Checklist: ISO 30415: 2021: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Inclusion is not a matter of political correctness. It is the key to growth: Jesse Jackson, Activist  


In the novel “Don Quixote”, it was written that “It is the part of a wise man to keep himself today for tomorrow, and not venture all his eggs in one basket.”  It means when we are planning something, we should have the foresight to see the future and plan our today accordingly. It means rather than depending upon only one option, we should have some backup plan to fall back on.  

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Content: Checklist for Self-Assessment: ISO 30415: 2021: Clause 5.0 to 11.0

  1. What is the purpose of the checklist?
  2. How to use the checklist for self-assessment
  3. Conclusion


As per ISO 30415: 2021 standard, developing an inclusive workplace requires an ongoing commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) to address inequalities in organizational systems, policies, processes and practices, as well as people’s conscious and unconscious biases and behaviours.

The key purpose of the checklist is to conduct the self-assessment and evaluate the organization as per its context.

Once you go through the article, you will understand the different aspects of the checklist, how to use the checklist and how an organization can benefit by using it.

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Definition: ISO 30415: 2021

Bias (3.5): Tendency, inclination or opinion that is preconceived or unreasoned that hinders impartial judgment.

Diversity (3.7): Characteristics of differences and similarities between people. Diversity includes factors that influence the identities and perspectives that people bring when interacting at work.

Employee Resource Group- ERG (3.8): People with shared demographic and other diversity dimensions, and their allies. An ERG generally consists of people who join together in a network to share experiences and beliefs, and to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace.

Equality (3.9): State of being equal, especially in status, rights, opportunities or outcomes.

Equity (3.10): Principle that policies, processes and practices should be fairly applied and individual needs recognized.

Fairness (3.11): The principle that everyone should be subject to procedures that are equitable and as far as possible free from systematic bias.

Inclusion (3.12): Practice of including all stakeholders in organizational contexts.

Onboarding (3.16): Process of welcoming people into the organization, its culture, expectations, policies, people and their roles.

Voice (3.19): The way people communicate their views and influence matters that affect them.

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Detailed Information

According to the latest “Diversity Matters Even More” report, there is a “39% increased likelihood of outperformance for those in the top quartile of ethnic and gender representation versus the bottom quartile.” Conversely, the risk of not having diversity on your leadership team is immense. Those companies lacking diverse representation are likely to be 30% lower in their performance versus their industry peers.

As per the recent study by Harvard Business Review, companies with an above-average total diversity (meaning migration, industry, career path, gender, education and age diversity), had 19% higher innovation revenues and 9% higher EBIT margins. Yet only 40% of employees agree that their manager fosters an inclusive environment!

When the organization’s top management starts looking at DEI as a business case, the implementation will increase in a real sense.

The standard is relevant to the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • (5) Gender Equality
  • (8) Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  • (10) Reduced Inequality.

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In ISO 30415: 2021 Standard, in annexure A, a self-assessment checklist has been provided. The objective of the checklist is to assess the organization based on its existing context and size. Each organization is different and their outcome will also be different. The objective of this checklist is not to standardise the performance of each organization but to assess where they are and how they can optimize their performance and mitigate possible risks.

  • Assess the current status.
  • Evidence of the achievements of the action taken so far.
  • Identify the opportunities and risks related to DEI.

Some of the key requirements for each clause (Clause 5 to 11) of the checklist are as follows.

Clause 5: Accountability and Responsibility

  • Clause 5.2: Organizational Governance: 4 checkpoints
  • Clause 5.3: Organizational Leadership: 8 checkpoints
  • Clause 5.4: Organizational Delegated Responsibilities: 15 checkpoints
  • Clause 5.5: Individual Responsibilities: 4 checkpoints

Clause 6: D & I Framework: 13 checkpoints

  • Plan: Set diversity and inclusion goals and objectives by leveraging diversity through inclusiveness
  • Do: Implement initiatives and actions to achieve organizational goals
  • Identify measures for assessing the effectiveness of the D&I Actions to address D&I risks, opportunities, impacts and outcomes.
  • Review: Identify diversity and inclusion (D&I) actions which can lead to the desired outcomes.

