Resources for Students
To ensure your potential employer will provide a welcoming and inclusive environment, it’s essential to evaluate how much the company values creating a sense of belonging for all employees. The following are resources to help guide you in assessing a company’s work environment and connect you with communities focused on fostering diverse and inclusive spaces.
Evaluating a Company
Does the company have a diverse leadership team, specifically senior executives and the board of directors?
- In addition to looking at gender and the number of Black, Indigenous, and leaders of color, consider taking time to research leadership backgrounds to see if leaders are engaged in further areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion (e.g. Has a particular leader dedicated time to advocacy and support for people with disabilities?)
Does the company have structures in place to support underrepresented groups at the company such as employee resource groups (ERGs)?
- Programs such as ERGs provide spaces where employees can organize around a shared identity, build a sense of belonging, and give the group a collective voice to speak with leadership, among other benefits
Is DEI a stated core value to the company?
- Check to see if the company’s mission or values discuss diversity, equity, or inclusion
- Is there someone in leadership whose role is responsible for equity and inclusion?
Does the company have accommodating and inclusive employee benefits?
- Examples of inclusive workplace policies and benefits
- Range of employee benefits & compensation ideas
- Benefits with consideration to Covid-19
Has the company quantified how diverse the company actually is, and are they actively tracking the impact of their diversity initiatives?
- While metrics allow the company to identify potential blindspots and prioritize diversity initiatives accordingly, it’s essential to choose meaningful DEI metrics and understand how to best interpret them
What have current or former employees said about the company?
- Research or reach out to current/former employees of the company
- Pay specific attention to the identities and values the employee holds and how that has affected their experience
Has the company been featured by any company awards or ranking lists?
- What criteria did the organization use to rank these companies?
- Examples of well-researched lists: Forbes’ America’s Best Employers For Diversity, Best Workplaces for Diversity 2019
Questions to ask during an interview
The interview process is a key opportunity for you to get to know your potential employer and gauge their commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. To help you better ensure that you will join an inclusive workplace, consider asking a few of these questions to get started. Make sure to pay attention to what the employer is talking about and what they are not discussing - silence on a topic can also be very important to note.
- What are your most important values?
- How do you define diversity at your company, without using the word “different?” How do you define inclusion?
- What is the company doing to make sure everyone feels included?
- What programs are in place to promote inclusion?
- What groups do you consider underrepresented, and how is the leadership team taking steps to hire and empower people who fit into that category?
- Is the company aware of equity gaps among employees in their workforce? This may occur through pay discrepancies or a lack of Black leaders in the C-suite, for example. How is the company actively working to eliminate these gaps?
- What Employee Resource Groups exist here? How does leadership engage with the ERGs?