Before implementing any specific initiatives, it is important to understand your organisation’s current culture and the level of inclusivity. The Diversity Leadership Group (DLG) Diversity and Inclusion Survey Report 2015 indicates that 63% of respondents have embedded diversity and inclusion within their organisation’s mission and values, and 75% of organisations have developed a diversity and inclusion strategy or plan.

DLG Diversity and inclusion survey template

To support engineering companies in knowing where to start, the DLG is giving all engineering companies access to the DLG Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering Survey Report 2015 and the survey template used. This will enable companies to make an internal assessment of their current position, as well as the possibility of benchmarking against other engineering companies. If an engineering company is interested in taking up the benchmarking option, an email will need to be sent to the  Diversity team to register interest in receiving the survey when it next opens. The survey template is included as an appendix to the Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering Survey Report 2015.

Six Ps cultural analysis framework

A structured review will help you develop a strategy or plan, or review the effectiveness of a current plan. The review will help create a baseline against which to measure future progress as well as identifying where there is room for improvement. This will help you to develop a tailored action plan and establish priorities for building an inclusive culture and increasing diversity.

In addition to the two diagnostic tools listed above, the six Ps outlined provide a framework for gathering key information, analysing the culture and processes in the organisation.

1. Policies

Review all policies related to the employee life cycle, for example, recruitment and selection, training and development, performance appraisal, bullying, harassment and discrimination, flexible working, career breaks, maternity/paternity/adoption leave. Ensure all policies are kept up to date with current legislation, are inclusive of all employees, follow best practice and are communicated to all employees. In particular:

  • Provide support mechanisms for those seeking career breaks – including but not limited to maternity/demonstrate to women that you want to retain them through career breaks and beyond.
  • Implement effective guidance on how to respond to unacceptable or unhelpful behaviour in organisations.
  • Implement flexible working for all/make flexible working a reality for all.
  • Implement a transparent career path/map or similar activity that supports employee progression.
  • Review and establish job design to ensure there are no barriers to recruiting the best person securing the job.

2. Practice

Review day-to-day management practice, for example, how are policies and processes applied? How inclusive are managers? To what extent do managers role model inclusive behaviours? How flexible are managers? To what extent do managers consider individuals’ needs and value contributions? In particular, you should:

  • Develop leadership and a corporate culture that positions diversity as a ‘business’ as opposed to ‘HR’ imperative.
  • Communicate and advocate diversity based on good practice.
  • Identify, address and eliminate unconscious bias/challenging bias.
  • Educate leaders and give them responsibility for change.

3. Perception

Consider employee perceptions of how inclusive the organisation’s culture is. Include data from interviews, focus groups, staff surveys, employee networks etc. You can collect broad views about what is working well in relation to diversity and inclusion and what the organisation could do to improve. In addition, consider perceptions in relation to employee processes such as promotion, career development opportunities, training, informal networks, dignity and respect etc. This will enable you to identify where improvements can be made, for example, through changes to policies and increasing transparency.

4. Population

Review the demographic make-up of the organisation. How representative is this of the local community, your customer base and the sector? In addition, review demographics in relation to key processes such as recruitment, promotion, performance appraisal, access to development opportunities. This will enable you to identify whether any adverse impact (ie, a certain group of people being disadvantaged) is occurring. In particular:

  • Use statistical information to raise awareness, measure progress and support diversity in organisations.
  • Set public targets and measure progress.

5. Power

Consider the informal networks that exist in organisations and the extent to which these have an impact on career development or project opportunities, access to information, perceptions of performance/ reputation and make people feel included or excluded.


Build understanding of where your organisation is in comparison to where it wants to be and what progress has already been made, for example, changes in demographics and staff perceptions. It can also be useful to look at benchmarks at this stage.

The DLG Diversity and Inclusion in Engineering Survey Report 2015 indicates that 78% of organisations include success measures and/or targets for diversity and/or inclusion in their strategy. These provide a good opportunity for understanding the level of progress made.

Next steps:

Once you have gathered information in relation to the six Ps:

  • Use the information to identify your organisation’s key strengths and development areas.
  • Remind yourself of what inclusive cultures look like (refer to Tool 2). What does the information you have gathered tell you about your organisation’s performance against the key factors needed for an inclusive culture?
  • Understand how your results compare to what you are trying to achieve.
  • Create an action plan identifying key priorities. Link this to the organisation’s overall strategy or objectives.
  • Engage senior leaders in the process as they will be key figures in driving action at a local level.