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Assessing a Company's Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion: A Guide for HR & Leadership Professionals



As diversity and inclusion continue to gain importance in the workplace, more and more companies are making a commitment to these values. However, it's not always easy to know which companies are genuinely committed to diversity and inclusion and which are just paying lip service.


In this article, I'll discuss some ways to assess a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion, as well as some examples of companies that have shown a genuine commitment to these values.


Why Diversity and Inclusion Is Important for Organizations


Diversity and inclusion are essential for organizations for several reasons:


First, having a diverse workforce means that companies can tap into a wider pool of talent, bringing in individuals with different skills, perspectives, and experiences. This can lead to increased innovation, creativity, and problem-solving, which can give companies a competitive edge.


Second, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace can help foster a more positive and inclusive company culture. When employees feel valued and included, they are more likely to be engaged and committed to their work. This can lead to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention.


Third, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is a matter of moral and social responsibility. Companies have a responsibility to create a workplace that is free from discrimination and bias and that promotes equality and fairness for all employees.


Overall, promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace can bring numerous benefits for companies, including increased innovation, productivity, and employee engagement.


How You Can Tell Whether a Company is Genuinely Interested in Diversity and Inclusion


As we all know, diversity and inclusion are not just buzzwords that companies can throw around to appear progressive and socially conscious. A truly diverse and inclusive workplace can bring about numerous benefits such as increased creativity, innovation, and collaboration among employees from different backgrounds. However, it's not always easy to tell whether a company is genuinely committed to these values or whether they're simply paying lip service.


One of the first things you can do to assess a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion is to do your research before applying. Take a look at the company's senior leadership team and board of directors. How diverse are they? If the company's leadership team and board are mostly made up of white men, it might indicate that the company is not truly committed to diversity and inclusion.


Another thing to consider is whether the company has been in the news recently, and if so, for what? Has the company faced any discrimination lawsuits or accusations of a toxic work environment? If so, it might indicate that the company is not as committed to diversity and inclusion as it claims to be.


Once you've landed an interview with a company, it's essential to be your unique self. While it's normal to worry about how people might perceive us, the right company will make the most of our strengths. Don't be afraid to showcase your unique qualities and what you can bring to the table, regardless of your background.


Finally, it's essential to ask the tough questions during the interview process. Don't be afraid to inquire about the company's policies, who gets promoted, and other concerns. If the company doesn't have clear policies in place to promote diversity and inclusion, it might indicate that they're not genuinely committed to these values.


As an example, let's take a look at Adobe. Adobe has been consistently ranked as one of the best companies for diversity and inclusion, and they've received numerous awards for their commitment to these values. Adobe's leadership team is 38% female, and they have employees from over 70 countries. They also have several employee resource groups, including groups for women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.


During the interview process at Adobe, candidates are encouraged to bring their whole selves to work. They're also given the opportunity to ask questions about the company's diversity and inclusion policies and initiatives. For example, Adobe has a program called "Adobe For All," which aims to create a more inclusive and diverse workplace by providing training and resources for employees.


It's essential to do our due diligence when applying for jobs to assess a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion. We can do this by researching the company's leadership team and board of directors, looking at recent news, and asking tough questions during the interview process. Companies that are genuinely committed to diversity and inclusion will welcome these questions and have clear policies in place to promote these values. Let's strive to create truly diverse and inclusive workplaces that benefit everyone involved.


Ways to Assess a Company's Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion


There are several other ways to assess a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion.

  1. Look at the company's mission statement and values. If diversity and inclusion are mentioned prominently, it might indicate that the company is committed to these values.

  2. Look at the company's recruitment and retention practices. Does the company have a diverse workforce, or are they mostly hiring and promoting people from the same background? A company that is genuinely committed to diversity and inclusion will have policies in place to ensure that they are hiring and promoting people from diverse backgrounds.

  3. Look at the company's employee resource groups (ERGs). ERGs are groups of employees who come together based on shared characteristics or experiences, such as race, gender, or sexual orientation. A company that is committed to diversity and inclusion will have active ERGs that provide support and resources for employees from diverse backgrounds.

  4. Look at the company's community involvement and philanthropy. Does the company support organizations that promote diversity and inclusion, or do they only support mainstream organizations? A company that is committed to diversity and inclusion will support organizations that promote these values.

It's essential to assess a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion before recommending them to potential employees or clients. By looking at a company's leadership team, mission statement, recruitment and retention practices, employee resource groups, and community involvement, we can get a better idea of how committed they are to these values.


How You Can Find Out If a Company Supports Organizations that Promote Diversity and Inclusion


One way to find out if a company supports organizations that promote diversity and inclusion is to research their philanthropic efforts. Companies often have a section on their website that outlines their philanthropic initiatives. You can look for organizations that promote diversity and inclusion in this section.


Another way is to look for news articles or press releases about the company's philanthropic efforts. Many companies issue press releases when they donate to or partner with certain organizations. You can also check the social media accounts of the company to see if they have posted any information about their philanthropic efforts.


Additionally, you can reach out to the company's HR department or corporate social responsibility team to inquire about their support for organizations that promote diversity and inclusion. They may be able to provide you with more information about the company's philanthropic initiatives and how they support diversity and inclusion.


It's essential to assess a company's support for organizations that promote diversity and inclusion before recommending them to potential employees or clients. By doing so, we can ensure that we're recommending.


Examples of Truly Inclusive Companies


I have worked with many companies that have shown a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion. Here are a few examples:

  1. Salesforce: Salesforce has been consistently ranked as one of the best companies for diversity and inclusion. They have a Chief Equality Officer who is responsible for ensuring that the company's policies and practices promote equality for all employees. Salesforce also has several employee resource groups, including groups for women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.

  2. Microsoft: Microsoft has made a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion in recent years. They have a Global Diversity and Inclusion team that is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. Microsoft also has several employee resource groups, including groups for women, African Americans, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

  3. Accenture: Accenture has been recognized as a leader in diversity and inclusion. They have a Global Diversity and Inclusion Council that is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. Accenture also has several employee resource groups, including groups for women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities.

  4. Starbucks: Starbucks has made a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. They have a Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer who is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. Starbucks also has several employee resource groups, including groups for women, African Americans, and LGBTQ+ individuals. In addition, Starbucks has launched several initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion, such as the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which provides free college tuition for all eligible employees.

  5. Intel: Intel has made a strong commitment to diversity and inclusion. They have a Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer who is responsible for developing and implementing initiatives to promote diversity and inclusion. Intel also has several employee resource groups, including groups for women, African Americans, and LGBTQ+ individuals.

These are just a few examples of companies that have shown a genuine commitment to diversity and inclusion. As an HR and leadership consultant, I believe that companies that promote diversity and inclusion are more likely to attract and retain top talent, as well as foster a more inclusive and innovative workplace culture.


Conclusion


Promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace is not just a matter of moral and social responsibility, but it can also bring about numerous benefits for companies. These benefits include increased creativity, innovation, and collaboration among employees from different backgrounds. As organizational leaders, it's our responsibility to assess a company's commitment to diversity and inclusion before recommending them to potential employees or clients. By looking at a company's leadership team, recruitment and retention practices, and community involvement, we can get a better idea of how committed they are to these values. Let's strive to create truly diverse and inclusive workplaces that benefit everyone involved.

 

Jonathan H. Westover, PhD is Chief Academic & Learning Officer (HCI Academy); Chair/Professor, Organizational Leadership (UVU); OD Consultant (Human Capital Innovations). Read Jonathan Westover's executive profile here.



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