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Job Seeker Advice: How to Evaluate an Employer for Equity

September 20, 2023
ASK Consulting

It’s human nature to want to feel like you belong somewhere. The same desire is present when it comes to finding an employer where you feel included and that actively includes everyone.

But, how do you tell if a company values equity and diversity in the workplace?

Here are some timeless tips to help you evaluate if an employer prioritizes equity in their workplace.

You can learn a great deal about a company before applying by simply reviewing a posted job description. In essence, job descriptions are used to recruit new employees. It is one of the most candidate-facing mediums companies use to market themselves to attract job seekers.

How a job description is created can signal how a business prioritizes equity in the workplace.

Things to look for in the job description:

A Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) statement

An Equal Employer Opportunity (EEO) statement

Competencies misaligned with the position level

Benefits leaning toward a specific demographic (ping-pong table, happy hours, etc.)

Gendered verbiage perpetuating bias (ninja, rockstar, strong, supportive, etc.)

A company website can often provide many signals about its internal culture. The best place to start is reviewing the very building blocks that found a company—its core values and mission statement.

Often a business will include some language that showcases their commitment to equity. It can be a simple mention of a priority to create an environment of diversity, inclusion or belonging.

A more subtle clue indicating their current posture can be found by examining the imagery provided on their website. Is there a presence of rich demographical makeup in photos? Is their diversity seen in race, ethnicity, age, ability, etc.? What demographics span across leadership?

Job seekers can also see if a company describes a diverse employee organization on their company website. Are there statistics available about the demographics within the company? Is there mention of internal inclusion groups for women, veterans, LGBTQ+, various ethnicities and more? Consider these questions and more when reviewing a company’s webpage.

In this digital world, a company’s social footprint is another way to get a glimpse into a company's position on equity. On social media, what a company posts is a great indicator of what a company values.

Businesses will post updates, company news, employees, resources and event recap on social media. Like their website, they will describe who they are through what they post.

On social platforms, look for the following:

  • Company reviews on external review sites (Google reviews, Glassdoor, etc.)
  • Social media posts about company stances on public issues
  • Messages speaking to their commitments to diversity and inclusion
  • Celebration of inclusive holidays and months (included but not limited to):
  1. Black History Month
  2. Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
  3. Pride Month
  4. Disability Awareness Month
  5. Women's History Month
  6. Memorial Day
  7. Veterans’ Day
  8. Gender Equality Month
  9. International Women’s Day
  10. Equal Pay

Job seekers can also see if they have any LinkedIn connections at a company to get an inside scoop on culture within a company. Take some time to discover if you know anyone, directly or within a few degrees, who works or has worked with a company. Then, write them a brief message to gather some intel on the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.

There’s no better time to learn about a company’s stance on equity than during an interview. When it’s time to ask your own questions in a job interview, feel free to inquire about diversity and inclusion within the company you’re interviewing for.

Here are some questions to consider asking:

  • How does the company promote diversity and inclusion?
  • How is equity prioritized within the company?
  • How does the company measure its progress on DEI efforts?
  • Does the company offer training on diversity, equity and inclusion?
  • Are there any employee resource groups?

You can also take note during the interview of who’s interviewing you. Are there obvious signals of diversity among your interviewers? This can often be a tell-tale sign of the makeup among employees and management within a company.  

All in all, evaluating an employer for equity is no easy feat. It takes thoughtful observation, research and first-hand knowledge to get an accurate picture of a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. The more insight you gather, the more empowered you’ll be in finding the right employer for your unique needs. Contact the experts at ASK Consulting to take your job search to the next level.

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