How to Create Inclusive Surveys

All businesses strive to be a melting pot of diversity and inclusivity with their employees. However, the main question is do companies truly understanding the meaning of diversity and inclusivity to include it in their surveys? When we think of the concepts of diversity and inclusivity, the first thing that comes to mind is the social and ethnic backgrounds. However, there is a lot more to the concepts than meet the eye. Diversity is defined as the practice or quality of including or involving people from a range of different social and ethnic backgrounds and of different genders, sexual orientations, etc.

On the other hand, Inclusivity is defined as the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized. Diversity and inclusivity collide in all concepts including gender, sexual orientation and social and ethnic backgrounds. Listed below are a few tips and tricks for organizations to create diverse and inclusive surveys.  

Tips and Tricks  

Don’t Define “Normal” 

Not many people realize that there is absolutely no such thing as “normal”. Defining “normal” in a survey will discourage stakeholders to take the survey in the first place. There shouldn’t be a default answer in any question. For example, if someone were asked the question about their gender, the response section should be open-ended. It’s not just “Male” or “Female” anymore. The world has evolved beyond the two basic genders. It’s the same with religion. All cultures have so many different religions other than the four basic ones. An example would be the Baháʼí faith. The Baháʼí faith is a fairly new religion that allows us to learn how special all religions are and the unity of people. The golden rule is to not make any one response more important than the other ones.  

Be Mindful of Your Language 

Sensitivity to language is crucial to creating a survey. There are people in this world who get easily offended by certain words and phrases in a sentence. Such words and phrases do not necessarily need to be curse words. However, there are certain words and phrases that be a trigger warning to some people. Rather than using everyday jargon, it is important to use “inclusive language” in a survey. “Inclusive Language” means to acknowledge and respect all cultures and using the appropriate language rather than making assumptions. Another thing to be aware of the is the diversity of the target audience. Educate yourself on derogatory phrases for all cultures and religions.  

Don’t Make Questions Required 

One of the major frustrations people face whilst taking surveys are answering required questions. Not making questions required allows the stakeholder to save time and feel secure about themselves. Such questions could be about sexual orientation, gender and race and ethnicity. The best advice is to not make any question required unless it is absolutely necessary. If you choose to ask a personal question and make it required, the stakeholder will most likely end the survey rather than continue to take the survey. There are two ways of handling such a situation. You can either make the question optional or if you do choose to make the question required, you can add an option of “Prefer Not to Answer”. That way, stakeholders will feel more encouraged to carry on with the survey.  

Be Mindful of Demographic Questions 

Demographic Questions are questions that inquire about gender, race age and sexual orientation. Such questions can allow you to understand your target audience on a more personal level. However, only use such questions if and only if they are absolutely necessary. Your respondents may be unwilling to provide their personal information due to the sensitivity of it. The best way to go about such questions is to keep them open-ended and optional, unless necessary. When it comes to the available options, be sure to be aware of the current state of affairs and include all options necessary for the particular question.  

Ensure your Terminology is Up to Date 

It is important to educate yourself and keep up with the latest terms and terminology. Language is changing almost every day. This is important to keep in mind certain terms and vocabularies for certain communities such as the LGBTQ+ community. There are great resources to learn from such as the LGBTQIA Resource Centerand GLAAD. People from the LGBTQ+ community want to feel validated and wanted in the corporate world. Many are discriminated against just because of their sexuality. According to Mckinsey, women and trans women especially feel isolated at the workplace, thus creating a negative atmosphere. Every identity in the LGBTQ+ community has a variety of pronouns. For example, individuals from the non-binary community identify as they/them. It is important to stay with the current times in terms of the pronouns and vocabulary for such communities.  


Looking for a way to ensure diversity and inclusivity in your surveys? PxidaX has templates for both employees and customers for you to understand your target audience better. For more information, check out our website!