversity and Inclusion Survey to Employees

Before sending the questionnaire, our employee survey company recommends a team member from HR or leadership send a company-wide email first.

This should simply state that employees can expect an email from Drive Research that will include a link to a survey.

Taking this first step not only helps with response rates but reinforces the notion of full confidentiality.

In other words, because the survey is conducted with a third-party, responses will not be tied to specific employees. They should feel comfortable providing 100% truthful answers.

Step 6. Analyze and Report the Results

After surveying employees, it is time to start analyzing and reporting on their feedback.

While our market research reports consist of an executive summary, a snapshot of key results, infographics, and a breakdown of question-by-question results, we like to think our reports stand out due to the consultative element we like to incorporate.

Our employee survey market research reports include expert recommendations for how to take action with the findings.

An employee survey is only as beneficial as how you rely on team feedback to make positive changes. Drive Research helps make that possible.

Step 7. Conduct a Project Debrief Meeting

Lastly, our team holds a project debrief meeting with key stakeholders of your organization.

During this meeting, we review the report page by page to assure no question is left unanswered.

Step 8. Take Action

Use the survey results as a basis for developing strategies, policies, and initiatives to enhance diversity and inclusion. Involve employees in the decision-making process, solicit their input, and implement meaningful changes based on the identified areas of improvement.

It is also important to conduct follow-up surveys periodically to gauge progress and track the effectiveness of diversity and inclusion initiatives over time.

💡 The Key Takeaway: It is important to partner with an employee survey company like Drive Research. Doing so lets your team know their feedback is 100% confidential. Plus, you can lean on the experts to manage all aspects of the project to assure its executed professionally.

20 Questions to Ask in a Diversity and Inclusion Survey

When designing a diversity and inclusion survey, it's important to include a range of questions that gather comprehensive information about various aspects of diversity and inclusion. Here are some questions to consider:

Here are a few example statement questions regarding diversity and inclusion.

  1. Do you feel valued and included in the organization/community?
  2. Have you experienced or witnessed any acts of discrimination or bias?
  3. Do you feel comfortable expressing your opinions and ideas?
  4. Are there opportunities for you to contribute and be recognized for your work?
  5. How effective do you find the organization's diversity and inclusion policies?
  6. Are there clear guidelines for addressing issues of diversity and inclusion?
  7. Is there equitable access to resources and opportunities?
  8. Are there initiatives to promote diversity in leadership positions?
  9. Are recruitment efforts inclusive and diverse?
  10. Do you believe the hiring process is fair and unbiased?
  11. Are diverse candidates given equal opportunities for advancement?
  12. Have you received diversity and inclusion training?
  13. Do you feel the training adequately addresses issues of diversity and inclusion?
  14. Are there opportunities for professional development that promote diversity and inclusion?
  15. Is there a mechanism to report discrimination or harassment incidents?
  16. Are there support systems in place to address concerns related to diversity and inclusion?
  17. Do you feel comfortable seeking help or advice from your superiors or HR?
  18. How satisfied are you with the organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion?
  19. Do you believe diversity and inclusion efforts have improved over time?
  20. What specific changes or improvements would you suggest?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Survey Case Study

An advertising company hired Drive Research to survey the Central New York (CNY) community.

The study's objectives focused on understanding content, news, and advertising that is most relevant to underserved communities. 

The survey explored how the communities viewed the brand and what made the brand more relevant. 

Details of the DEI Survey

To address the objectives at hand, our employee survey firm recommended using an online survey to collect feedback.

The market research was administered using a combination of the Drive Research panel and partner panels in CNY. 

Why choose online surveys? They are cost-effective, offer a quick turn-around, are measurable, and gather quality data. The combination of these advantages often provides an increased ROI for our market research clients.

Question Types Included in the DEI Survey

  • In which of the following Central New York counties do you reside?
  • In which of the following industries are you currently employed?
  • How often do you read, watch, or listen to local news in Central New York?
  • What time(s) of the day do you read, watch, or listen to local news in Central New York most often? 
  • What device(s) do you use most often to read, watch, or listen to local news in Central New York? 
  • How important is local news to you in Central New York?
  • How do you typically access local news in Central New York? 
  • What type(s) of local news is most appealing to you?
  • Which of the following causes/topics are you most interested in?
  • Which Central New York news source do you prefer the most? 
  • How often do you visit [insert news source]?
  • What would make your visit [insert news source] more often?
  • How often do you see the local news that appeals to you on [insert news source]?
  • How would you rate [insert news source] involvement in the Central New York community?

Highlights of the DEI Survey

  • The DEI survey took an average of 7 minutes to complete and included 31 questions.
  • The survey received 484 responses from residents in Onondaga County.
  • Fieldwork for the survey began on May 12, 2021, and lasted until June 2, 2021. 

Results of the Diversity and Inclusion Survey

With a probabilistic sample, a total of 484 responses at the 95% confidence level offer a +/- 4.5% margin of error.

If the survey were conducted with another random pool of 100 respondents, 95 out of the 100 results would yield within +4.5% or -4.5% of the stated totals in the reports. 

The advertising agency received a market research report that included components such as:

  • Key findings for the overall results
  • Breakdowns by critical demographics
  • A series of recommendations

Also, the raw data file was shared as a separate file, and question-by-question data portals were shared.

Final Thoughts

Conducting a diversity and inclusion survey is a crucial step for organizations committed to fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment.

By gathering quantitative and qualitative data through well-designed questions, organizations can gain insights into the representation, experiences, and challenges faced by various groups.

These survey findings serve as a valuable foundation for developing strategies, policies, and initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In doing so, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce and contribute to a more just and equitable society.

Conduct a DEI Survey with Drive Research

Drive Research is a national employee survey company located in Upstate New York. Our team partners with organizations across the country to deliver critical team insights to help increase employee retention and satisfaction.

Interested in conducting a diversity and inclusion survey with Drive Research?

Contact our team through your preferred channel below.

  1. Message us on our website
  2. Email us at [email protected]
  3. Call us at 888-725-DATA
  4. Text us at 315-303-2040

emily carroll about the author

Emily Rodgers

A SUNY Cortland graduate, Emily has taken her passion for social and content marketing to Drive Research as the Marketing Manager. She has earned certificates for both Google Analytics and Google AdWords.

Learn more about Emily, here.

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