THE NEXT STEP TO A MORE INCLUSIVE WORKPLACE
We conduct secure voluntary staff diversity surveys for companies invested in cultivating an inclusive culture.
We have designed a straightforward process to support your Diversity & Inclusion strategy. Simply select which areas you would like to understand better, communicate with staff (we can help you with this), and receive results within 2 weeks of your survey closing.
By capturing and analysing data outside of your company and returning aggregated results only, your staff can rest assured that their privacy will be protected. Our approach also mitigates any potential privacy protection issues associated with the employer-employee relationship. Learn more about this here.
Our surveys support companies to identify areas of underrepresentation and develop D&I programmes based on real data. Our survey results can also be used to assess the effectiveness of existing strategies. Clients may also choose to publish their survey results as part of their Non-Financial reporting process.
“sameness breeds more sameness until you make a thoughtful effort to counteract it.”
WHY OUTSOURCE THE COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS OF DIVERSITY DATA?
When it comes to protecting employees' privacy, there are two reasons our clients come to us rather than collect data from their employees directly:
Firstly, engaging Diversity Data removes the need for anyone within the company to access or review their colleague's personal information, this provides a level of reassurance to survey participants.
Secondly, the collection and processing of demographic data by employers, even where that data is collected through voluntary disclosure, presents a data protection issue. Here we explain why.
To understand the context of this data protection issue, we must look at the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Article 9 of the the GDPR sets out the rules for processing special categories of personal data in Europe. Special categories of personal data, as set out in the GDPR, include, for example, personal data revealing racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, data concerning health or data concerning a natural person’s sex life or sexual orientation. Article 9 of the GDPR specifies that the processing of this data shall be prohibited but presents a number of exceptions. One of these exceptions is consent. Special category data may be processed:
"if the data subject has given explicit consent to the processing of those personal data for one or more specified purposes, except where Union or Member State law provide that the prohibition referred to in paragraph 1 may not be lifted by the data subject;"
At first glance it seems like this exception gives the all clear to employers to collect data from their employees so long as employees give explicit consent. However, the GDPR has specific rules around consent when it comes to employer-employee relationships. From the perspective of the GDPR, a power imbalance exists between employers and employees. As a result of this power imbalance, consent cannot be relied upon as grounds for collecting special category personal data -i.e. even if employees are told that they can refuse to disclose this information, there is a risk that due to the power imbalance, some staff may feel pressured to participate. In December 2019, the Irish Data Protection Commission issued a Guidance Note on the Legal Bases for Processing Personal Data clarifying this point. The note highlights that:
"consent should not be relied upon as a legal basis where there is a clear imbalance between the individual and the controller. Such a situation would bring into question whether the individual’s choice to consent was in fact ‘free’. This could occur in particular where the controller is a public authority, or employer."
Diversity Data remove this Data Protection Issue. By collecting and processing employee data as an independent party, outside of the company, with clear guidelines around consent and a robust data protection policy, we avoid the power imbalance issue associated with the employer-employee relationship.