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Finding Diversity-Friendly Companies

by Tracey de Morsella (formerly Tracey L. Minor)

Some companies still cling to cultures designed to support and advance those who

are part of the good old boys' network. While many employers are now working hard to make their workplaces more inclusive, many minorities, like others not privy to the traditional office clique, find their careers stagnating.

Avoid this situation by seeking out companies committed to diversity -- those doing more than just talking about the importance of hiring minorities. During your job search, look for companies that do the following:

Commit Resources to Recruiting Minorities

These companies recruit on college campuses where minorities are well-represented. Such companies attend minority job fairs and minorities conferences, and offer minority internship programs. They also advertise in publications and on Web sites that target minorities.

Retain and Promote Minority Employees

Coaching, formal mentoring, training and leadership-development programs are some of the tools used to retain and promote minorities. Make sure you look into whether the company's minority employees are concentrated in lower-level positions, located in only a few departments or are represented at all levels throughout the organization.

Support Diversity at the Senior-Management Level.

Organizations in which senior management supports diversity are more likely to create a corporate culture and an environment that enables your career to thrive.

Use Quantitative Metrics to Measure Performance.

These methods are more likely to produce performance reviews based on actual merit and not how a supervisor feels personally about a subordinate.

Demonstrate a Commitment to the Minority Communities.

Diverse companies encourage their employees to volunteer in the community, donate resources and funds, sponsor events, provide scholarships and partner with organizations dedicated to minority advancement.

Now that you know what to look for when evaluating a potential employer's commitment to diversity, use these resources to collect this information:

Company Information

Most companies offer a variety of resources through which you can uncover information about corporate culture and commitment to diversity. Check out company Web sites, mission statements, policies, annual reports, videos, recruitment literature and advertisements. Also, ask around or set up informational interviews with current or former staff.

The Media

Much diversity data and information about company culture can be found in articles devoted to spotlighting diversity programs. Lists like “the best places to work” have become increasingly popular. Those that specifically address the needs of African Americans include Fortune's Best Companies for Minorities and Black Collegian's Top 100 Employers.

Minorities researching potential employers' commitment to diversity often find they have to sift through disconnected pieces of information. You must view all that you uncover with a degree of skepticism to effectively evaluate and use this information to get to the truth. The decisions you make will have a far-reaching impact on your career.

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Tracey de Morsella is the Managing Producer of The Multicultural Advantage, a web site that provides resources designed to help minorities succeed in the workplace and employers increase their diversity staffing effectiveness. Her articles on diversity staffing strategies have appeared in over 100 publications and web sites, including: Monster.com, Society for Human Resource Management, Workplace Diversity Guide and Cultural Diversity At Work. Her diversity recruitment workshops have been attended by human resource professionals from Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, non-profit organizations and institutions of higher learning.

Contact Tracey:

Copyright 2004 - TMP Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This article first appeared on Monster, the leading online global network for careers. To see other career-related articles, visit http://content.monster.com.

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