DE&I plays a vital role within a company. Working for an employer that prioritises diversity and inclusion will increase your chances of being part of an innovative, profitable, productive, and future-proofed firm, feeling included at work, having equal advancement opportunities, being promoted on merit alone, receiving equal pay and having overall job satisfaction.
Besides creating a truly inclusive workplace, employers should also actively demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion. But when it comes to a prospective employer, where can we find signs of their support for DE&I?
Employee benefits package
Consider the benefits offered as a sign of how much DE&I is valued, such as flexible and hybrid working - especially since those demonstrate whether an employer would care about your work-life balance.
Make sure you know what other benefits they offer, such as shared parental leave or religious holidays. Is it evident that some benefits are more suited to certain employees than others? Ask yourself, does the employer show commitment to providing benefits suited for everyone?
The organisation’s website
In order to determine whether there has been equality, diversity, and inclusion action within the organisation, look through the company's website. This way, you can determine whether the photos of the employees represent diverse backgrounds or if there is a pattern of homogeneity among them.
Many employers realise the value of DE&I initiatives, so they will want to ensure that it is clearly communicated concisely on their websites. It is important to pay attention to the language used on the website too, since it may also indicate the organisation's position and commitment.
The core values of the organisation
You can determine if DE&I is high on the employer's agenda by reading the mission statement and learning about the organisational values. It is more likely that the employer takes their employees' well-being seriously if anyone at the company holds a title related to ED&I or if there is a whole committee dedicated to it.
The board of directors
When you find that the organisation is dominated by men or women, or people of a certain ethnicity, this might not necessarily indicate that DE&I is lacking, but it might be a red flag, particularly if an official commitment isn't made to improve diversity at the executive level.
Diversity in the interview panel
What do you see when you walk into the interview, or get on a video call to interview remotely? Are you interviewed by a single person or a team? Is there a clear diversion? Are you able to have a proper two-way conversation?
Your perception of the panel and your first impression of the work environment could be a fair reflection of the organisation.
Interview with a conversational style
The interview should be conducted in a way that feels like a two-way conversation, not an interrogation, if the organisation values inclusion. Your potential employer should ask you questions that will answer what you want from your career and future employer. In addition, you should feel as though your answers are really being listened to and addressed.
Follow-up after the interview
Was the hiring manager or recruiter in contact with you promptly following the interview? Were you notified of the outcome? You can gain a better sense of the culture of an organisation by observing such actions, as they show that the future employer not only cares about their staff but also about potential future employees.
You'll be able to determine an employer's stance on DE&I after evaluating the above signs. However, employers who don't check off every box shouldn't be completely ruled out. The process of developing an equal, diverse, and inclusive workforce is a continuous one, which means there is always more that can be done and that further steps can be taken in the future.