Being a token worker at a job is never fun. All the microaggression, and unconscious bias, can stump your career growth and mental health.
It’s important to be able to be your authentic self in the workplace. So it is reasonable to only want to join a company that is driving change in the workplace and shows cultural competency.
Also, research shows that diverse teams perform better, so it’s more likely you’ll be a part of a high-achieving team.
The best part about employers now -finally- paying more attention to their diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts is that during a job interview, you can also interview them. This will help you to make sure you’ll be in a company that has fair policies, and growth opportunities, and you’ll be appreciated.
By taking advantage of the interview process and realizing that this company is legit, you’ll probably have fewer chances of undergoing unpleasant or even traumatic experiences at work.
Although it’s true that you can check the company’s website before the interview to see what they state publicly about diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s always better to make sure they talk the talk and walk the walk.
Here are some questions you can ask your interviewer about their D&I initiatives that they’ll be able to answer if they are as supportive as they claim:
What are your core values?
- This is a good icebreaker if you are a bit anxious about bringing up these topics. And their answer will help you to determine if Diversity is one of their top values as an organization, and therefore an ongoing goal.
I’ve seen some content on your social networks about your commitment to D&I, could you tell me more about what you have been doing behind the scenes?
- You’ll probably find your interviewer off guard with this one. But that’s a good thing, If they know you are already aware of the official basic information, then they’ll have to go beyond, and open up to what they have been so far and even what they’re still lacking to move their initiatives forward.
How diverse are the leadership teams?
- As a norm, leadership decisions have a great impact on the overall goals, policies, and choices. If the executive team, board of directors, managers, and VPs, are from diverse backgrounds or have demonstrated full support in the past, they’ll possibly address the root causes of workplace discrimination and it’s more likely you’ll also have the chance to reach a leadership position in the future too.
- Another thing to notice is organizations that value Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, have formal roles dedicated to supporting their initiatives and putting them into practice.
Can you share data that shows the level of diversity throughout the organization?
- If their Diversity stats are not displayed anywhere on their website, this could be a reason to worry. Therefore, if the information you’ve seen or heard about the organization so far is not specific enough, feel free to ask for data to understand better where they stand.
What benefits has Diversity brought to your working environment?
- A company that truly understands the value of diversity, is a company that fosters and invests in diverse talent.
- The best answer to this question shouldn’t just convey nice things about having a diverse team, but results-driven information that reflects how essential their D&I program is.
How are you making sure everyone feels included?
- Inclusion doesn’t happen overnight, it takes thoughtful effort to build teams where everyone feels valued and included.
- How does the company implement its approach to inclusion into actionable steps? Do the supervisors/managers receive any training about Diversity and Inclusion? Asking these questions will allow you to learn how the company accommodates its employees’ needs.
How do you foster open communication about diversity, equity, and inclusion?
- Why is this question so important? DEI initiatives can only prosper in a safe environment where everyone feels supported enough to express their concerns freely.
- Knowing how managers and supervisors are held accountable for diversity and inclusion measures is always a good sign.
What are your diversity goals for the next year?
- Having a dateline turns goals into action. On the other hand, asking a less specific question such as “ What are your diversity goals?” can lead to a vague answer about long-term goals that may not be achieved during your time in the company.
I’m interested in being part of D&I programs, are there any available that you think I’d be a good fit for?
- Knowing about their D&I programs is a great way to determine where the company is heading and also your chances to advance your career with them.
- For example pay attention they offer employee resource groups, leadership training programs, and mentorship, or education opportunities to advance within the company. Besides, by asking this question you’ll present yourself as an active D&I advocate.
Hopefully, after using these questions you’ll find an organization that’s dedicated to providing an equitable and inclusive environment for its employees where you’ll feel comfortable and appreciated, ready to do your best.