Prioritizing Diversity & Inclusion in Your Employment Search
I am currently in the process of looking for a new job. As I interview at different companies, I want to make sure that they are actually inclusive and prioritize their DEI work. What are some questions I can ask to ensure we’ll be the right fit?
It’s great that you’re looking for employment at an organization that will be the right fit and is committed to DEI work.
Before you get to the interview phase there are various types of publicly available data—perhaps even on the organization’s own website—to help you learn more about the organization. You can even take a closer look at the job posting to see whether it’s been written with inclusion in mind.
Research how diverse their leadership team is; this can be a reflection of their commitment to diversity. Once you get an offer, you ask questions about the culture. Organizations committed to DEI are not likely to be “perfect” in all aspects of the execution; think about what aspects of DEI are most important to you, and your questions should focus on those aspects.
For instance, if you particularly interested in issues of equity, you might ask about:
equity in various elements of compensation (e.g., salary, bonus, underwriting of some costs of remote work, opportunity for challenging work or for visibility),
whether they do periodic equity audits and , if so, what the results have been and what they do as followup, and
how the organization, or unit, tries to ensure equity in those aspects.
Similarly, if want to inquire about inclusion, you can ask about:
the results of their employee surveys of the culture,
what initiatives they’ve implemented to increase inclusion (and how they decided on the specifics of those initiatives),
whether they are measuring the impact of their initiatives.
If you’re interested in diversity, identify which aspects of diversity is most important to you, and those should be the focus of your questions.
Other questions you might consider asking about include:
How has their DEI initiatives been developed? Do they incorporate what is known about effective and ineffective DEI efforts?
Do they have ERGs? If not, why not? (Some organizations decide not to do so for well-thought out reasons.) If so, which groups are represented and why?
What types of DEI trainings are employees offered? Are they mandated? How often are they held and who conducts them? What has the impact been?
Does the DEI team have its own budget? If so, it can indicate a certain degree of commitment to DEI and autonomy for the DEI team.
Disclaimer: This question and response is provided for informational purposes only, and you should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of this content. It is strongly recommended that you immediately seek legal or other professional advice if you believe you are experiencing a problem requiring professional assistance. Robin Rosenberg and Live in Their World, Inc. disclaim all liability for actions you take or fail to take based on Dear Robin content.