As socially conscious students and future work-place leaders, you may be looking to work for a company that supports diversity.  But, how can you tell if a company truly values diversity? Most job postings include diversity statements, stating the company’s commitment to being an equal opportunity employer (hiring people from all backgrounds-regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or ethnicity). However, legalistic statements don’t always give a true look into a company’s culture and diversity.  The good news is, with a bit of research, you can gain a better understanding of a company’s commitment to diversity.  Here’s how:

Research the Company

While we hope you’ve done your research before applying to a position, and especially before an interview, you can also gain insight into a company’s diversity through online research.  From the company’s website, you can review their about us section (pay attention to core values) as well as scroll through photos on their page. Take a look at the company’s leadership or board pages (if applicable) as well as their meet the team type pages. Do they have people of many different backgrounds or does everyone seem to have the same appearance, schooling, story, etc.? A diverse leadership or employee team can be a strong indicator of diversity as a company value.

Of course, not all diversity is visible to the eye, so you can dig deeper by reading employee reviews on sites like Charger Path, Glassdoor and Indeed.  News articles are also a great insight into the company’s diversity and values. A Class Action lawsuit would be a red flag, while an article about a company’s philanthropic efforts would give you an insight into their values.

Another indicator of a company’s support for diversity is if there’s a person in the HR department whose title relates to diversity or if the company has a DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) group or program. Some smaller companies may not have someone directly in this role, so don’t count an employer out entirely if you don’t see someone with a specific diversity-related title.

Take a closer look at  job postings

Closely reading the job posting can also give insight into the company’s diversity goals. We also recommend reading other job postings at the company as well. Is the language gendered or gender-neutral?  Does the position use certain adjectives that might exclude someone from applying or being successful in the position?

Ask questions during the interview

When it’s your turn to ask questions in an interview, you can ask questions to better understand the company’s diversity policies.  For example, “I see diversity listed as a core value. Can you share some examples of how you promote it?” or “Does the company offer training on diversity, equity and inclusion?” The question section of the interview is a great time to determine if the company is a good fit for you as much as it is for the employer to determine if you’re a good fit for their company.

We don’t recommend that you ask about benefits early in the hiring process (it’s best to wait until you have an offer), but most companies post their benefits on their website and these policies can reveal how much they value inclusion. For example, providing maternity leave benefits, or family leave benefits that include all parents, including those of adopted children or same-sex couples—demonstrates that the company is eager to offer support to all kinds of parents in the office.

As always, UAH has resources to help you through this process and answer any questions you may have.  Both Career Services and the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (ODEI) are here to help.

ODEI contact info:

Karessa Acosta Lee

Coordinator for Inclusive Programs & Student Leadership

Office: SSB 218 L