How to lead an internal diversity audit and achieve greater inclusion

A diversity audit can be a powerful investment in the workplace you want to create – one that prioritises a diverse team and an inclusive culture.

A diversity audit shouldn’t be seen as a bolt-on project or a reactionary commitment. It should come from a deeper commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion that is intrinsic to your business values, strategy and operations. 

With ED&I at the heart of our values at Anderson Quigley, an internal diversity audit was a natural extension of our founding ethos and a valuable method of assessing our progress and areas for improvement.

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A diversity audit helps you to evaluate the demographics and culture of your workforce, and understand where you’re lacking representation and where room for improvement lies.

These insights can help to inform your recruitment strategy, how you adapt your search tactics to reach new networks, and how you shape your internal inclusion and career development practises and policies.

It also serves as an important demonstration of your business’s commitment to equality and diversity. By sharing your audit findings publicly, you can acknowledge you don’t have all the answers today but are invested in making organisational changes to continually improve.

Preparation is key

If you come to your staff with a diversity audit out of the blue, you may be met with reticence and suspicion.

The process cannot be undertaken without any preparation, it must be approached as part of a wider company commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion.

From setting up an internal ED&I committee to one-to-one training programmes for your staff, diversity values should run through every aspect of your business operations. An audit can then be seen as a natural extension of this strategy, and your staff will be more likely to understand and embrace it.

A trusted external partner is important

Companies may be tempted to take on a diversity evaluation internally. However, if employees don't feel that there is a safe and impartial space to share this information, they won't engage with the process – or they won't be truthful with their answers.

A trusted external partner is therefore crucial to a diversity audit’s success; one that understands your business and what you’re trying to achieve.

It can collect insights anonymously and not share the raw data with your leadership team. This was clearly communicated to our team at the start of the process and helped to ensure our employees felt comfortable to engage.

Our survey also included a range of questions about inclusion in the workplace. It asked for honest feedback on what could be improved both in our business operations and broader workplace culture.

This is a valuable opportunity to go beyond a simple drafting of statistics and engage your employees on inclusion and diversity in a deeper sense.

Embrace a growth mindset 

A diversity audit of your company will likely illuminate areas where diversity is lacking and where there is still work to be done, perhaps significant work.

There’s no benefit to being discouraged at these insights. Rather, it’s important to view ED&I as a journey that is always evolving. Take these learnings for what they are: a valuable chance for your business to grow and develop.


Nicki Pritchard is lead for corporate, governance, EDI, operations and marketing activity for Anderson Quigley (AQ)