Want to work for an inclusive company? Here’s how to evaluate its commitment to diversity

A woman is sitting in a meeting room wearing a denim jacket. There is an inclusive pride flag behind them.

A truly inclusive workplace seems to be a unicorn in the working world. While total inclusion should be the goal of every employer, many fall short. It’s up to us to do our own research to find out if a company reflects our values and is committed to inclusion. 

You may have heard of ‘conscious quitting’ – deliberately leaving a job because your values differ from your employer’s. It’s a trend that is becoming more common in a post-pandemic world. The Net Positive Employee Barometer found that 45 per cent of employees in the UK would leave a job if company values didn’t align with their own, and 35 per cent have previously quit a job for this reason. This number jumps to 48 per cent amongst Gen Z and Millennial employees. 

However, many companies make vague or unverifiable claims about their commitment to diversity and inclusion. This creates a challenge for people to confirm if a company truly values diversity and is actively working to create an inclusive environment. This is where research comes in. By conducting thorough research into a company’s practices and policies, you’ll be able to have an understanding of a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Then you’ll be in the right place to decide if a company is a right fit for you. 

After you’ve consciously quit your current job, we have some tips to help you find out how inclusive a company actually is.

Check out employee reviews

The best place to start is to check out with past and present employees think of their company. Employee reviews provide valuable insight into a company’s culture and inclusivity from the perspective of someone who is involved in the company culture. Glassdoor and Indeed are platforms where current and former employees share their experiences working at a company, including feedback on diversity and inclusivity. Look for consistent themes in the reviews and then dig in to get more context. 

Are employees from diverse backgrounds happy with the company culture, or do they feel excluded and undervalued? If you’re reading consistent complaints about lack of inclusivity, it’s a red flag that that company may not be as committed to diversity as they claim to be.

A male and female colleague look at a tablet.
Resources like Stonewall’s Top 100 Employers list can help you identify truly inclusive companies. (Getty Images/PinkNews)

Research the company’s diversity initiatives

Companies that have made achievements in diversity and inclusion will proudly shout it out. Many companies have a diversity and inclusion page on their website, where they highlight their efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. Look for specifics such as the diversity of the workforce, inclusion policies and programs and employee resource groups. Pay attention to how the company frames their diversity initiatives. 

It’s easy for companies to exaggerate and use inclusive language focusing on the benefits of diversity, but they could just be ticking boxes to meet a quota. Luckily, there are other resources where you can see how companies are ranked. In the UK, Stonewall publishes an annual list of the most inclusive employers. In the States, the HRC has their annual Corporate Equality Index – a benchmarking tool on corporate policies, practices and benefits impacting LGBTQ+ employees. 

Check out the company’s leadership team

The diversity of a company’s leadership team is a strong indicator of their commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Check out the leadership team’s profiles on the company website and on LinkedIn and look for diversity in terms of race, gender, age, and other factors. If you’re not seeing yourself represented, it could be a sign that the company may not be committed to diversity and inclusivity.

An extra step you should take is checking out leadership profiles on LinkedIn. Many C-level executives are quite active: are they posting content that you can relate to? That could be a good sign that the brand values line up with yours. Another easy tell is if they list their pronouns in their profile.

Two people are having a discussion.
If you can’t see yourself represented in the company’s leadership team, that could be a red flag. (Getty Images/PinkNews)

Evaluate the application and hiring process

The entire recruiting process provides insight into a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Look at the job postings – are they using inclusive language and actively recruiting a diverse candidate pool? On the company’s recruiting portal, who are in the photos? Again, if you’re not seeing yourself the company may not be completely dedicated to promoting inclusion. 

If you get to the interview process, pay attention to the diversity of the interviewers and the questions they ask. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company culture. If the company is serious about diversity, it will have a structured and inclusive hiring process.

Assess the company’s benefits and policies

A company that values diversity will invest in policies and benefits that support a diverse workforce. Look for policies that promote work-life balance, parental leave, mental health support, gender-affirming care and other benefits. During the interviews, ask about the company’s diversity training and professional development programs. 

Much like successful achievements with diversity initiatives, companies will shout loud about progressive policies, especially for the LGBTQ+ and other marginalised communities. 

Research the company’s social responsibility efforts

A company’s social responsibility efforts can also provide insight into its commitment to diversity and inclusivity. Look for initiatives that support diversity and inclusivity in the community, such as partnerships with diverse organisations or sponsorships of events that celebrate diversity. Companies that prioritise diversity and inclusivity will be actively involved in social responsibility efforts that encourages social mobility for all. 

Look at the company’s public statements and actions

Last but not least, pay attention to the company’s public statements and actions. Look for statements in response to social justice issues or incidents of discrimination, and evaluate if they are taking meaningful action to address these issues.

Keep an eye on the company’s social media accounts and see if they are actively promoting diversity and inclusivity, or if it’s just lip service to the concept. This is where you need to be on the look for ‘rainbow washing.’ It’s a nice gesture if a big brand or company changes their profile pictures during Pride Month, but what if they also donate to lobbying groups and political campaigns that are homophobic or anti-trans? 

A company that truly values diversity and inclusivity will take a stand on social justice issues and take action to create a more inclusive workplace.

It’s no secret that diversity and inclusion are critical components of a thriving workplace. Employees who feel included are going to be engaged and productive, leading to better business outcomes for the company. As employee’s sense of purpose factors into where they work, companies are following suit and committing to total diversity and inclusion. You’ll just need to do a bit of leg work to find them.