Find Your Fit: How to Ask the Right Questions About a Company’s DE&I Commitment 

A white paper with a torn hole revealing the words "Diversity Equity Inclusion" in black bold letters, with the Galt logo on the top left corner.

In today’s job market, where talent acquisition is fiercely competitive, companies are increasingly showcasing their commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I). But beyond the glossy brochures and mission statements, how do you gauge an organization’s genuine commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace?

You simply need to ask the right questions. The responses you receive can help you uncover an organization’s true intentions, spot a supportive workplace, and ultimately make informed decisions about your career path.

The Importance of DE&I in the Workplace

A truly inclusive company culture not only recognizes but also values the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of its employees, leading to a more innovative, equitable, and productive environment. Such cultures are built on policies and practices that actively promote diversity, ensure fair treatment and opportunities for all, and create a sense of belonging among team members.

How to Ask About DE&I in an Interview

Strategic questioning makes all the difference. A company’s website or career page may showcase a polished DE&I statement, but genuine commitment goes beyond mere words. To truly gauge a company’s DE&I efforts, here’s a list of carefully chosen questions that target their initiatives at different levels:

Who holds leadership positions, and how does the company ensure diverse representation at all levels?

This question sheds light on the structural aspects of DE&I within the organization, revealing whether diversity is mirrored in leadership roles—a strong indicator of a company’s commitment to equity.

Can you provide examples of how diverse voices are included in decision-making processes? 

Their response will help you gauge the practical steps taken to incorporate diverse perspectives in key decisions, highlighting the company’s approach to inclusive practices. 

What specific DE&I policies and initiatives are currently in place?

Asking for specifics can help differentiate between surface-level commitment and deep-rooted, actionable strategies designed to foster an inclusive environment.

How does the company measure the effectiveness of its DE&I programs?

This question is crucial for understanding whether the organization evaluates the impact of its initiatives, which is essential for continuous improvement and genuine commitment.

Are there any employee resource groups (ERGs), and what role do they play within the company?

ERGs are vital for supporting underrepresented groups and fostering a sense of belonging. The existence and active support of ERGs signal a company’s dedication to creating an inclusive workplace.

How accessible are your physical facilities for employees with disabilities?

Checking for accessibility infrastructures like ramps and accessible restrooms reveals the company’s commitment to inclusion for all. This is particularly important for individuals with disabilities, ensuring a workplace that prioritizes removing barriers and supporting employees of all abilities.

How does the company support employees in discussing and addressing DE&I issues?

This question assesses how well the company fosters a culture of open communication. A strong response indicates employees feel safe raising concerns, including sensitive topics like discrimination or bias. This psychological safety is essential for an inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued.

What measures are in place to ensure pay equity across genders, ethnicities, and other demographic lines?

Companies genuinely committed to DE&I are likely to be transparent about their efforts to achieve fair pay. Their response can reveal potential pay gaps, indicating how actively they address equity across genders, ethnicities, and other demographics. It can also help you assess the measures they have in place to ensure compensation is based on skills and experience, not background. 

How does the company facilitate career advancement for underrepresented employees?

A robust response that outlines programs or initiatives to promote underrepresented talent suggests that the company values creating opportunities for diverse employees. This can also subtly signal their commitment to your own growth within the company, especially if you identify as part of an underrepresented group.

Are your digital tools and platforms accessible for employees with disabilities?

You can tell that an organization prioritizes diversity and inclusion when they provide digital accessibility, like screen reader compatibility and closed captions for videos. This allows everyone, not just employees, to effectively utilize their tools and resources.

Does the company offer assistive technology or ergonomic equipment to employees who need it?

If you have specific needs, this question opens the door to discuss any accommodations you might require to be successful in the role. A company that readily offers or discusses ergonomic equipment is likely one that prioritizes employee well-being and creates an inclusive environment.

When is the Best Time to Ask These Questions?

There’s no single “perfect” time to ask DE&I questions in an interview, but there are a few good opportunities:

  • After the interviewer asks if you have any questions. This is the most common time for candidates to ask their own questions. It shows you’ve been engaged in the conversation and are interested in learning more about the company culture.
  • During a lull in the conversation. If there’s a natural break in the interview flow, you can politely interject with your DE&I question. Phrase it like, “That reminds me of something I wanted to ask…”
  • Following up on something specific the interviewer mentioned. If the interviewer talks about the company’s values or culture, you can ask a related DE&I question. For example, if they mention teamwork, you could ask, “How does your company ensure everyone feels comfortable contributing ideas in a team setting?”

Here’s what to avoid:

  • Asking too early. Don’t ask right off the bat. Let the interview flow a bit and establish yourself as a qualified candidate first.
  • Dominating the conversation. Keep your questions concise and professional.
  • Asking accusatory questions. Frame your questions in a way that seeks information, not challenges the company’s DE&I efforts.

Looking Beyond the Answers: Contextualizing Responses for Better Judgment

While the questions listed above are a valuable starting point, it’s equally important to analyze the responses you receive. This is how you can make well-informed judgments about a company’s authenticity in prioritizing DE&I:

  • Beware of vague answers like “We’re committed to DE&I” or “We have a diverse workforce.” Don’t be afraid to ask follow-up questions to get specifics. For instance, “Can you elaborate on some specific DE&I initiatives?” or “How do you measure progress on your DE&I goals?”
  • Assess consistency and transparency. Are the responses consistent across different sources, and does the company openly share its DE&I challenges and successes?
  • Evaluate the leadership’s commitment. A strong sign is if DE&I is championed by the company’s leadership team. Is DE&I a stated priority in the company mission statement or CEO’s messages?
  • Watch out for employee feedback. Check employee reviews on platforms like Glassdoor and other online sources to see what current and past employees say about the company’s DE&I culture.
  • Reflect on your overall interview experience. Did you feel welcome and respected throughout the process? Was the interview panel itself diverse?

CONNECTING CANDIDATES WITH EQUAL-OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYERS WHO PRIORITIZE DE&I IS WHAT WE DO AT GALT

Finding a work environment that celebrates diversity, fosters equity, and promotes inclusion is crucial for your professional fulfillment and sense of belonging. You don’t have to settle for anything less than an organization that genuinely prioritizes diversity, equity, and inclusion. At Galt, we connect you with those employees.

We understand the importance of feeling valued and respected for your unique talents and perspectives. That’s why we focus on matching you with companies that share similar values. Contact us today and let’s help you find your perfect fit!

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Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.

Contact Us

Let’s start a conversation! Are you a person with disabilities searching for a job or an organization with temporary or long-term employment needs? We look forward to helping you realize your potential.