Imagine this: After a long job search, you interview at the company of your dreams that checks all the boxes. Flexible hours, check. Competitive pay, check. A solid 401K, check. A diverse and inclusive work environment? (Cue danger music.) Welp. Back to the drawing board, sis.
If a company looks good on paper but doesn't have a diverse culture that matches its benefits, it's easy to say on to the next one in your job search. Four out of five black women say that a diverse and inclusive workforce is a major key to choosing a company that creates a safe space to bring your whole self to work.
Diversity and inclusion is a buzz-term that's been floating around Corporate America for a while. With the rise of global movements like #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo, more companies are making aggressive moves to create a work culture that values top talent with unique backgrounds and non-traditional experiences.
Research shows that companies who embrace diversity have positive benefits, including more profit, less turn-over, and higher job satisfaction.
Want to know how to spot a company who's truly down for diversity or boasting their diversity efforts for clout? Here are five signs to show who's doing the work:
1. They Implement Mentoring and Employee Resource Groups (EGRS)
"A lot of companies pride themselves on hiring diverse talent," says Stephanie Alston, CEO and freelance recruiter of Black Girl Group. "The real winners are the companies who make it their priority to retain that talent through mentoring or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)."
EGRs are employee-run groups designed to bring employees together with common backgrounds, demographics or interests. Companies who integrate ERGs provide a platform for diverse employees' voices to be heard and build engagement with employees outside of the day-to-day hustle.
2. They Have a Clear Pathway to Leadership
Googled the photos of a company's leadership team lately? Who's at the top can provide a clear view of what diversity may mean to a company.
"You know that a company is really about diversity when the organization's leadership team is as diverse as their labor force," says Lynnise A. Smith, a supplier diversity manager.
Companies who create career advancement mentoring programs and initiatives to create more inclusion at the top level are likely more dedicated to diversity. In fact, those who build diverse executive teams 36 percent more above-average profitability than their competitors.
3. They Create Diverse Initiatives and Partnerships
A company's diversity and inclusion efforts can go beyond internal culture. According to Monique C. Johnson, a career strategist and diversity consultant, companies who are doing the work strategically create meaningful alliances.
"The companies that make an intentional effort to partner with the local community on projects and initiatives that support D&I truly show their investment in a community connection," says Johnson.
Look at a company's track record of their collaborations in the community. If the company consistently joins forces with other causes and organizations that highlight thought-provoking conversations, causes, or cultural holidays or traditions, it is on track to keep diversity at the forefront of its brand.
4. They Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is
Diversity and inclusion work is not cheap or free -- it's a long-term investment.
"Doing good DEI work costs [money] and may include any number of adjustments, '' says Dr. Monica Cox, a D&I advocate. "Adjustments can include policy changes, reallocation of funds to authentic efforts that promote the professional wellness of all employees, or the enforcement of changes that cause conflicts in the organization."
Organizations who regularly budget and allocate funds for diversity are taking action and accountability to improve their culture.
5. They Promote Diverse Branding and Language
Sometimes people have to see themselves in a role or at a company before applying. Companies that intentionally brand their website, emails, and social media with diverse images and language create a welcoming vibe for potential applicants. A company that is also intentional about crafting job descriptions with language that is gender-neutral and empowering for all shows that it is attempting to attract candidates that may not have typically applied for a role previously due to unwelcoming visuals or language.
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Featured image via Shutterstock.