Inclusivity is important in all walks of life, whether you’re researching for medical purposes, marketing needs, or to create a better workplace environment. It provides you with a broadened perspective beyond what you may think to be the standard. It shows you different aspects of life that you may not have considered previously.
Now more than ever having a survey that aims to be inclusive is a vital part of having a well-reputed company or organization. When we talk about an inclusive survey, we mean one that accommodates a wider range of people in a way that is empathetic respectful but still goal-oriented. When you work towards inclusion you provide yourself a far more substantial and rich range of data
While there is no set of rules you can follow to make your survey more inclusive there are a few things that you should take into consideration when creating your survey.
Demographic questions can be a sensitive point for people. When creating your survey, you should be considerate of those who will be filling in the survey.
Let your audience know the reason behind the questions you are asking to be it religion, sexual orientation, or age. Give them confidence in you so that they can answer your questions with ease. When asking questions like gender, you should consider asking pronouns (she/he/they-them) as well because while people may identify as female, they may wish to be called by they/them pronouns.
There are many incidents where it is not possible to include more than a certain number of multiple choices in a question. Someone not finding an option that suits them may feel excluded. To rectify this situation a survey can offer a fill-in-the-blank option so that they can answer accordingly.
There can be questions in a survey that can make your audience uncomfortable and forcing them to answer it can make it difficult for the full survey. Many people will choose to skip the whole survey rather than fill in a question they do not wish to.
This is easily fixed, do not make questions mandatory to fill in, make them optional. While it may decrease some data collection for a small number of questions, it does allow for the remaining questions to be answered in full and provide a more inclusive view to your survey.
What this means is the person filling the survey while answering questions based on what initial answer they give. This is an empathetic and respectable way to make a survey.
Rather than a person seeing a question that is not suitable for them and making them feel that the survey is not catered towards them, they can simply be moved to a question created for them. It decreases any chances of unintentional harm such as asking a woman with no children if she has had normal births.
Language is Key
Today more than ever it is vital to use the correct terms when forming a survey. The way a question is worded can be unintentionally offending or exclusive to someone. The language you use in your survey should be inclusive, diverse, and sensitive to your audience.
Some terms and phrases can have historical or cultural significance and it is important to be aware of these words or phrases when making a survey. This is to ensure that you are not sending out surveys that can be unintentionally harmful to someone’s mental health.
An example of this is using Asian as a term to encompass all countries under Asian even though they are divided into a much larger variety e.g., Southeast Asian. East Asian.
Avoid using words and terms that cater to stereotypes. Such as making your questions about doctors or managers male based i.e., using the term He, while using she for nurses or teachers.
It is preferred to stick to gender-neutral terms
360 Angles is a site that provides templates for surveys for free. They are one of the first platforms in the Middle East to do this. Their surveys like their name aim to provide its user a 360-degree view of the data that they collect. The perfect site for all your survey needs.