If it is important to you to work for an employer that truly values diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), search for evidence in their language, actions, and policies. You should notice indications of an organization’s commitment at every stage of the hiring process: as you are applying to a position, during the interview, and after you receive an offer.
Here are a few examples of efforts employers are taking to demonstrate their focus on DEI:
- Networking and recruiting events advertised on Handshake specifically for students or job seekers from marginalized groups (e.g, Women @ Google Tech Panel, McKinsey & Company Latino/Hispanic Network Session)
- Diversity statement in job postings
- Inclusive language on Handshake profile or company website (e.g., non-gendered titles, limited use of jargon)
- Public announcement of steps taken to address inequities
- Contributions of team members of various identities highlighted on their social media
- Salary included in the job posting
- Information about requesting accommodations proactively provided
- Accessible physical office space/facility
- People of different identities at all levels of the organization participate in the interview process
- Members of the organization treat one another respectfully regardless of their race, gender, age, or other diversity markers
- You are asked DEI-related interview questions (e.g., Tell us about your experience resolving conflict on a diverse team, Tell us how you have made an organization more inclusive)
The organization provides resources such as:
- Employee Affinity or Employee Resource Groups (e.g., Working Parents Support Group, LGBTQ+ Network)
- Inclusive benefits (e.g., transgender healthcare coverage, parental/adoption leave)
- Flexible work schedules and telework options
- On-site childcare
- Tuition reimbursement for continuing education
At any point, before, as, or after you apply for a position, you can message or speak directly to current (or recent) employees for a personal assessment of an organization's culture. For assistance with finding people, start with Mason's career connections. Ask questions that capture their unique experience as an employee.
- Do employees of all identities fully participate in all aspects of office life, including social events?
- What do you think best exemplifies the organization’s commitment to DEI?
- What does the organization value?
- Do you feel like you can be your full self at work? Why or why not?
- Have you ever experienced or witnessed any discrimination, bias, or bullying while working at this organization? If so, how was it resolved?
- What do you enjoy most about the organization’s culture?
- What are the leave policies for those who observe non-Christian religious holidays or those who need a mental health day after a national tragedy?
You will have the opportunity to ask questions that will help you determine whether an employer creates an environment in which you can thrive. Pay attention to the content of their answers, as well as their comfort in answering the questions. Ask appropriate questions based on who you are interviewing with.
- Joining an inclusive team is important to me, how do you promote inclusivity on your team so that all employees can succeed? (supervisor/hiring manager)
- What group do you consider underrepresented and what steps are you taking to hire and empower people who fit into that category? (HR)
- What programs are in place to promote inclusion? (HR)
- What social causes does your organization support? (team members)
- Does the organization offer any formal employee training around bias, microaggressions, antiracism, etc? (supervisor/hiring manager)
- Does your organization complete an annual compensation equity analysis? (HR)