1. Career Advice
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  3. Diversity in the workplace: check out your potential new employer
Diversity in the workplace: check out your potential new employer

Diversity in the workplace: check out your potential new employer

Artwork by: Anastasia Kraynyuk

  • Defining diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • 4 Types of diversity in the workplace
  • Benefits of workplace diversity
  • Key takeaways

When considering a new job, keep in mind the company’s diversity policies. Diversity, equity, and inclusion promote innovation and profitability and they can be essential for career success. In this article, we’ll discuss what diversity in the workplace looks like, and why it’s important to your career path.

If you’re in the market for a new job, you may have given some thought to the kind of company you'd like to work for, one whose values and goals line up with your own. The workforce in the U.S. is constantly evolving and becoming more inclusive, and while change on a large scale does move slowly, it is happening. Increasing diversity in the workplace is more than the “flavor of the month,” and companies who earnestly commit to the concept discover the depth of talent and overall value that a diverse workforce brings to their organization. In the end, it's not only good for business but also good for people. 

If finding a job at a company with this mindset is important to you, it’s good to have a clear understanding of what diversity in the workplace means, and how it benefits employees of all levels.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of finding a job with a company committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), including

  • What do diversity and inclusion in the workplace mean?

  • The four types of diversity

  • Benefits of diversity in the workplace

Defining diversity, equity, and inclusion

Diversity in the workplace is more than just having token representatives of multiple races or ethnicities. Companies that are committed to authentic diversity in their workforce go beyond having representations of different groups. They commit to — and support — the tangible and intangible differences in people, such as gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, race, and physical disabilities. This promotes a sense of importance — and true inclusion — on every level, which makes all employees feel valued and respected.

Simply put, "diversity" means that more than one perspective is being included in a company or on a team. When scanning potential employers, look for their DEI initiatives. DEI stands for Diversity-Equity-Inclusion. While most of us think of racial diversity first, DEI casts a much wider net. While it does place importance on racial and social equality and opportunity, it also denotes the importance of welcoming a wide range of life experiences; it also promotes the idea that every person has a right to the same resources, opportunities, and treatment, while still respecting those very qualities that make them unique. At the heart of DEI policies is the idea of doing away with implicit bias and the idea that “different” equals “substandard.”

Statistical Insight

Diversity in the workplace doesn't just benefit the employee base. It’s been shown that companies that support internal diversity are 70% more likely to reach new markets, as they're able to reach more and larger markets. However, it's still a struggle — surveys have shown that about 57% of employees think that their employers aren’t doing enough to promote diversity.  And to top it all off, 41% of executives and decision-makers feel they are "too busy” to create and support DEI programs in their organizations.

4 Types of diversity in the workplace

If the idea of finding a job with a company that promotes diversity is important to you, when doing your research it might be helpful to be able to identify what that actually means in a practical sense. Yes, diversity can be good for a company’s bottom line if they truly value and utilize it in all job levels, but it also allows for more creativity, new approaches, and novel solutions. As a prospective employee, you should take the time to decide how you can welcome and contribute to this in a positive way.

There are four types of diversity to consider when researching a potential employer:

  • Internal diversity is an intrinsic trait that someone is born with, such as sex, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, or physical abilities. These are the most well-known characteristics and are protected from employment discrimination under U.S. law.

  • External diversity is anything that characterizes an individual's identity but isn't necessarily a circumstance of their birth, such as education, religion, appearance, or economic status.

  • Organizational diversity is the variation in job duties, work history, seniority, specific department assignments, or executive levels.

  • Worldview diversity spans an extensive range of cultures, political views, and travel journeys.

Statistical Insight

Businesses that embrace DEI initiatives make better decisions up to 87% of the time, and companies with a wide mix of ethnic backgrounds are 33% more likely to outperform their competitors.

Benefits of workplace diversity

A company that employs a wide range of ages, races, backgrounds, and life experiences is setting itself up for success. Not only is it good for the company itself, but it can also use its insight to educate clients and peers, and reach markets previously unavailable to them. This automatically generates new and innovative ideas and procedures, as well as a bigger target customer base, all of which increase profitability. It’s been shown that companies that embrace diversity are 70% more likely to accomplish this.

Some other benefits of DEI initiatives include

  • New and unique perspectives

  • A broader range of job candidates

  • Increased innovation

  • Increased productivity

  • Higher profitability

Expert Tip

One of the greatest benefits of diversity is the ability to avoid a phenomenon known as “groupthink,” which can occur when a collection of well-meaning individuals make poor decisions due to the need to conform or the belief that conflict will not be accepted. This may occur when the group values unity and conformity above logic and reason.

If you're looking for a new job, finding one that embraces DEI principles is in your best interests, as the company is more likely to acknowledge and support differences, which promotes a sense of collaboration and unity among employees and boosts trust in management. This is especially important for people just starting out in their careers — if they see someone like them who is not only succeeding, but thriving, it can show them anything is possible.

Key takeaways

  1. Companies with diversity initiatives have committed to cultivating a workforce that supports the hiring of individuals regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, gender identity, race, and physical disabilities.

  2. When researching a company's diversity policies, consider the four types of diversity: Internal, external, organizational, and worldview.

  3. Benefits of diversity and inclusion programs include new perspectives, a wider talent pool, higher profitability, increased innovation and productivity, and a happier and more engaged workplace.

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