For corporate leaders and HR managers, diversity and inclusion (D&I) has become an important component of a company’s overall success. However, many executives in leadership roles run into the same issue: Beyond looking at diversity numbers, how do you improve inclusion – and how do you know when your efforts are successful?
At Aleria, they have designed the answer to this vital question. Led by co-founder and CEO Lisa Russell, Aleria makes it possible for corporations to measure and improve inclusion in the workplace, a revolutionary development that promises to transform businesses for the better. For Russell and her team, it begins with giving leaders a way to track inclusion the same way they would any other critical business metric – something that has not been done in this way before.
“Although [business leaders] use D&I or DEI as common acronyms, if you look at the initiatives they have in place, they are typically focused on the diversity aspect because often the easiest place to start is representation metrics,” Russell explains.
“Of course, we want to increase representation of different groups, we want to see an increase in Black women in leadership, an increase in people with disabilities in your organization, an increase in representation across various age groups. But if you are talking about what will actually drive that change, we think of inclusion as the mechanism.”
Although the terms are often used interchangeably, Aleria helps corporations see that long-term diversity and representation goals are possible only if they create an inclusive work environment. While focusing on diversity can create easily tracked short-term solutions, developing an inclusive workplace can truly revolutionize your business.
“Inclusion is what actually leads to greater business performance and greater diversity,” Russell says. “Because then you are able to not only attract but also retain that talent.”
With Aleria, Russell and her team provide guidance and insight to business leaders who want to improve inclusion in the workplace but don’t know where to start. Aleria has designed an Inclusion Assessment that provides employees with a platform for anonymously sharing their experiences at work, particularly when they feel excluded. That information is then organized using Aleria’s patent-pending framework, “ The Categories of Inclusion.”
By organizing experiences with categories such as “access,” “recognition,” and “respect,” Aleria allows company leaders to see exactly which areas are most in need of careful focus and change. After reviewing the information with leadership, the team at Aleria recommends several key initiatives that can bring about lasting positive change within the company.
For business leaders, it is exactly the insight they need to design initiatives that will transform workplace culture. As Russell explains, Aleria makes it possible for companies to finally quantify, measure, and analyze their diversity and inclusion practices.
“We capture hundreds or thousands of employee experiences from each organization over time,” Russell says. “Our product provides leadership teams a visual way to really digest what is happening in their organization and where they can focus resources in a meaningful way.”
As leaders within the company enact new initiatives and programs, they can then reassess their inclusion data – if they see their numbers improve quarter over quarter, then they can proceed with confidence knowing that their plans are working. If the numbers remain stagnant or increase over time, leadership has a clear indicator that something needs to be fixed.
Aleria’s innovations within the D&I space have the potential to dramatically change the way businesses operate – and the way employees experience their work lives. They have already partnered with small and medium businesses, as well as large corporations, generating incredible results within organizations around the world. But as Russell emphasizes, their work is just beginning.
“We know that over $8 billion per year is spent by US-based companies on diversity, equity, and inclusion, but we also know that the needle is not moving,” Russell says. “Even when the majority of employees see that their company is investing in D&I, only a small percentage can actually say that they feel the impact on their own day-to-day experience. So, all of these initiatives are not actually impacting our teams the way that we intended.”
“That is really what we are trying to solve,” Russell continues. “We are out here meeting business leaders where they’re at and providing them clarity. We provide clarity on where to focus, what to measure, and how to define success as it relates to diversity and inclusion.”
To learn more about Aleria, please visit www.aleria.tech.