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University of Nevada, Las Vegas

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Las Vegas (Nev.)

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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) metrics enable organizations to set concrete goals and self-monitor their performance. In 2021, Nevada’s legislature passed Senate Bill No. 267 (SB267), authorizing the University Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) to study DEI benchmarks in the State. The study is designed to produce actionable results capable of informing policy and employer best practices in Nevada. This study was piloted in 2021, with study participation taking place between January 3-April 30, 2022.

The questions in the study were crafted based on DEI public policy considerations as well as metrics for gauging the scope of offerings available to women in Nevada’s workforce. As Nevada’s economy continues to diversify, it is important that Nevada companies have the ability to attract and retain diverse talent. As women continue to become disproportionately impacted by the economic consequences of the pandemic,i it is critical that in addition to equal pay for equal work, employers offer benefits that improve quality of life outside of work and set women up for success.

Competent, educated, and qualified women exist in the current workforce. Despite having the necessary experience, many of these women are not identified for hiring, and are systematically overlooked for promotion. The Nevada Workforce Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Study (Workforce Study) aims to measure how women experience the Nevada workforce environment, identify employer best practices, celebrate what employers are getting right, and use the study data to make recommendations.

In order to provide context for how women transition through their careers, the study considered the different hierarchical levels within a business or organization. It is particularly useful to see the vertical progression into managerial and executive roles. Our study data support other studies’ findings that suggest there is a “broken rung” for advancement into managerial positions.ii Unsurprisingly, there are bottlenecks and barriers specific to women’s career trajectories that become apparent. Now that the initial study is complete, there are benchmark data from which to measure changes, a framework upon which we can build sound public policy initiatives and mechanisms for identifying employer best practices. We also now possess the tools for educating companies and reinforcing the value of diversity contributions in the workplace.

With this snapshot of female progress through the corporate pipeline, predictive and initiative-taking measures become possible. One way these data translate into tangible results is through identifying desirable skill sets that can expand their career opportunities. That knowledge empowers companies to collaborate with talent and emerging leaders to create pathways for determining attractive skills sets, measure skills gain, and recognize the benefits of obtaining career enhancing certifications.

The purpose for collecting this data was twofold: 1) To commend employers for their achievements in DEI and thereby inspire others to do the same, and 2) To establish means for determining and developing workforce best practices.

Controlled Subject

Diversity in the workplace; Economic development--Social aspects; Women employees


Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Growth and Development | Policy Design, Analysis, and Evaluation

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6548 KB




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