Why Benchmark?

Campaign Directors, Kathryn Nawrockyi, Opportunity Now and Sandra Kerr OBE, Race for Opportunity call for your organisation to participate in this years Benchmarking Survey.

It is that time of year again: May 13 to July 17 is your window to submit information for our annual gender and race benchmark, the most sophisticated diagnostic tool out there. There is a lot to gain from benchmarking, but only if you provide us with an accurate portrait of your organisation – so be organised. See our guide on ‘preparing for the benchmark’

Benchmarking has been hugely influential to our organisational success. The latest structure for reporting has inspired us to deliver an improved capacity for HR data kinetics - enabling us to concentrate our efforts on themes such as the progression of our Race and Gender talent pool. The feedback we have received has been both positive and focussed. It has facilitated direct engagement with our Senior Leadership teams and enabled us to draw together thematic issues to deliver a collegiate approach. In sum, a thoroughly worthwhile exercise which we would invite other organisations to consider.

- Harry Brown,
Warrant Officer, RAF

We know what benchmarking is there for: to provide organisations with pertinent and specific advice based on material information. Organisations who have been through our process agree and we have plenty who are prepared to go on record.

Last year, we received 98 submissions – an increase on previous years. This shows a growing commitment to benchmarking from our members. However, not all of you took part. If you are one of those members, we encourage you to reconsider. This is how we respond to the common reasons given not to benchmark:

1) We don’t have the time or the resource:

In a time of austerity, you cannot afford not to benchmark. How do you know where to put your money if you have not done any diagnostics? Share the work; you do not have to do this all yourself. Get procurement, community etc involved.

2) We already know all of our issues:

Would you make an investment decision based on an impression that you have? You would not do this in any other part of your business, so why diversity? Some things can go under the radar: so it is important for organisations to be systematic in identifying them – the benchmark provides a structure, and a regular healthcheck on the status of your organisation.

3) We are only interested in comparisons with our sector and competitor X is not a member:

We provide sector comparisons to participants, because people are competitive and want to see how they stack up – but to be frank, peer comparisons should never be the main driver of participation or the main benefit. If you are genuine about the business case for diversity, then you must want to perform at the highest level: regardless of what your competitors are doing. Benchmarking allows you to measure this performance.

4) We want to benchmark across all protected characteristics at once:

An overview picture (with respect to diversity) is important, but we believe that only a really detailed and specific benchmark can provide the right level of insight necessary for excellent decision-making. We recommend focusing on one protected characteristic at a time and going into the necessary level of depth. We believe our Gender and Race benchmarks provide this.

Well, there you have it. Did you know you have already paid for benchmarking through your membership? So get involved!

Learn more about the joint Gender and Race Benchmark Survey 2014
Read testimonials from participating organisations