Among diversity experts a common concern is the gap between organizations publicly declaring their support for diversity and inclusion while internally maintaining the status quo. While supporting positive change is a good first step, the important work lies in looking for systemic issues and making structural adjustments. Potential talent will likely be trying to find a welcoming and healthy workplace, and so examining possible employers to suss out who is doing the work and who is simply offering lip service to social progress.
In a recent piece for the Harvard Business Review, award-winning diversity consultant Risha Grant provides a framework for vetting organizations commitment to supporting diverse talent. These guidelines are intended for job applicants but should be equally useful for employers looking to review their own approach and policies. Risha’s three recommendations for figuring out if a company really values diversity are:
1) Go the extra mile before applying.
Research an organization before applying. Have they posted about a commitment to diversity and inclusion on their website? See if they’ve been in the news. Take a look at who makes up the management team and board of directors (if applicable).
2) Don’t hide who you are during the interview.
An idea that’s both simple and complex at once. Risha writes, “Don’t try to fit into someone else’s idea of you because that won’t last long. The right company is the one that can see the parts of you that are different and make the most of your strengths.”
3) Ask the hard questions.
Use the interview process to dig deeper on organization policies and history.
In closing her article, Risha highlights that the appeal of diverse talent should be obvious to any good organization:
“Remember that you add value to the world and will add value to any organization lucky enough to have you. Your point of view, thoughts, and ideas are good for the company culture and for their business. If an organization can’t see your diversity as a superpower, then it may not be the right place to work.”
Risha Grant is diversity personified. From her race, gender, and lifestyle choices, to being a small business owner and tackling economic issues, every area of Risha’s life intersects diversity. The founder and CEO of an award-winning diversity consulting and communications firm, Risha’s mission is to show how diversity communication strategies, tactics, and training can create an inclusive culture in every company and community and, as a result, increase the bottom line.