ER data insights: Reveal the root cause of issues affecting ED&I

Nicole Currie

Written By Emily Charlesworth - Technical HR Consultant

31st May 2023

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In today’s dynamic and ever-evolving workplace landscape, organisations increasingly recognise the need to prioritise equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) initiatives in their operations. However, addressing ED&I issues requires a deeper understanding of the underlying root cause of employee relations matters. By delving beneath the surface of conflict and grievances in the workplaces, and examining people behaviours within an organisation, HR leaders can proactively put in place strategies to deal with issues that are affecting ED&I efforts and enhance overall people management.

This blog explores the power of delving deeper into employee relations (ER) insights to reveal the root cause of issues affecting ED&I to enable cultural change. It discusses how this approach goes beyond traditional metrics and helps businesses develop a comprehensive understanding of the factors influencing ED&I.

Understanding equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace

Equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) in the workplace refers to creating an environment where every employee is treated fairly, respected, and has equal opportunities to succeed and contribute to the organisation’s goals. It involves recognising and valuing individual differences, such as age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, neurodiversity, and other characteristics, and ensuring that these differences are not barriers to workplace inclusion.


  • Ensuring equal rights, opportunities, and fair treatment for all individuals in the workplace
  • Eliminating discrimination based on personal characteristics
  • Providing equal chances for career success and advancement.


  • Acknowledging and embracing the range of differences among employees
  • Including characteristics such as race, gender, ethnicity, age, cultural background, and education
  • Valuing unique perspectives, experiences, and talents that each employee brings.


  • Creating a work environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and supported.
  • Actively involving and engaging all employees in decision-making processes and collaboration.
  • Providing opportunities for growth and fostering a sense of belonging for individuals to contribute their full potential.

Promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion in the workplace brings numerous benefits, including enhanced employee engagement, innovation, and overall organisational performance. It fosters a positive and inclusive work culture that encourages a wider range of ideas and perspectives. However, simply analysing the workforce and ensuring inclusive recruitment processes is not sufficient to fulfil ED&I obligations.

To truly maximise the potential of ED&I initiatives, organisations must move beyond surface-level efforts and delve deeper into understanding the characteristics and behaviours of individuals. This involves overlaying the ED&I framework with how people of different characteristics are being treated and treat others. By doing so, organisations can develop a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to diversity and inclusion and identify where additional training or support may be required.

Moving beyond tick box exercises in ED&I

In the journey towards true ED&I, organisations recognise the importance of expanding the scope of analysis beyond demographic categories like race, gender, and sexual orientation. They understand that embracing the richness of diversity involves considering various dimensions such as socio-economic background, education level, cultural values, behaviours, experiences, perspectives, and skills. By doing so, organisations can develop a holistic understanding of the unique strengths and challenges individuals bring to the table. This comprehensive approach ensures that all aspects of diversity are acknowledged and celebrated, fostering a more inclusive and equitable environment.

While current ED&I data in organisations may initially lack the depth required for significant cultural change, it serves as a starting point to identify areas for improvement and progress. By recognising the importance of going beyond surface-level actions and tick box exercises, organisations can unlock the potential to address inequality and exclusion.

ED&I initiatives should strive to dismantle systemic barriers and biases, paving the way for equal opportunities. Through a comprehensive analysis that incorporates characteristics and behaviours, organisations can uncover specific areas where bias or discrimination may be embedded. This deep understanding enables targeted interventions that address these challenges effectively and foster a more inclusive environment for all.

Analysing behaviours and case outcomes by ED&I characteristics

In today’s evolving and diverse workforce, questions surrounding equality, diversity, and inclusion (ED&I) have gained significant importance. It is crucial to examine whether there are any biases or disparities when it comes to formal sanctions awarded to individuals or the outcomes reached by hearing managers.

Additionally, exploring the representation of individuals from different characteristics in key roles like investigation, hearing, and appeal managers can shed light on potential imbalances and promote a fair and inclusive working environment. By conducting a comprehensive ED&I analysis, organisations can uncover valuable insights that can lead to the implementation of measures to address any disparities and ensure equal opportunities for all employees.

