Is A Company Really Committed To Diversity & Inclusion?

Jay Mava / Published October 26, 2020

World of Diversity

These 6 Questions Determine If A Company Is Committed to Diversity & Inclusion


If you ask the company you work at (or want to work at) if they’re committed to diversity and inclusion, they probably won’t hesitate to answer “yes.”

But diversity and inclusion (D&I) goes far beyond just race, sexuality, and cultural background.


Diversity is all-encompassing, also including (but is not limited to) marital status, ability, economic status, values, working style and various other situational circumstances.

Inclusion is defined as “the act or practice of including and accommodating people who have historically been excluded (as because of their race, gender, sexuality, or ability).”


A company that supports diversity and inclusion (D&I) doesn’t discriminate against job candidates or current employees based on any of the factors mentioned. They welcome people from all backgrounds and life experiences because they recognize the benefits for both the company and its employees.

These organizations are proven to have better performance, innovation, employee engagement and less turnover.


But the truth is, not every company is truly committed to a progressive culture even if they say they are.

Some companies use D&I as a selling feature rather than a policy that they actually abide by. Although it seems like diversity would be something companies naturally gravitate toward, some companies just aren’t there yet.


When looking for new employment, it’s important to seek out a company that is committed to D&I. Even if you are already employed, you may want to know where your current company stands and what other opportunities may be available.


So, what is the best way to find out if a company is really on board? Start by asking these 6 critical questions to find out if the company you work at (or want to work at) is committed to bettering the workplace with diversity and inclusion and is ultimately in your best interests.


1) How is the company transparent (if at all) in hiring?


D&I requires specific strategies to be put in place in the hiring process, in alignment with the company’s strategic goals.

Is the company you work at or want to work at transparent about recruiting for diversity?

Do they make efforts to be more inclusive in their job postings, website or social media accounts?

Do they have women or ethnic minorities in leadership or recruitment positions?

Are their job listings gender-neutral or are they unconsciously geared toward a masculine audience?

Pay attention to small clues like these in the hiring process. If they are actively seeking candidates from all backgrounds, demographics and life experiences, quite often it is made very apparent.


This transparency is crucial in attracting employees from diverse backgrounds. Many companies will promote their efforts, because diversity attracts diversity. Building a reputation for valuing applicants from all backgrounds is what helps attract those candidates.

This is why D&I should be a topic that is brought up in all aspects of recruitment, as these efforts in time will help make the company more inclusive.  


If your company is lacking these efforts, you may want to consider that diversity and inclusion may not be their main focus in the hiring process at the moment.

However, there are still some other important questions you can ask to help you gauge the importance of D&I.


2) Does the company publish metrics on diversity and gender ratios internally and/or externally?


Companies who are committed to D&I usually publish their metrics on diversity to attract employees from all experiences and backgrounds. Publicizing these metrics is usually the best way to attract more diverse applicants.

However, whether they make the statistics public or not, you can ask if the company has a record of the metrics internally. If they are actually making efforts to hire a wider range of employees, there is a good chance they will have a record of their efforts somewhere.

A great example of a company that is proud to share their inclusion strategies is the Hilton hotel chain. They were recently named the Best Workplace for Diversity in 2018. With over 550,500 employees in the USA, 69% are racial or ethnic minorities, over half are female, 5% LGBTQ+ and 4% of employees are disabled.

As you can see, sharing these diversity and gender ratio metrics is also a selling feature for the company.

Even if your company doesn’t publish their metrics on diversity, this business intelligence solution called iDashboards recommends paying attention to these Key Performance Indicators (KPIs):


  • Recruitment – Who is your organization hiring? Better yet, who are they not hiring?
  • Advancement – Are there advancement opportunities available for employees with different education levels and backgrounds?
  • Culture – Does your company place a focus on equality and acceptance as part of the culture? Is the culture welcoming for everyone?

17.5% of people in the United States are employed by Fortune 500 companies. And only a shockingly small 3% of those companies publish their full data on diversity.

So, does this mean that many of these companies do not place an importance on D&I?

Not necessarily, but if a company also refuses to share their metrics on diversity and gender ratios internally – this may be a bad sign.


But with the internet and social media being so prominent, it’s becoming harder for businesses to hide behind a lack of metrics. Ignorance is no longer a valid excuse for not making inclusion efforts in this age of technology.

Whether positive or negative, employees make their experiences known on job review platforms, blogs or social media. Editors from global media companies like Forbes are writing articles like “The Best and Worst Companies for Women and Minorities.”


There is an abundance of online resources like these that you can look into to find out about your current employer or when applying for a new position. Use them to your advantage to find out more about the culture if it is not openly publicized.

