By Michele Rapp
Assessing the Diversity and Inclusion of Your Next Employer
There are many benefits to working in a company that supports diversity, equity and inclusion. Such organizations may be more empowering of the individual, deliver greater innovation, and be more financially successful. When you interview as a candidate, you are assessing the role, expectations, the manager and organizational culture. Adding the diversity and inclusiveness of your potential future workplace to that list can enhance your career satisfaction and success.
We got advice on things to look for from three accomplished alumni who work in the diversity and inclusion field.
Shane Lloyd, AS’08, is a Corporate Diversity & Inclusion Consultant with Cook Ross, a firm that helps companies reduce unconscious bias and create inclusive cultures.
- A web page and/or annual report featuring details on their diversity and inclusion priorities and progress towards those goals
- Information about the types of employee affinity/resource groups to support peer networking and professional engagement for diverse employee groups
- Hiring panels that reflect the broader diversity identities of the organization’s employees
- A designated individual, or team, supporting diversity and inclusion efforts
- Positive comments about diversity and inclusion on glassdoor.com and receipt of rewards and recognition for innovative programs and initiatives supporting diversity and inclusion
- Seniors leaders who speak publicly about the business imperative of diversity and inclusion
Tara Spann, E’90, an experienced diversity, equity, and inclusion professional and currently the Chief People & Strategy Officer for MENTOR (The National Mentoring Partnership).
- The company’s website is its resume. Examine the diversity of its leadership. Review the annual report, sustainability report and diversity & inclusion report to best understand goals, priorities, progress, and actions taken
- Review corporate social responsibility website and report to understand the company’s community involvement, values and actions
- Use LinkedIn to reach out to your network or find contacts who worked for the company or knows someone who does. Connect with them to learn about their professional and personal experiences as employees, the company culture and gain a sense of how well the intended practices are implemented
- Ask questions during the interview process (use this article from The Muse as a starting point). Listen to responses and observe body language, including moments of hesitation, which can be clues to other issues and challenges you can explore further
Andy Huang, DMSB’11, MS’11, is Vice President, Americas Diversity and Inclusion at Barclay’s Bank, notes that candidates should consider what is important based on the stage of their career.
- The use of external benchmarks such as the Human Rights Council’s Corporate Equality Index and those from DiversityInc
- The language and tone of communications from the executive leadership and Board of Directors
- How diversity and inclusion is woven in the company’s mission
- Offerings of development programs for high performers
- Recruiting practices that increase the diversity of the applicant pool
- Mentoring and reverse mentoring programs
By following these steps, and considering your observations and intuition, you can make an informed decision about this career opportunity and making a move towards growth and success.
August 10, 2020