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How to Spot an Authentic DEI-Focused Company

Estimated reading time ~ 3 min
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Making the jump to a new company can be filled with many feelings including excitement and/or fear. We all hope to land somewhere that is balanced, safe and good for our long-term career goals. One great indicator of a company’s internal health is their focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). In fact, “organizations with strong DEI initiatives are more likely to have employees with increased job satisfaction, higher levels of trust, and are more engaged.” But how do we know if a company actually practices DEI before we accept a new role?

There is no arguing that diversity within a company has many significant benefits. The impact of a diverse workforce can range from an increase in innovation, enhanced productivity, increased revenue, and a decrease in turnover. According to a study conducted by BCG, “companies that reported above-average diversity on their management teams also reported innovation revenue that was 19 percentage points higher than that of companies with below-average leadership diversity.”

Companies are keenly aware of the value of diversity, which is why it has become such a coveted goal for so many HR departments. However, wanting to practice DEI and actually doing it has been a long-standing obstacle for most organizations. This is largely due to poor execution of their DEI aspirations. For example, according to a report done by Elevating Equity, “only 12% of companies hold managers responsible for recruiting diverse candidates.”

With all the talk of DEI and little action, it can be hard to identify who is really invested in their DEI goals. Here are a few quick ways you can investigate the authenticity of an organization’s DEI program, before accepting a new position.

What does leadership look like?

Diversifying leadership is a blind spot for many companies. In fact, “75% of companies do not have DEI included in the company’s leadership development.” If you are looking into a new role, first look at their leadership. This can include the company’s board, executive leadership and management. Since diversity in leadership is so difficult to find in most companies, it is a really positive indicator that DEI is valued if the leadership is also diverse.

Network with previous employees.

It’s hard to tell what the truth really is when talking to a current employee; they have their jobs to consider and may give you a polished review. That’s why previous employees are a goldmine for company information. LinkedIn is a great place to filter contacts based on places they have worked. Send a few friend requests and messages and ask for a time to connect.

Ask bold questions during your interview.

Often times candidates are solely focused on impressing their interviewers, with the hopes that they will get hired. However, it’s important to remember that the interview process is also important to explore if the company is the right fit for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company values that matter most to you. For example, “can you discuss any DEI training that leadership and staff receive?”

Check out the holiday calendar.

Most companies have an annual calendar of celebrated holidays. This can include days off and acknowledged holidays. Once you get closer to the hiring point, ask a company representative for the holiday calendar and check if any holidays important to diverse communities are listed. For example, some companies give Juneteenth or Indigenous Peoples’ Day off. If a company is giving this time off, it indicates a systematic value of its diverse staff’s needs and values.

Working somewhere you feel safe and valued is extremely important to our well being. That’s why Jopwell is proud to partner with many companies who prioritize DEI. If you are in the market for open opportunities from DEI friendly organizations, search for a role on Jopwell’s platform today.

Jopwell helps America's leading companies connect with and recruit Black, Latinx, and Native American professionals and students at scale. Sign up to find your dream job.