To compare case outcomes with ED&I characteristics, organisations can collect and analyse data on the following aspects:

  1. Gender pay gap: By comparing case outcomes related to pay disputes, organisations may discover that women consistently receive lower compensation compared to their male counterparts. This can highlight potential gender-based biases in salary decisions.
  2. Discrimination complaints: Analysing case outcomes related to discrimination complaints can uncover disparities based on race or ethnicity. For example, it may be found that employees from certain racial or ethnic backgrounds are more likely to have their complaints dismissed or receive less favourable outcomes compared to others.
  3. Promotion opportunities: Assessing case outcomes involving promotion decisions can reveal disparities based on age or disability. Organisations may find that older employees or individuals with disabilities face barriers in accessing promotional opportunities, leading to unequal career advancement.
  4. Harassment cases: Analysing case outcomes in harassment complaints can shed light on disparities based on sexual orientation or gender identity. It may become apparent that LGBTQ+ individuals face challenges in having their concerns addressed or achieving satisfactory resolutions compared to their peers.
  5. Disciplinary actions: Comparing case outcomes related to disciplinary actions can highlight biases based on ED&I characteristics. For instance, organisations might observe that individuals from certain ethnic backgrounds are more likely to receive severe sanctions or face harsher consequences compared to others. This can highlight training requirements at management level.

These are just a few examples, and the specific case outcomes can vary across organisations and industries. It’s essential to conduct a comprehensive analysis that aligns with the specific ED&I characteristics relevant to the organisation and the cases being examined. The goal is to identify any disparities or biases in case outcomes and take targeted actions to address them, ensuring a fair and inclusive workplace for all individuals involved.

Without effective ED&I analysis, recurring instances and trends that indicate a need for better ED&I training and engagement can be lost within big data sets or may be mis-recorded as generic issues. By exploring behaviours and underlying reasons behind the occurrence of cases based on different ED&I characteristics offers a valuable opportunity for organisations to gain deeper employee relations insights. Through this process, organisations can uncover whether there is a greater or lesser tendency for cases to arise based on different ED&I characteristics in both the individual and decision-maker. This knowledge empowers organisations to understand disparities and challenges related to equality, diversity, and inclusion.

By leveraging these insights, organisations have the opportunity to create transformative change, ensuring that diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords, but deeply ingrained values that drive success and well-being for all.

Benefits of enhancing ED&I insights:

Fostering equality, diversity, and inclusion is not only the right thing to do; it also offers a strategic advantage. By moving beyond surface-level efforts and delving deep into ED&I insights, organisations can unlock the full potential of a vibrant and thriving work environment. This approach presents a multitude of benefits:

  • Attract and retain talent: Analysing workforce behaviours by ED&I characteristics helps HR professionals to proactively implement targeted strategies, policies, and training programs to foster an inclusive and equitable work environment that will attract and retain top talent.
  • Ensure consistent and fair employee relations case outcomes: In-depth insights into case outcomes based on ED&I characteristics, such as race, gender, or age, ensure fairness and equity by addressing disparities and biases. By examining case outcomes through an ED&I lens, organisations can proactively address related issues proactively.
  • Improve performance and innovation: Data-driven ED&I analysis identifies patterns, trends, and best practices, enabling HR professionals to replicate success, set measurable objectives, and track progress. Going beyond surface-level efforts helps organisations establish more meaningful metrics and benchmarks for measuring progress. This approach fosters continuous improvement and advances equality, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Promote accountability: Insight into case outcomes by line managers, investigators, hearing managers and appeal managers allows for the analysis of their outcomes, shedding light on any potential issues or disparities. This proactive approach helps improve the effectiveness and fairness of the case management process and identifies if there are issues at management level where training can be provided.
  • Support evidence-based decision-making: Analysing ED&I characteristics provides valuable data and insights for informed decision-making on diversity and inclusion policies, practices, and initiatives in organisations.

To create lasting change, organisations must prioritise fostering cultural transformation. This entails providing training resources that raise awareness, encourage empathy, and promote inclusive behaviours. By offering coaching and educational programs, creating safe spaces for dialogue, and celebrating diversity, organisations can cultivate a culture of inclusion and understanding. By embracing diverse voices and experiences, organisations ensure that their efforts genuinely resonate with those most affected by exclusion. Through these collaborative efforts, organisations can drive meaningful progress and create a workplace where everyone feels valued and empowered.

How inclusive is your organisation?

By embracing ED&I, organisations cultivate innovation, enhance decision-making, and elevate overall performance, positioning themselves as leaders in today’s diverse and dynamic world. Click here to try this equality, diversity, and inclusion calculator today and determine how inclusive your organisation is.

Remember, every step taken towards ED&I matters. By continuously learning, adapting, and involving diverse perspectives, organisations can make significant progress in creating a workplace where everyone feels valued and empowered. Let’s embrace the transformative power of analysing tendencies and outcomes by ED&I characteristics to find root causes of issues affecting ED&I issues, and work together to build a brighter and more inclusive future.

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