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Announcing the Diversity Dashboard

Over the past year or so we've been working with the team at Yorkshire Water to create a Diversity Dashboard for the Leeds City Region. This presents the workforce diversity statistics for the organisations that comprise the Leeds Anchors Network - the city's largest (mainly) public sector employers - and enables us to answer questions like:

  • How representative is the workforce of an organisation of the region in which it operates?
  • Is this situation getting more or less representative?
  • What are the organisational blind spots where little is known about a particular protected characteristic?

This diversity-focussed work builds on the outcomes of the Leeds Anchor Network roundtable, and also on earlier work we completed (for example the Diversity Explorer and Open Audience tools) allowing exploration by presenting the data in a more straightforward, summarised way which enables a kind of benchmarking.

The dashboard presents information about the following protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010: age, disability, ethnicity, gender, religion and sexuality. It also includes information about carers and socio-economic background-although these are not technically protected they are in some sense covered by the Equality Act, and are important markers of diversity in a workforce.

The background data is largely derived from 2011 Census data retrieved from InFuse/NOMIS with the exception of sexuality data which comes from a 2018 ONS survey with data provided at regional level. We're looking forward to updating this when the 2021 Census data becomes available next year. With the 2021 Census we should be able to add gender identity to the dashboard too.

Getting data onto the Leeds City Region dashboard is fairly simple, with the exception of the first step!

    1. Collect or extract data about workforce diversity. Luckily, most organisations had an existing dataset they could work on, but in some cases this needed to be reshaped to fix the schema we jointly defined.
    2. Create a simple CSV text file (Comma Separated Values) with a line per date reported and a column per metric. We've created a builder tool to help with this step, which has proved invaluable for organisations publishing.
    3. Publish the data somewhere web-accessible. We recommend a data portal like Data Mill North, as it helps decide on the appropriate license and so forth, but it could be anywhere!
    4. Either tell the Open Innovations team where the CSV could be found or (for the bolder!) update a file in our GitHub repository which indexes the diversity submission

      The organisations represented on the dashboard have worked to publish data in a consistent format, but we recognised early on that not all organisations have the same depth of knowledge about their workforce. We've allowed for this in the schema, and if an organisation can't provide data in a particular category, the dashboard indicates this, but continues to work.

      The other thing to note is that some organisations have published more data in their submissions than is currently represented on the dashboard. I've already mentioned the gender identity reports, but there are also examples where organisations have been able to report much more detail about characteristics such as ethnicity than we feel we can easily show on a general purpose tool. This data is there for anyone to conduct further analysis and come up with more detailed visualisations if they so desire. We also provide the summary data for the different geographic areas included on the dashboard.

      We're going to carry on supporting the Leeds Anchor Network to publish their data. Meanwhile, we're interested in hearing from other organisations across the Leeds City Region, or further afield who would like us to create their own version of the dashboard. Working together, we can get to a place where diversity data is regularly published in a way that people can access and use, helping to build a better picure of the representation across the region.