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New Report: Measuring the Impact of Diversity & Inclusion Training



The goal of diversity and inclusion (D&I) training is to shift your organization closer to its D&I and business goals. But, is your organization asking the right questions and analyzing the right data to measure the business impact of your D&I training? This is what IBIS aims to find out. There is a lack of research to show the impact of D&I training, so we are partnering in research with organizations to identify the right D&I metrics with the end results provided in a new annual report.

The Impact of Blended E-Learning and D&I training

E-learning and blended learning has been shown to be more effective in changing users’ perceptions and leads to more positive attitudes when compared to instructor-led training¹, but only when there is a clear rationale for completing the training course². Research on diversity training has shown mixed results in the ability of D&I training to change perceptions, but this research was not conducted in today’s complex organizations; it was conducted within the military, graduate schools and in high schools³. Can the mixed results of D&I training be bridged with the success of e-learning to yield a positive impact within your company?

To answer this question, IBIS is partnering with organizations ranging from Fortune 500 companies to academic institutions to cut through the noise with analytics to get to the data that is the most useful for determining the business impact of D&I training. These analytics can provide the clear rationale needed for establishing the impact of D&I training.


The Right Questions

The limited research that measures the causal effects of D&I training indicates that D&I training does not exist in a vacuum: the impact of D&I training is negatively affected by variables such as a lack of D&I officers and training that is limited to a one-day course³.

Determining the impact of D&I training begins with identifying these variables by asking the right questions:

  • Does your organization have designated D&I officers?
  • What is your company size?
  • How do employees perceive their work groups?
  • Is your D&I training one-day and instructor led or one-hour and online?
  • Do your organization’s leaders communicate a strong business case for D&I initiatives?
  • Does mid-level management support D&I initiatives?
  • What are the employee and management personality and thought styles?
  • What are the systemic changes being implemented to support D&I training?

From these questions, IBIS’s report can help you identify the variables that most resemble your company in size, leadership, perceptions and behavior. Once you identify these variables, the results in IBIS’s report can guide you to answering questions that predict the impact of D&I training within your organization:

  • Does D&I training change measured perceptions, attitudes, behaviors in companies similar to mine?
  • Will D&I training change our percentages in recruitment of employees of color?
  • Can D&I training increase employee engagement, motivation and sense of purpose?
  • What is the likelihood that sponsorship of women will increase after D&I training?
  • How will D&I training affect succession planning?
  • What will be the effect of D&I training on my organization’s climate scorecard?

Data-Driven Credibility  

With companies spending thousands of dollars on D&I training, being able to show the predictive impact of D&I training is critical for D&I officers when trying to get buy-in from company executives. Put simply, the business case for D&I training lies in predictive analytics. This predictable impact is critical to the credibility of D&I training, because to gain a seat at the business table, D&I training needs to contribute to strategic and data-driven business decisions.

In our next article, IBIS will discuss the survey tools we are using in our annual report. IBIS’s first report on the impact of diversity and inclusion training will be released in the fall of 2014. If you would like more information, please contact us


¹Derouin, R. E. “E-Learning in Organizations.” Journal of Management 31.6(2005): 920-40.
²Welsh, Elizabeth T., Connie R. Wanberg, Kenneth G. Brown, and Marcia J. Simmering. “E-learning: Emerging Uses, Empirical Results and Future Directions.” International Journal of Training and Development 7.4 (2003): 245-58.
³Paluck, Elizabeth Levy. “Diversity Training and Intergroup Contact: A Call to Action Research.” Journal of Social Issues 62.3 (2006): 577-95.