women professionals find companies that value D&I

How can women professionals find companies that value D&I?

Diversity and inclusion are the business imperative today. Every single organisation is talking about it. But posting on social media or organising a yearly event doesn’t make a company diverse or inclusive. 

It’s about walking the talk every single day. It’s about making a difference every day that allows employees to worry only about project deadlines, not biases. So, if you are up for a job hunt or seeking a change from your current organisation, besides looking at “what the company does”, finding their values, culture, and employee experiences is equally important. 

It’s clear over the years (especially after the pandemic) that the roles we love are often those where the company’s values align with ours. If you have to compromise something for your position, you aren’t at a place that values your uniqueness.

This is why it’s important to vet companies that value D&I as much as you do. But before we dive deeper into how you can find one, here is why it is important.

Let’s get started!

Why are diversity and inclusion important for you in a workplace?

The benefits of being a part of a diverse and inclusive workplace go beyond just the mere recognition of being yourself. Here are some benefits that will help you understand why finding companies that value D&I is important.

  1. If you work in a workplace that values diversity and inclusion, your understanding of different perspectives and unique standpoints will be much better. This will reduce conflict-driven situations and scenarios. Thus, it will ensure a healthy team spirit. 
  2. It is world-renowned that D&I boosts confidence in the workforce. Since they can be themselves, they initiate conversations otherwise not welcomed in places where ideas only come from top management. If you find a place where you can share your suggestions without fear of the position, you can grow as an individual and a professional. 
  3. In a workplace that values D&I, you will find scenarios and situations where you will feel a boost in confidence in doing something you never thought possible. A positive work environment always boosts morale. Thus, it increases trust and belief in yourself and your abilities. 

Now that you are clear on why you must vouch for companies that value D&I, here are actionable tips to help you identify the perfect match. 

Also, read: Did you ever leverage ‘The Batman Effect’?

Top ways to figure out if a company values D&I

“Research, research, and research” is the key.

In today’s time, you need to move beyond “what a company does.” You need to find more about “how their senior leadership looks or whether their mission statement explicitly talks about D&I” Here’s how you can begin your search.

  1. Start with the job posting. Some things will help you flag any warnings around diversity and inclusion. For instance, you must check around things like verbiage, requirements that aren’t aligned with the position, and benefits offered (look for more than ping pong table, beer parties, or happy hours) along with the language used like a ninja, dominate, or diva. 
  2. Check the company website. You must look for signs of a diverse and inclusive culture. You can begin by checking their values and mission statement. Then look at the photos of the employees. Does it look like they have a diverse talent pool? Check if they have any internal inclusion groups for women, LGBTQ+, veterans, and others. 
  3. Search their social media. This is the best way to find out about the updates regarding the company and its culture. You can check whether the company is supporting different communities. Also, check whether it’s a one-time occurrence or do they involve different cultures and talents in the decision-making process. 
  4. Connect with current and former employees. This is the best way to determine whether there is any bridge between the talks and the action. They will help you figure out the company culture. 

Be yourself in an interview

This might sound simple. But in reality, humans often fear others and how they perceive them. This is why the more you try to hide, the less it will be pleasant to work for the company after a while. For instance, do you have any visible tattoos? Do you belong to an LGBTQ+ community? Do you have any spiritual beliefs? Share your voice even though it might feel uncomfortable for you initially. Remember that your differences give you perspective. It doesn’t hamper your productivity or growth mindset. 

Your uniqueness matters a lot. In fact, it matters more than you can imagine. It contributes towards your performance, productivity, innovation, creative thinking abilities, and many more. In short, the more you try to fit in, the less it will be easy for you to sustain yourself in the company. 

You can observe during an interview whether the company values D&I. For instance, 

  1. Look around the office to check the representation of diversity in people, art, and photos.
  2. If you are interviewing virtually, you might miss this chance. But you can look for diversity in the interview panel. 
  3. Take note of the communication language and nonverbal language. This will help you understand whether they have closed-off gestures when conducting interviews. 
  4. Observe the type of questions. It will be a red flag if they ask about your age, marital status, and other personal questions.

Also read: The secret to Peak Performance

Ask questions

You must always be involved during the entire interview process. Don’t shy away from asking critical questions related to D&I. Usually, you get a chance at the end of an interview to gain insights into the organisation. Professionals like Stephen McQuinn, Senior Technical Recruiter at Indeed, suggest asking the following questions. 

  1. What do your organisations believe in?
  2. What are the strategies to promote diversity and inclusion?
  3. I believe in working in an inclusive environment. What are the ways you are applying to promote the same?
  4. What kind of benefits do you offer?
  5. Are there any employee resource groups?
  6. Does your company provide any D&I training?
  7. How does your company address D&I complaints or concerns?
  8. What is the diversity ratio in your company? How many women professionals work in leadership roles?

If you are uncomfortable, rely on your research or look for any public commitments to D&I. That way, you can make an informed decision.

What next? 

If you want to change your current job, we have some opportunities here: https://thestarinme.com/jobs.

Uma Kasoji

Uma Kasoji is a Co-founder of The Star in Me. She has incubated consulting practices and led business transformation initiatives in collaboration with C-suite stakeholders across the US, Europe and APAC. She has extensive experience in operations, business strategy, business development and delivery over a career spanning 18 years with Cognizant, UBS, Infosys and GE Capital. Uma is also a Member of the Board of Governors at Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode and an Alumna of Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode.