What is one thing to consider when evaluating a company’s culture for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)?
To help you better assess a company’s DEI culture, we asked business professionals and leaders this question for their insights. From performing a test run to looking to leadership, there are several ways to form an impression of a company’s DEI culture.
Here are eight considerations when evaluating a company’s DEI culture:
- Perform a Test Run
- Uphold Diversity Through Culture
- Search Their Website
- Consider the “Why”
- Begin With Top Leadership
- Analyze How Diverse Experiences Are Recognized
- Review Who’s on Your Board
- Look for Representation in Leadership
Perform a Test Run
To analyze a company’s culture for diversity, equality, and inclusion, ask if you can come in and spend some time with your prospective team for a group discussion or brainstorming session. This will give you an idea of how people interact with one another, what daily life is like, and whether everyone’s opinion is heard and acknowledged.
Take note of how they exchange ideas. Are they constructive or supportive? Your goal is to determine whether the company has a highly collaborative or more individualistic culture. This will help you in assessing a company’s culture for equality and inclusion.
Jon Schneider, Recruiterie
Uphold Diversity Through Culture
Your company should strive to create a strong sense of culture by upholding diversity practices throughout the employee experience. As a project management company, we encourage providing your team with equal access to training resources so that everyone’s abilities have a chance to grow. A strong company culture assures that each individual is accounted for, so demonstrating this in the workplace will directly enhance your core values and organizational culture.
Debra Hildebrand, Hildebrand Solutions, LLC
Search Their Website
I suggest reviewing a company’s website for its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. At Cadence Education, we have a clear standing on our DEI efforts and make it easy for potential employees and families to find this on our website.
We are part of an industry advocacy group called the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC). In June of 2020, the ECEC issued a statement about its commitment to DEI with partnering organizations; our CEO was part of the leadership team who signed the statement.
We are proud of our commitment and also know there is more we can do. We recognize that children are naturally inclusive and kind, and we work to welcome more of that inclusivity moving forward.
Jeanne Kolpek, Cadence Education
Consider the “Why”
The first thing a company should consider when evaluating a company’s culture for diversity, inclusion, and equity is the reason(s) behind the evaluation. Are they trying to meet a metric or win an award? Or do they recognize the value in a diversity of opinion, which can enrich a product or service and better serve a diverse customer base? Ultimately, half-hearted attempts at DEI are counterproductive.
Desiree Cunningham, Markitors
Begin With Top Leadership
Is the company really practicing what it is preaching? Words on a paper are easy. Top leadership has to believe in DEI and model the behavior. Even if the company’s industry may find it difficult to attract the diversity they are seeking to attain, the respect of the uniqueness of all individuals will still be evident in their workplace.
Lori Goldsmith, SPHR, GPHR, SHRM-SCP, Heart of HR Shared Services
Analyze How Diverse Experiences Are Recognized
When you are evaluating a company’s culture through the lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion, a great place to start is how actively the company celebrates and affirms the diverse experiences of both its employees and clients/customers.
Companies should be paying attention to important holidays, rituals, initiatives, and experiences of groups in order to provide awareness and acknowledgment. Celebrating these instances openly promotes a positive culture, and affirming them even when it may be difficult are key drivers for diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Timothy Kirk, Indeed
Review Who’s on Your Board
Diversity and inclusion are easily noticed and identified at the Board and C-level of any company. If the Board members or C-level executives all look alike, you have the answer right in front of you: it’s only for those with similar backgrounds and experiences. If you want to be in a “yes, sir” culture, you found it!
One way to evaluate a company’s culture for equity is via GlassDoor.com and LinkedIn, where current and former employees share salary data and information. I tell every job seeker to assess their market value using these tools and ensure that your expectations are near what the market bears.
Erin Lubien, Empoweru Consulting Group
Look for Representation in Leadership
When evaluating a company’s culture for diversity, equity, and inclusion, look first at the composition of their leadership team. For companies to actually “walk the walk,” deep understanding and, subsequently, deep buy-in must come from the top and that is likelier when leaders have the lived experience to help inform DEI initiatives.
Representation of female leaders, racial diversity, generational diversity are all important when developing a corporate DEI framework, and the leadership should reflect the larger population.
Sentari Minor, evolvedMD