Bring Pride and Inclusiveness Into Your Organization’s Data

07/08/2022 by Maddie Kahl
Here are some ways to promote opportunities for inclusiveness and equity within the data of those that you serve.

Editor's Note: This post was written by two expert Arkies — Angela Hatem and Maddie Kahl. 

Happy Pride Month friends of Arkus!  I know what you are thinking, “Maddie and Angela, it’s July.  Pride Month just ended.”  Well friends you are right, June is over, but much like all the major holidays, we like to keep Pride in our hearts and in our actions all year long!   

As you may know, Pride Month is a powerful time of year for the LGTBQ+ community and their Allies.  There are fantastic parades, peaceful protests and most importantly, the recognition and the freedom to be one's true and awesome self. While a parade and a party might not be feasible each and every month, we CAN bring the spirit and power of Pride with us 365/24/7!

Acting on your org’s commitment to your values will probably vary from org to org, but we are happy to share a bit about how we do things here at Arkus. 

In 2021, Arkus formed the Arkus Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Advisory Board of which we are both members. (This is a great place for your org to start as well.) Our internal DEI advisory board provides a wonderful environment for members of our team to make a concerted effort towards intentional action and, focus upon creating a culture where everyone feels informed, included, respected, and valued.

As part of this commitment to our culture and values, we at Arkus proudly recognize the power of Pride Month and what it represents within ourselves, our communities, and for the communities around the world. As we recognize the importance of this month, we also carve out time for reflection, for discussion, and for advocating for change.  

Advocacy and change can manifest itself in ginormous sweeping moves, or through subtle, yet important, changes. In honor of Pride365, we here at Arkus hosted an internal scoping call to identify how to highlight and promote opportunities for inclusiveness within our own data and within the data of the clients that we serve.  

As with any change to your data and the information you capture, the first thing you need to ask yourself is why?  Why do we need this information?

An answer can be simple even if the reason is complex.  For us here at Arkus, the simple answer is so we can be better. To understand the complexities around the reason we have to ask ourselves another question…To be better at what?

Our DEI board exists to make sure everyone working with and at Arkus feels informed, included, respected, and valued — and also to make sure we deliver on our commitment to operating as a truly diverse team. These are the areas where we strive to continuously be better. 

How do you know what kind of team or community you have and what your why is?

That depends upon where you currently stand with your data. Are you capturing any information related to gender, ethnicity, and accessibility needs? If you don’t capture it, you can’t quantify it. If you can’t quantify it, you can’t advance with it.  

According to the More Than Numbers: A Guide toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Demographic Data Collection provided by the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Philanthropies, a grant funding organization committed to the pursuit of justice and the treatment of others with dignity and respect, the way you request important information is nearly as important as the information itself. Here are some quick bites of information our team learned from reading the guide.  

Be sensitive:  As with the data itself, be sensitive in how you request the information. Explain why the information is being requested, and why it is important.  Be clear, be concise, be transparent. Also, be clear that all responses are optional, and will be kept confidential.  

Be open:  When requesting information keep the options open.  For example; provide multiple checkboxes, allow questions to be open-ended.  Let your respondents tell you who they are vs trying to fit them into one checkbox.  

Be aware:  A person’s sense of self is very unique to each person, and the timing and understanding of one’s sense of self is not an exact science.  Be aware that your respondents may be in the process of discovering who they are themselves.  Give your respondents the option to “Prefer Not to Answer”.  In providing you a preference to not answer, they are providing you valuable information.  

These action steps might seem small in stature, but they are enormous in meaning to the individuals and organizations they impact.  As you have defined your “why” internally, and are now ready to begin collecting your data externally, remember to be present and transparent with your “why”.  The communication of the “why” and the transparency in your work will be important, and considered through every phase of your process and in every communication you share in regard to your DEI Data Project.  

To get you started on the road to enriching your data’s diversity and inclusiveness, we have provided a few well-thought sample questions and fields from More Than Numbers: A Guide toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Demographic Data Collection to assist your team in creating future surveys and new fields within your Salesforce instance.  

Samples Questions and Salesforce Fields

Pronoun Data

It’s important that this is not labeled as “preferred pronouns." Pronouns aren’t just something that people prefer, they are what they use and who they are. 

  1. What are your pronouns? (Select all that apply)
  • he/him
  • she/her
  • they/them
  • zi/hir
  • ze/zer
  • Prefer not to answer 
  • Prefer to self-describe: ________________ 
Gendered Data — here it’s important to include options besides male and female

2. Which of the following best describes you? (Select one answer) 

  • Woman 
  • Man 
  • Non-binary 
  • Agender 
  • Gender fluid 
  • Gender queer 
  • Prefer not to answer 
  • Prefer to self-describe: ________________ 

1a. Are you transgender? (Select one answer) 

  • Yes 
  • No 
  • Prefer not to answer
Sexual Identity

3. How would you describe your sexual identity? (Select all that apply) 

  • Asexual 
  • Bisexual 
  • Heterosexual/straight 
  • Homosexual/gay/lesbian 
  • Pansexual 
  • Queer 
  • Questioning 
  • Prefer to self-describe: ____________ 
  • Prefer not to answer
Race & Ethnicity

4. Which of the following best describes you? (Listed in alphabetical order; select all that apply.)

  • African American or Black 
  • American Indian or Alaska Native 
  • Asian or Asian American 
  • Hispanic, Latinx or Spanish Origin 
  • Middle Eastern or North African 
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 
  • White 
  • Not listed here or prefer to self-describe: ________________ 
  • Prefer not to answer
Accessibility

5. What accommodations, if any, do you need to fully participate in activities successfully? (Please check all that apply)

  • Fragrance-free environment 
  • Quiet spaces 
  • Screen reader accessibility 
  • Captions on videos or live captions 
  • American Sign Language 
  • Attention to food allergies 
  • Accessible entrances, access and bathrooms for wheelchairs or walkers Materials available in Braille or large print 
  • Ability to bring a service animal 
  • Prefer not to answer 
  • Something else: ______________ 
  • No accommodation requested

These are only a few examples, and we encourage you to adapt these questions to serve your community.

We hope this information was helpful to you as you consider the state of your organization’s data and inclusivity.  Now that you have been empowered with this information you might be wondering, where do we go from here? 

Speaking from an Arky perspective, the Arkus DEI Advisory Board has led to some truly awesome webinars focused on Diversity & Inclusion, opportunities for staff engagement, and powerful dialogue. In addition to our internal calls. we’ve met as a team with an awesome neurodiversity coach, joined in session with a mutual aid group, expanded our learning in workshops with the incredible nonprofit Campaign Zero and LGBTQ empowerment organization Start Out. We recommend looking more into each of these organizations. Another great resource to read through is the Start Out Code of Conduct. 

What workshops, webinars, or actions have you joined in on?  We have and will continue to look for opportunities to expand and extend our DEI footprint so that we as individuals and an organization can continue to be better every day.  

How are you making your organization and data collection more inclusive? We would love to know. Should you have any additional questions or would like to work with our team to help enhance diversity and inclusion within your Salesforce instance please feel free to reach out to us on Twitter @misshatem and @sfmak_, or to the Arkus team through our contact form linked further below in our site footer.