InsightsNow Presents on Inclusivity for Demographic Questions

by Heather

InsightsNow Presents on Inclusivity for Demographic Questions

“: IThis past week in Philadelphia, we were thrilled to participate in the Insights Association’s Annual Conference. Some of the topics covered at the conference were demonstrating the business impact of insights, why the insights sector is thriving right now, and exploring critical issues like sustainability, diversity and equity. We saw fellow agencies talk about the latest and greatest, as well as brands like Lego, Campbell Soup Company, Walmart, and Mars sharing case studies and conversations.


Our Presentation on Demographic Questions

At the conference, we presented on our collaborative research project with the The Insights Association’s IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access) Council in the presentation, “On Good Terms: How to Ask Demographic Questions on Race and Ethnicity in a More Inclusive & Sensitive Way.” Our very own Sara Yang presented with Frankie Lipinski and Keyona Osborne from Escalent. This groundbreaking research on how to ask demographic questions on race and ethnicity—in a more inclusive and sensitive way—has the industry buzzing!

InsightsNow at IA Annual Conference


IDEA Council Study Methodology

The IDEA Council, in collaboration with InsightsNow and many members of the research community, conducted a study of 5,000 participants in the United States assessing 10 different race and ethnicity identity question formats that are currently used in the industry. InsightsNow specifically contributed to the study with the application of our Implicit / Explicit Test™ so that we could truly understand subconscious associations from the participants.


Study Recommendations & Conclusions

Our presentation at the event shared the recommendations on industry standards for inclusive question formats that the survey participants felt accurately reflect their identity, as well as how to use these questions in sample design.

Some of the conclusions from the research include:

  • Ask the demographic question only if you must, while considering your study’s objectives, audience and context.
  • If you are asking race and ethnicity questions, allow for specificity in category choice with more response options and detailed descriptions​.
  • Also, allow for multi-select on race and ethnicity questions, do not put “Other” as an option, give “Prefer not to answer” option​, and allow open-end responses.

There were many illuminating data points and insights drawn from this ongoing IDEA Council project that we’d love to share with you:

  • Learn more through our webinar, “Designing Inclusive Surveys: The impact of asking race and ethnicity questions in different ways”
  • Speak with us directly about this important study, reach out to us!