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Clause 7: Inclusive Culture: 11 checkpoints

Clause 8: Human Resource Management Life Cycle

  • Clause 8.2: Workforce Planning: 7 checkpoints
    • Identification of workforce knowledge, skill and ability.
    • Collect data about existing workforce composition considering demographic profile, sector, regions
    • Compare it with existing workforce availability to identify demographic underrepresentation and DEI Risks and opportunities.
  • Clause 8.3: Remuneration: 9 checkpoints
    • Pay and benefits could be fixed, partially variable, performance-linked
    • Benefits can be non-monetary like paid leave, retirement benefits, health care, flexible time
  • Clause 8.4: Recruitment: 14 checkpoints
    • To broaden the candidate pool, use diverse and accessible recruitment channels.
    • While screening, assessing and selecting, should be aware of the possible bias, disparity in gender, socio-economic disparity and demographically under-represented groups.
  • Clause 8.5: Onboarding: 10 checkpoints
    • Introduction about the organization’s initiatives related to DEI.
    • Identify individual requirements regarding work environment, facilities and technology including any specific individual need like health condition impairment
    • Provide information about resources like helpline number, ERG (Employee Resource Group), and how to resolve DEI-related issues or people complaints.
  • Clause 8.6: Learning & Development: 11 checkpoints.
    • Learning needs to be identified during recruitment, onboarding and performance management reviews.
    • Formal and informal approaches for learning and development like online, individual, on the job, coaching, mentoring etc.
  • Clause 8.7: Performance Management: 12 checkpoints
    • Performance management should encompass recognizing and rewarding inclusive behaviour and addressing biased and discriminatory behaviour.
    • Review the performance management process to ensure that DEI principles are embedded and are fair, impartial constructive and inclusive.
  • Clause 8.8: Succession Planning: 9 checkpoints
    • Considering, selecting, developing and placing individuals in positions that have a significant impact on organizational performance.
    • Identify a diverse pool of potential successors ready now or in the future, to assume leadership roles and critical positions.
  • Clause 8.9: Workforce Mobility: 11 checkpoints
    • Policies, processes and practices involved with transferring individuals from one location to another.
    • It can include temporary assignment, expatriation, in-patriation and repatriation.
  • Clause 8.10: Cessation of Employment: 11 checkpoints
    • End of individual’s employment with an organization either voluntarily or involuntarily, through resignation, retirement, redundancy, performance-related, ill health or death.
    • Policies, processes and practices for cessation should be transparent, and implemented impartially, sensitively and respectfully, with due regard to confidentiality, wellbeing and health.

Clause 9: Product & Services: Design, Development & Delivery: 9 checkpoints

  • Production, marketing and advertising for the product and services should be aligned to DEI by using inclusive wording and imagery. Example: How a person with a disability (vision impairment) can use the product or service.
  • Investigate current and emerging markets to understand unique requirements and identify any unmet demands. Example: Needs and expectations of people living in the North-East.
  • Use positive images of people from diverse backgrounds and inclusive language for advertising. Example: Advertisement of ‘United Colors of Benetton’.

Clause 10: Procurement & Supply Chain Relationships: 9 checkpoints

  • Business strategy to have supplier diversity to broaden the range of suppliers like demographically under-represented groups to improve resilience.
  • The continual commitment of suppliers for DEI to ensure decent work, a safe & secure work environment, and fair and respectful treatment of people.
  • Simplify procurement processes like documentation, supplier portal, and adoption of pre-qualification criteria to provide procurement opportunities to the broadest range of suppliers.

Clause 11: External Stakeholder Relationship: 10 checkpoints

  • Stakeholders can include investors, shareholders, community, educational institutes, regulatory bodies, customers, supply chain partners etc.
  • Identify the needs and expectations of these stakeholders as they can impact DEI initiatives positively or negatively.
  • Engage external stakeholders in DEI initiatives.

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In the 21st century, leaders have no choice but to adopt diversity and inclusion to its core. With a surge in understanding and implementing the principles of DEI in true essence, the results will be more dynamic and fruitful. The latest research has shown many benefits of a diverse and inclusive workplace:

  • Higher revenue growth
  • Greater readiness to innovate.
  • Improved global image and license to operate.
  • Higher employee retention

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ISO 30415: 2021

ISO 30408: 2016: HRM: Guidelines on Human Governance

ISO 30400: 2022: HRM: Vocabulary

Industry Experts

This is the 206th article of this Quality Management series. Every weekend, you will find useful information that will make your Management System journey Productive. Please share it with your colleagues too.

In the words of Albert Einstein, “The important thing is never to stop questioning.” I invite you to ask anything about the above subject. Questions and answers are the lifeblood of learning, and we are all learning. I will answer all questions to the best of my ability and promise to keep personal information confidential.

Your genuine feedback and response are extremely valuable. Please suggest topics for the coming weeks.

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