You’re a job seeker and you want to work for a company that is genuine in their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. Companies with a diverse and inclusive culture have a more engaged workforce according to McKinsey's report Diversity wins: How inclusion matters, May 2020. If you choose to target companies that you’d like to work for or you have a pending interview, I’ve developed six signs to help you identify companies that value diversity and inclusion.
1. Diversity Mission Statement
As part of your research it’s important to visit the company’s website. Does the company have a diversity and inclusion statement? In some cases, it’s a stand-alone statement or it can be immersed with the general mission statement. If there’s no mention of diversity and inclusion that also sends a message. You may want to explore this further in order to make an accurate assessment.
2. Statistics, Data and Representation
Research the demographic make-up of the workforce within the company. How many women, men and people of color are employed there? Has the number of people employed increased or decreased significantly over time? What is the makeup of the leadership and board of directors? Some companies make this information readily available while others do not. Transparency is important and can be quite revealing.
3. Branding Message and Image
A brand message communicates the values and uniqueness of an organization. Research the core values of the company. What image does the company project? What do employees say about the company? Investigate how they are covered in the press and media.
4. Employee Resource Groups
Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) or Affinity Groups are a good indication that DEI is supported but are they integrated and accepted into the company culture. Who do the groups serve? What communities are represented? Are they active? Inquiring about the status of such groups during an interview is a proactive way to learn about the goals and mission of the company. Talent acquisition and mentoring programs are also effective strategies for promoting D&I. Do they have a mentoring program?
5. Initiatives and Partnerships
Companies who make an intentional effort to partner with the local community on projects and initiatives that support D&I shows their investment in a community connection. Several companies have gone as far as creating ad campaigns that promote realistic thought-provoking messages about racism and differences. Does the company celebrate specific cultural holidays and or other traditions?
6. Responses to Interview Questions
Asking questions about diversity and inclusion during the interview is a good way to learn about the company. A question like, “how does the company demonstrate its commitment to diversity and inclusion?" can be quite revealing. Prepare a few thoughtful meaningful questions to ask hiring managers or those interviewing you.
In order to get varied perspectives, reach out to LinkedIn connections who work for the company. Don’t be shy about asking for their opinion about diversity and inclusion within the organization.
If you’ve been furloughed or laid off due to COVID-19, now is a good time to reflect on what you really want in a job and an employer. There’s no one single indicator to determine the culture of a company and their commitment to diversity and inclusion. Ultimately, who you work for is your decision and a very personal one. My encouragement to you is to look at the big picture, do your research and find the best fit for you.