Diversity in the Workplace
In the past several years, job searchers have become more aware of the importance of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the workplace. What does that look like though? How can you tell if a company truly values DEI? In this blog post, we will discuss ways to tell if a company is truly dedicated to incorporating values targeting diversity, equity, and inclusion.
6 Ways to Tell if Companies Value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
1) Do Your Research
Check out the company’s website. Look beyond the pictures since many of those could be stock photos unrelated to the company. Read through the “About Us” section to see if they’ve taken a firm stance on issues that matter to you. Are they partnered with any national organizations like the ACLU, NAACP, BLM, etc…? Do they have a section on their commitment to advocate for social justice? If so, does the statement address specific actions they plan to take to further the fight for civil rights within the United States? Both Target and Ben & Jerry’s not only took a stance, but also made a call to action within their companies and communities. Take into account the size of the business you are researching, too. Small, locally owned businesses are also making strides to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. They may be supporting smaller, local organizations by donating a portion of their profits, donating services, or even offering a sliding scale for those who qualify.
2) Look at the Company’s Leadership
Larger companies often have a section dedicated to their leadership team. Pay attention to who makes up the core leadership. Are they diverse not only in ethnicity, but gender as well? Recently, NASCAR made a bold statement in support of their LGBTQ+ fans, much to the surprise of many people. When you look at their leadership team it also reflects a more diverse group of people. Utilize LinkedIn to check profiles of people within the company. Are you seeing people of all ages, ethnicities, and genders?
Of course, not all diversity is visible online. For example, it may not reveal if they actively hire neurodivergent employees. If you’re able to have an in person interview at the company, take a look around the office environment for any indications they make accommodations for their staff such as unisex restrooms or quiet, low lit areas to recharge.
3) Check the Company’s Core Values
Does the company have a mission statement or core values listed on their website? Look to see if they mention diversity, equity, and inclusion as priorities. Does anyone in the Human Resources department have a title related to diversity, such as a Chief Diversity Officer? Does the company have a group dedicated to DEI? For smaller companies, do they discuss DEI in their blogs? Do they mention consulting with trained professionals about diversity and inclusion? Do email signatures and name badges include preferred pronouns?
4) Ask Questions During Your Interview
During your interview, take the opportunity to ask questions about their DEI policies. Here are a few examples of questions you can ask:
● Diversity, equity, and inclusion are listed on your website’s core values section, can you share with me ways in which you promote them?
● Does your company offer management training on diversity, equity, and inclusion?
● How does the company ensure inclusion within the culture?
● How has the company made an effort to accommodate neurodiverse candidates and employees?
● Please tell me about the benefits your company provides.
5) Reach Out to Your Connections
Do you know of anyone who has worked or currently works for the company? Check your LinkedIn connections to see if you have any connections within your online community, even if separated by a few degrees. Send them an email introducing yourself and ask if they’re able to share their experience with the work culture and the company’s commitment to DEI.
6) Check Employee Benefits Package
Oftentimes, the benefits package reveals a lot about the company’s diversity, equity, and inclusion package. Does it include family leave benefits that includes adoptive parents or same-sex couples? Benefits like these demonstrate the company’s commitment to support all family structures.
As we enter into this new era of expecting companies to devote resources to promote a more diverse workplace, it is also important that we as employees also continue to make strides in being more inclusive as well. If your employer offers training on DEI, take advantage of the opportunity. Continue to ask questions, read articles and books on the subject. The more you grow in this area, the more you can add to a more positive and inclusive work culture.