Any Blacks in the Village?
1. Diversity Mission Statement or Formal Diversity Program
Businesses with a strong commitment to inclusiveness often have structured in-house programs, follow formal supplier diversity guidelines, offer employee affinity groups or internal diversity teams, and more. Read through the site and look for indicators for whether the company is committed to a diverse environment.
2. Partnerships and Affiliations
You can learn a lot about anyone by the company they keep. This holds true for corporations. Many company sites provide information about local and national community relations initiatives and partnerships. Review these sections and see if the company has any affiliations with minority professional or social organizations.
3. Press Releases
Read through the past year of press releases and see if the business is actively promoting their community relations initiatives. However, be sure you can tell the difference between companies that are involved and committed to diversity, and those that simply "write a check." Read releases carefully to see if the business and its employees are truly getting involved.
4. Basic Company Facts
You can find out more about the direction in which the company is moving by reading about the company’s leaders. Does the business have minorities and women at the executive level? Are leaders involved with minority professional organizations? Does the company offer any statistics about the makeup of its workforce? Does the company spend a significant amount with minority business suppliers?
Aside from researching the company’s own Web site, it is also important to conduct independent research of diversity initiatives. Here are a few more strategies:
Research recruitment programs. - Does the company recruit at universities with high minority populations? Is the company present at minority job fairs?
Check out national media scorecards
Many media outlets publish reports of the nation’s best employers for minority individuals. Examples include The Guardian and The Independent if you live in the UK. For America, check out Fortune, Working Mother and We Magazine, among many others.
These rankings can provide you with a look inside the company, both at its programs and the percentage of minority in its workforce.
Visit online diversity portals and non-profit Web sites.
There are a wide range of Web sites dedicated to diversity that offer news, opinions and even critiques of the nation’s top businesses. You can also visit the Web sites of professional minority organizations for facts, stats and overall career advice.
Talk to local affiliates of national minority organizations Organizations like the Society of Black Lawyers, Black MBAs, the National Urban League, and many more often offer career resources both locally and nationally, and typically have relationships with corporations in their communities.
Just like doing any other kind of research, you can find some of the best information simply by talking to people. From individuals employed at the company to those you are interviewing with, ask about the company’s programs in place and commitment to social responsibility.
Kate Lorenz is the article and advice editor for www.CareerBuilder.com. She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.
Please e-mail comments to firstname.lastname@example.org