W. P. Carey Alumni Share 6 Ways to Determine if a Company Truly Values Diversity

We asked W. P. Carey Alumni: What are ways to determine if a company truly values diversity?

Here are 6 ways they shared:

    • Are Statements Backed Up by Actions?
    • Do Leaders Act as Role Models?
    • Look to their Leadership Team-Is it Diverse? 
    • View the Annual Diversity Report
    • Look at Current Employees
    • Consider Hiring and Promotion Practices of Diverse Talent

Are Statements Backed Up by Actions?

Graduates can determine if a company truly values diversity by looking at the actions a company takes to support their employees. Most companies have a diversity and inclusion statement on their website and in their communications, however, it’s actions, leadership, and involvement that matter. In 2003, I was one of 32 employees who received an MBA in Supply Chain Management from the W. P. Carey School of Business at ASU. Our company, Chevron Corporation, provided full support (fees, tuition, etc.) for our cohort which represented men and women from various cultures and operating locations around the world. It was a game changer for our function as we learned the basics of SCM but also how to work in teams with different perspectives and ideas. This would not have been possible without innovative, insightful leadership and the foresight to strategically choose a diverse group for this program.

Audrey Cormier, MBA ’03,  Chevron Corporation

Do Leaders Act as Role Models?

One way to cut through the positioning on diversity and inclusion is to see if the leaders of the company are role modeling and behaving in a way that is consistent with their statements? It’s very important that a culture of inclusion is led from the top but acted upon daily by the leadership team.

Michelle Tinsley, MBA ‘99, YellowBird Holdings Inc

Look to their Leadership Team-Is it Diverse?

Recent graduates should do extensive research on the company including reviewing the background of the leadership/management team. An organization that truly values diversity would be intentional about ensuring that diversity is embedded across all levels, not just at the entry/middle level positions. If there is diverse representation at the decision making level, those voices can advocate for those that don’t have a seat at the table. You could also reasonably infer that the organization has taken some steps to ensure an inclusive culture that sustains their diversity efforts and allows for upward mobility and career progression.

Gbemi Disu, BS Economics & International Business ‘04, Carnegie Mellon University Africa

View the Annual Diversity Report

One way to determine if a company truly values diversity is by reading a company’s annual diversity report or published diversity statistics found on the website. The information typically includes, but is not limited to, workforce representation, leadership representation, hiring practices, pay data, supplier diversity programs, employee advocacy and career development, community involvement, testimonials from employees/ suppliers/ customers, action plans and progress. 

Rhonda James, MBA ‘01, Business Operations and Diversity & Inclusion Strategic Programs

Look at Current Employees

Employers that value diversity will value underrepresented ethnicities and cultures as much as they value diverse genders. If the company looks more like a Salad Bowl than a melting pot of Gumbo, full of people and colors and hues you are forced to recognize, learn to communicate with and be cohesive with, the company is looking to acknowledge and uphold all of our beautiful differences. 

Marques Elliott, BS Business Administration & Marketing management ‘03, RoMarx Consulting

Consider Hiring and Promotion Practices of Diverse Talent

One way that helps to determine if a company truly values diversity and inclusion is by looking at how they process their job applications or how they recruit new talent.

Do they take time to review resumes of potential candidates that tell a story of overcoming life challenges or alternative routes to career advancement demonstrating a candidate’s persistence and resilience? Do they conduct recruiting events at a place and time that is accommodating to potential candidates who may not be able to meet in the middle of the day or at night? Do they make the same “exceptions” on work experience or college qualifications for all applicants? When you go into the office for an interview, do you see a diverse team environment? 

The answers to these key questions will provide insight into whether or not the organization is one that values and demonstrates its commitment to diversity through its hiring and promotion practices.

Naja Braddock, BS Management ‘98, Central Basin Municipal Water District

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By W. P. Carey Career Services Center
W. P. Carey Career Services Center