Part 5 - Measuring Success


Inclusion is a goal but also a process. Society is changing far too quickly for it to be an absolute.

Diversity and inclusion require long-term strategies and continual re-evaluation.  You want to schedule regular opportunities to re-take self-assessments or engagement surveys and re-visit your targets and plans.  Building in frequent short term evaluations helps you to provide interim reports, re-tool your action plans if necessary, support and reinforce decision-making or readjust your goals.

How do you assess the steps you’ve taken? First, every time you establish a goal, you should include how you will measure the achievement of that goal. Keep your goals SMART (specific, measureable, achievable, results-focused and time-bound).

For example, if you are running a theatre company and you want your written programs at events to show the company’s diversity, have you decided:

  • what the copy and pictures will be (Specific)
  • that all performers and administrative staff will have a photo to demonstrate diversity (Measureable)
  • that you can afford the costs of a photographer to take everybody’s picture (Achievable)
  • that the program looks professional and appealing, and can be distributed to all audiences (Results-focused)
  • and that it can be done by opening night (Time-bound)

Whatever you decide to evaluate can be that simple. Be clear about who needs the data, and why before you decide on how you will measure it.


Return on Investment

In many workplaces, organizations want to see a connection between the money spent and the return generated on that investment. In arts and culture, that might be measured through new donors and donations, expanded readership, or additional sponsorships for schools to attend arts education programs.

But it’s not all about the money. You could also consider return on investment through social benefits such as living up to your organization’s social values and responsibility, good public relations, better community connections and relationships or becoming a partner of choice in local community initiatives. 

Benefits might also be internal: improved team dynamics, confidence about finding the next generation of leaders for the organization, better decision-making, broadening staff networks or improved staff retention.