Inclusive ICR, a local coalition with a mission to grow diversity and inclusion in the workforce throughout the ICR region, has announced the return of the DEI Index. The free diversity, equity and inclusion assessment is available to all area employers starting April 18 through May 12. The DEI Index is made possible through Inclusive ICR along with project investors ICR Iowa, the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, Iowa City Area Business Partnership, and the Iowa City Area Development Group.
The online assessment is available to any employer located in the ICR Iowa region, offering a variety of statements and questions based on five diversity, equity and inclusion pillars. One submission per organization will be accepted with flexibility to save and return to the index to ensure all information is collected for optimal accuracy and results.
Available to all ICR Iowa region employers from April 18 through May 12.
ORIGIN OF NEED + INDEX LAUNCH
Providing access to this annual employer resource was the result of a 2021 coalition survey to Eastern Iowa employers on the need for a cost- effective means to gain insight into their strengths and opportunities in the DEI space. The DEI Index launch in 2022 resulted in 178 responses and 93 customized, confidential reports generated for individual organizations. A regional report was presented to the Inclusive ICR coalition, and shared on their public platform.
While the launch in 2022 was a step towards progress, research indicates there is much work to be done. The 2023 Iowa Business Council’s Competitive Dashboard shows the population growth of Iowa has consistently trailed the national average, and state continues to rank 45th in the nation for ethnic diversity of population. The IBC states, “population growth must be accelerated to ensure economic prosperity while increasing diversity.”
“As leaders in the Corridor, we have the unique opportunity to face these challenges head on,” said Stefanie Munsterman, Co-Chair of Inclusive ICR. “By leading the way in advancing DEI, we will enhance our ability to expand economic strength for our region and Iowa.”
WHO WILL PARTICIPATE IN 2023?
The index planning committee is eager to see new and returning employers participate in the 2023 assessment. For those employers who participated in 2022, the index will allow for some reflection to identify progress and pivots since receiving their report.
APPLYING THE RESULTS
While the build and access of the index were essential to the launch, a key component to the DEI Index includes the connection of results to educational opportunities. From the 2022 regional report, Inclusive ICR was able to develop collation meetings aligned to topics identified as opportunities for area employers to benefit from deeper understanding. For employers with customized reports, the Inclusive ICR Resource Library was launched as a free online resource featuring local, regional and national tools that specialize in one or more of the five index pillars. Employers who participate in the 2023 index are expected to receive their customized report in late June.
COMPLETE THE ASSESMENT
The DEI Index allows only one submission per employer, with the ability to save the work and return before completing the assessment. Employers who plan to take the assessment are encouraged to create an internal working group to review and discuss the assessment questions together, to ensure as accurate information as possible.
Inclusive ICR is partnering with Reliant Talent Management Solutions to administer the DEI Index on their proprietary survey platform, ZipSurvey. Outside of Reliant, data access will be limited to the Inclusive ICR DEI Index project team.
Reliant has invested heavily in its technological infrastructure. They have a dedicated database and web servers secured by Watchguard™ firewalls. Their servers have undergone a thorough security audit by RSA Security, and ZipSurvey, Reliant’s online survey platform, has also received a seal of approval from True Digital Security. Located in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Reliant’s data center is fed by some of the nation’s leading bandwidth providers including Level 3 and Sprint.
Yes. A PDF version is available for organizations to review the items prior to taking the survey.
Participants are expected to reference the current state of their organization as they respond to items (i.e., present day; roughly Spring of 2023). For example, when providing the number of employees within the organization, participants can use headcount numbers that are accurate for any point during the period of the survey administration (April 18, 2023 – May 19, 2023).
Participants are asked to reference their local organization when responding to items. The “organization information” section also asks respondents to indicate (a) the number of employees in ICR Iowa, (b) the number of employees organization-wide, and (c) whether the organization has an international component.
Yes. You will need to obtain a unique link to your organization’s Index by taking the following steps:
- (1) respond to the first page of of items on the survey (which you can go back and edit later, if need be) and click Continue at the bottom of the page
- (2) respond to the items on the second page and select “Save for later completion”. You will be given a unique link to your survey that you can share. You are also given the option to provide an email address, to which the unique link will be sent for your future reference. Note that when you utilize your unique link, you will be able to move backwards in your survey using your browser’s back button, and forwards by clicking “Continue” at the bottom of each page.
Yes, you may save your progress if you have responded to the first and second page of items. You will see the button ‘Save for later completion’ on bottom of the second page. Clicking this button will provide you with a unique link to your survey that you can use to return to where you left off. You are also given the option to provide an email address, to which the unique link will be sent for your future reference. Note that when you utilize your unique link, you will be able to move backwards in your survey using your browser’s back button, and forwards by clicking ‘Continue’ at the bottom of each page.
When you successfully complete the Index, you will be taken to a thank you message that confirms your submission by saying “Your responses have been recorded – you may exit by closing your web browser.”