Mar 03, 2022

How to Find a Company That Values Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

How to Find a Company That Values Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As job seekers, most of us are confident of our ability to succeed in whatever company we choose. Statistics show reduced equity in pay, opportunity, or culture in all companies for those in the underrepresented workforce.  Your best option for an equal opportunity will be in a company that has taken decisive actions to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion.  You will achieve more in a company where your variety of experience, thought, and education will be valued and encouraged.

As part of the underrepresented workforce, here is your current situation with companies that have taken little or no action for diversity, equity, and inclusion. Here are some examples of statistics from PEW research, Women in the Workplace report, Gallup, BLS, and McKinsey reports: 

  • Women make 20% less in entry-level positions than males and are 21% less likely to be promoted to management.  
  • Currently, for every 100 white males promoted into management, only 60 black women are given the same opportunity.  
  • 30% of black STEM workers felt “not competent,” and 29% felt “isolated” compared to only 4% white workers.
  • Only 41% of US managers say they have received training or education around diversity, equity, inclusion, racism, racial justice, or other related topics.

Qualities of a Company That Values DEI

Here is what to look for with prospective companies, look beyond their website with mission, vision, and values to determine if they value and embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion.  Is diversity, equity, and inclusion just rhetoric to improve the brand?

They Represent Actual Diversity at Every Level  

Many companies will post that they have a diverse workforce. Still, when you examine more closely, it is a diverse entry-level workforce but moving in manager roles and leadership positions, there is not matching diversity.  In other words, the opportunity to get promoted with a non-diverse leadership is significantly mitigated. Only about 40% of companies will report diversity statistics at all levels.

As an example of a company with poor diversity numbers, a company celebrates women’s diversity since 60% of all employees are women. Still, only 30% are promoted to management, and only about 5% are promoted to senior-level leadership roles.  This indicates the company will hire diverse entry-level employees, but they do not offer an equal opportunity to move in management or leadership positions.

An example of a company with good diversity, inclusion, and equity actions would be the number one company in the Forbes Report on best diversity employer 2022:  

JLL’s head of diversity and inclusion attributes this to the company’s top-down focus on creating an inclusive workplace. For example, the company says 75% of directors represent gender or racial diversity at the board level. “I do feel very proud about that,” Jacobs says. “That’s a differentiator not just in the industry, but in general.” And in the Americas, more than 8,000 of JLL’s workers participate in 80-plus local chapters of 9 employee-led business resource groups, including Empower–Black Professionals Network, the Asian Business Professionals Network, and the Women’s Business Network.”

They Can Answer Tough Diversity Questions

Asking deep questions is important when seeking a company that puts DEI first in their recruitment process. Some key questions to ask during your interview should include the following:

  • Does the company have extensive published data on its workforce? 
  • What is the diversity of the entire workforce?  Diversity at the entry-level is good but only if those underrepresented are moving in equal numbers to the next levels.
  • What are the diversity numbers of your direct leadership team?
  • What is the diversity of the board and executive team? Look at the positions of power such as CEO, COO, CFO, CDO, etc.  It would not be unusual for a female or person of color in the Chief People Person or Chief Diversity Officer but the rest of the executive to be all white males. 

They Make a Visible Effort to Take DEI Beyond Rhetoric

Determine if the company is taking bold action to improve its diversity, equity, and inclusion, or is it just rhetoric?   

A company with excellent diversity goals ensures diversity targets are shared with all leadership and company with reasonable timeframes ideally linked to bonuses or KPIs for leadership or managers. 

An excellent example of a measurable goal would be Southwest Airlines’ target of doubling the percentage of racial diversity and gender diversity in senior management by 2025.

They Practice Supporting Diversity Hiring and Promotions

If your potential company practices the following diversity hiring practices, they genuinely value DEI in the workforce:

  • All leadership and senior leadership positions posted internally and externally
  • Requirement for diverse candidate slots for the interview process
  • Panel interview with the structured interview process
  • “Blind” resumes with names or any other indication of gender or ethnic descent during the interview sourcing process removed from resumes
  • Job description clearly defined

Pay Transparency to Improve Pay Equity  

If a company pays equally based on the job position, they should be open with their pay rates. 

 According to Statista, there are three reasons that companies don’t have pay transparency:

  1. The organization can’t share salary ranges because they don’t follow your salary ranges. 
  2. They are afraid to share pay information because people will suspect or see actual pay inequities, but avoidance is no longer a strategy.

 3. Companies are afraid pay transparency will expose them to risk. 

Pay transparency should be evident in the interview process. Pay should be listed on the job posting, and pay should be communicated during the interview process.

Exact pay for each position or minimal range should be posted internally or externally. If there is a large pay range, then companies can and will continue to have pay inequity as they may not follow the pay range or pay lower range for gender or race.

Bonus, commissions, and promotions should be clearly communicated to the workforce before the process begins, so each person clearly understands the process and metrics.

Has the Company Created an Inclusive or Belonging Culture?

  • Read the job descriptions and look for implicant or explicit bias. 
  • Does the company have continued education for inclusion for all levels of the workforce including management? What actions do they take to create inclusive environments in meetings? Do they value psychological safety?  Do they understand unconscious bias? 
  • Does the company have ERGs? Employee resource groups?
  • Research employee reviews or talk to former employees.
  • Ask direct questions in the interview process about company values and actions around inclusion and belonging culture.

Become a Diversity-Centric Company Today, With DEI Recruiting and Consulting

Your small to medium-sized business deserves to organically grow and thrive with diverse hires that contribute to its success. At DEI Recruiting and Consulting, we help connect quality hires with quality brands like yours that are ready to step up to the plate for modern work culture.

Contact us today to learn more about our services.