Hire Equal is also a great resource not only to find a job, but to be ahead and to learn about the way the workplace is heading.



3) Does the company offer unbiased interview training or mentorship programs?


It’s a great sign if the company you’re applying to (or currently work at) has a mentorship program already in place.

One point to note is that this training should always be inclusive and open to anyone within the organization. These programs have numerous benefits for retaining and promoting employees from diverse backgrounds.

According to studies from Cornell University, mentoring is actually more effective than any other diversity initiative. It can even help mentees feel more confident in seeking a promotion or leadership position within the company. Employees who take part in these programs are also more likely to stay with the company and have a more positive view of the employer.

Does your company offer unbiased interview training to its recruitment team?

Although it may not be intentional, research shows that many recruiters already have an unconscious bias in the hiring process. These subtle biases affect the entire interview and hiring process, which is why many businesses are providing training to combat them.

This training helps create an unbiased interview process and is crucial for attracting and retaining diverse applicants. A candidate should never be disqualified for the job because of their gender, ethnicity, personal appearance or the like.

If the company you work at has one or both of these programs in place, there’s a good chance they are committed to ongoing diversity and inclusion efforts. A resource you can use to help determine if you have any hidden bias developed from Harvard can be found here.


4) Does the company provide community support programs or ERGs?


Does your current organization have any community support programs or Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) in place?

If you have not yet secured employment with the company, this is a great question to ask in the interview process. Many companies committed to creating diverse workplaces recognize the benefits of ERGs or support programs in the workplace.

Not only do these groups attract more diverse applicants, but they also help current employees to feel included and accepted. ERGs cultivate better understanding between colleagues, therefore promoting healthier relationships between peers.


You might find ERGs for minorities that have previously felt underrepresented within the company or the workforce. This includes but is not limited to women, LGBTQ+, people of color, caregivers, people with disabilities and veterans.

Joining one of these voices can be a powerful experience because it gives every employee a voice and helps them feel accepted. If your organization takes part in these diversity and inclusion efforts, it can be a much more supportive work environment for all.


5) Does the company really support diversity and equality? Can they provide examples?


This is an extremely important question to ask when seeking employment with a new company. You’ll want to know if the organization really is supportive of diversity and equality or if it’s just something that they say to sound progressive.

Even if they can’t provide you with exact metrics, the company should at least be able to provide real life examples.

Perhaps they make a point to be more inclusive for everyone by celebrating Chinese New Year, National Hispanic Heritage month or Hanukkah. Maybe the organization plans annual group outings to watch the pride parade together.

Differences will be celebrated in a company that is truly committed to a diverse culture and equality for all employees.

One company that provides a great example for diversity and equality is L’Oreal. They are known for their diverse team and are powerful advocates for equality in the workplace. Not only that, but they can back up their claims as well. Their commitment to diversity and equality earned them a spot on the top 10 Thomson Reuters Diversity & Inclusion Index.


Another company that has advanced in their diversity and inclusion is Uber. They are powerful advocates of equality, particularly for LGBTQ+ rights. Not only are they committed to equality in the workplace, but they also march in the Pride Parade from San Francisco to Mexico. Uber also openly supports a variety of LGBTQ+ charities, such as the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Family Equality, and Out & Equal.

Not every company will have such strong efforts to support equality, but be sure to ask about your company’s specific strategies. Use your discretion – any company can claim to be diverse.

In fact, many do; but it’s important to find out if they can back up their claims with real life examples. This will help you better gauge if this is a culture you want to be a part of.


6) Does the company offer D&I training upon onboarding?


Many organizations that are committed to diversity and inclusion provide on-the-job D&I training. They recognize the benefits that D&I brings to the company and its employees.

Some companies hire a specialist to come provide a full day workshop to all employees. These workshops usually teach things like intercultural diversity, how to remove unconscious personal bias and how to be an ally.

Some employers also provide online D&I training courses in support of their overall mission, paid for by the company. Courses like these following onboarding of all new employees can ensure that the workplace is kept respectful and inclusive.

This also tells the new employee that the company cares about engagement and that this is a safe place to express yourself and share your thoughts.


If your organization is smaller or can’t afford expensive training, they might offer smaller seminars put on by management or a guest speaker. Any company that provides this type of training is surely committed to having a diverse and equal opportunity organization.


These 6 important questions should be used to your advantage to assess your current or future employer in regard to D&I.

You can find out if your company is truly committed to a diverse culture – or if they are just telling you what they think you want to hear.

Taking the time to ask these questions is crucial in finding a positive and inclusive work environment.

Stay tuned for our upcoming tips all about diversity, inclusion, and equality in the workplace.


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