Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for Labor Unions

Leadership diversity measure:

The labor movement has a saying: The leadership should look like the membership. To what extent is this true in your union? If you have a few basic numbers, you can calculate this. You can measure the diversity of the leadership for any group that you have data for: women, men, Blacks or African Americans, Latin workers, Asians Americans, whites, LGBTQIA+, or workers with a disability. We refer to this as the “target group.”

To start, you need to know the diversity of the membership the leaders serve. Let’s take a local union as an example, and let’s look at diversity in gender.

  1. How many top leadership positions do you have? Let's say it's 4: President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, and Treasurer. Enter 4 in the first field "Number of top leaders".
  2. Enter the number of top leaders who are women. Let's say it's 2. Enter 2 in second field "Number of top leaders in target group".
  3. Enter the number of members in the local. Enter 500 in the third field "Number of members in the local".
  4. Enter the number of members who are women. Enter 375 in the fourth field "Number of members in target group".
  5. Click on "Calculate DEI Index" to see your score.
DEI Calculator

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If the target group is proportionately represented in leadership, the score will be close to 100. Numbers below 100 mean that the target group is underrepresented. Numbers above 100 mean the group is overrepresented.

You can use this calculator for any target group you’re interested in. You can “guesstimate” the numbers if you’re unsure. You can also use to it assess whether your employer’s management is diverse. And if you want to make comparisons to the workforce overall, here are some percentages for the US workforce. (To use these, use percentages, rather than numbers above)

  • Men 52%
  • Women: 48% 
  • Whites: 77%
    • White men 41%
    • White women 36%
  • Black or African American 13%
    • Black men 6%
    • Black women 7%
  • Asian 7%
    • Asian men 3%
    • Asian women 3%
  • Hispanic or Latin 18%
    • Hispanic men 10%
    • Hispanic women 8%
  • Persons with a disability 4%
  • LGBQIA+: Precise data not available; estimate = 6% to 13%