The data described in this post were collected and analyzed as part of the project „Developing and implementing a D&I strategy for FZJ“
In the last post, we described how qualitative interviews were collected to better identify some of the Center´s strengths and weaknesses regarding D&I. . In addition to the personal experiences of members of marginalized groups, through the project we also focused on assessing FZJ ability to integrate diversity and inclusion perspectives into its main functions. Today, we would like to talk in more detail about the Diversity & Inclusion Audit that was run during the first stage of our project.
The main objective of a Diversity & Inclusion Audit (D&I Audit) is to provide an in-depth description of an organization at a given point in time regarding its ability to integrate diversity and inclusion perspectives into all of its main functions. D&I audits can be conducted by internal staff or by external organizations. Both options have advantages and disadvantages. In this particular case, an internal audit was chosen for three main reasons: a) the lack of an organization with extensive experience in conducting D&I audits in the German non-university research context; b) the agility and shorter timeframe of internal audits; and c) the existence of staff with D&I competencies within FZJ who can develop and conduct the audit. During the audit, internal employees have the advantage of familiarity with the organization and its structures. However, it is important to remember the potential biases of internal audits created by pre-existing relationships and power dynamics. Measures were taken to limit these biases: for example, the internal auditor did not previously hold any operational roles within the organization, and thus she did not review any activities for which she had ever been responsible. Furthermore, all organizational units involved in the audit were asked to review the audit data. In addition, a group of volunteers from the Sounding Group was asked to review the audit questions, data and findings. A review of these also took place by the project assurance team. The questionnaire used was developed in collaboration with staff from various units as well as external D&I experts.
Data were collected through semi-structured interviews with members of different organizational units. Interviewees were selected based on their knowledge of the overall context of FZJ as well as their familiarity with internal policies, processes and the overall infrastructure. In other words, the audit considered the opinions of experts and relevant stakeholders. Further data were also collected by analyzing FZJ materials such as internal guidelines, the website, the intranet, flyers and company magazines.