D&I: How do you see if a company is moving in the right direction?

teresaman's profile thumbnail
Such a great question! Throwing out some ideas....- talk to past and present employees to get a sense of their feelings of belonging within the company- inquire about hiring plans (particularly, are they looking to hire someone to head this effort? what kind of skills and experience are they looking for in the person/people to lead this?)- how is the company defining success in D&I efforts? (eg. I'd be alarmed if they give an answer that's merely ratio based because, women and POC tend to be in lower and/or non-technical positions, which for many companies could serve as an easy way out)
ninagordon's profile thumbnail
Thanks so much for your response, Teresa. What should success look like for these businesses, outside of ratios? I think maybe looking for ways they really seek to give everyone a voice and create advancements - ie. it's not just about putting bums on seats and looking good but about actively empowering people.
chilliangie's profile thumbnail
Great post! If a company has not been doing that great in DEI and claims to be improving on it, I would expect a high level of transparency for the actions and initiatives. Not that many out there would share such info worrying that it can backfire. But thats the whole point right? To be held accountable and otherwise don’t claim/ pretend. It’s actually quite easy to spot if they are marketing tag lines without much detail given. Some companies report regularly on the status, it could be separate or part of the annual business reports - check their corporate websites/ Linkedin. Glassdoor and the like are common places to look for employee insights. These days I am encouraging my circle of friends to ask DEI related questions during the interview process, to show that we care and to ensure (though its hard to be sure at this stage) we are compensated fairly within the company context. But yes, we need to find the appropriate moments to bring these up - for example, when given an offer, I would ask if the company has any policy/ data tracking/ third-party certification in place to ensure compensations are as fair as possible. The HR or hiring manager may not be able to give full detail, due to confidentiality etc. (At this point I haven’t joined the company yet). But I can have a good gauge from their response - do they actually know? If not, probably a bad sign, as they are in recruiting. Are they confident, nervous, embarrassed, or? The last thing we want is to find out you are paid less than your comparable counterparts (often male) only after years of hard work. The gender pay gap is real, there are tons of research out there. I would hold myself accountable to check before joining a company now. The same can work when given another opportunity internally.
ninagordon's profile thumbnail
Love this point about accountability and transparency. I imagine the two parts of your answer feed into each other too. The more information a company is willing to share on it externally, the more likely their staff are to be informed and aware internally.
yourtash's profile thumbnail
Hi @ninagordon - I'm so thrilled to see that people are really interested in checking out companies in advance! I'm actually a D&I consultant, and @teresaman has great recommendations and @chilliangie mentioned things that I actively help companies do - create openness and transparency and get input from their entire organizations to help contribute to their D&I policies. Ultimately, you can tell if a company is actively engaged in integrating D&I (especially the Inclusion piece, which is the hardest one to implement) by how honestly and openly they are willing to talk about the topic once you bring it up. Ideally, a company should have their D&I policies and statements readily available on their website and social media profiles, but since many companies haven't really started initiatives until recently, its good to see their progress as they continue along with their commitment. Last but not least, companies who are willing to talk about their actual diversity numbers and the actual make-up of their communities are the ones who will be able to attract underrepresented talent in the long run. If you're not measuring, how are you able to know if you're making progress? :). Best of luck with checking out this company! Would love to hear what you end up finding out!PS - I'm looking to FINALLY start posting info for both job seekers AND companies about D&I on my website so stay tuned! :D
ninagordon's profile thumbnail
Great advice, thank you. Please could you share your website? I'd love to follow it as you post :)
yourtash's profile thumbnail
My main website is up (tashjefferies.com) - but I'm actually re-connecting my domain (diversa.work) for Monday! It'll be live then :). I'm optimistic about 2021!
ninagordon's profile thumbnail
Sharing your optimism 🙌 and looking forward to seeing it in action :)