Diversity in the workplace is a win-win situation for employers, employees and customers. As a job-seeker, you may instinctively seek a company with a diverse workforce without pinpointing why diversity should be a factor.
The simple answer is that a diverse workplace promotes a more creative environment in which to work.
Diversity sparks creativity
When people from varying backgrounds get together, creativity thrives because not everyone looks at things from the same perspective. Workplace diversity promotes creative and varied thinking, which can result in a work environment that celebrates those same traits.
If you want to work in a place where creative juices flow, look for an employer who embraces diversity.
Diversity attracts diversity
Job seekers who want a company that easily identifies with its customers also are wise to select a diverse workplace. The world hosts a diverse population.
When a company limits its employee pool to those who are all very much alike, it also limits growth potential. A diverse group of employees can better identify with, and speak to, a diverse population.
Also, to work with a diverse group of co-workers and customers can be more interesting than being boxed in with the same type of people.
Diversity appeals to talent
Do you want to work with the best people and attract talented applicants? A diverse workplace appeals to candidates who don’t want to be part of a homogenous group. It’s more likely you’ll work with better people if potential co-workers think they can apply without being considered “outsiders.”
Diversity allows the most qualified candidates to feel welcome within a workplace’s culture regardless of their backgrounds. A diverse workplace means nobody is excluded just because they seem “different.”
How to Find a Diverse Workplace
On a list of the 313 most diverse U.S. cities, Omaha is 125, according to WalletHub. This means a diverse workplace is more difficult to find here than in a larger city, yet it’s certainly possible.
The Omaha area has an active movement that promotes diversity. Organizations like Inclusive Communities encourage diversity and inclusion. They believe a more inclusive and diverse community equals a stronger community. The same perhaps can be said about workplace diversity.
Local companies like Alorica, Nebraska Total Care, Gallup and University of Nebraska at Omaha are among the employers who claim to celebrate and promote workplace diversity. In fact, the help-wanted ads of these and many other companies promote diverse work environments. This can help you sense how diverse each workplace might be.
A claim to promote a diverse workplace is all well and good, but how can you know a potential employer actually celebrates diversity? It can be quite revealing to ask about a company’s diversity during your interview. If the interviewers respond like it’s a question they don’t know how to answer, it’s safe to assume the company culture does not actively seek diversity.
But if your question spurs a quick overview of the company’s diversity policies and outreach efforts, it is a step in the right direction. Better yet, tangible statistics that point toward a diversified work force can be seen as a positive.
You should research a company before you apply or interview for a position. While this should be standard practice, such research is especially important if you want to assess the diversity of a company’s culture. Several things can reveal a company’s diversity:
- Website and ads: Who does the company choose to represent them and their customers? If everyone in every ad for the company looks alike then it’s a sign that diversity may not necessarily be ingrained in the company’s culture.
- Leadership: Who are the people at the top? This information is usually available online. Do all the leaders look like varying versions of one another? Are there a variety of people who lead the company? Diverse leadership often translates into a diverse workforce.
- Hiring personnel: With whom do you deal when you visit the workplace for an interview? Although you only get a small preview of the larger workforce, those people chosen to act as company representatives often speak volumes.
A diverse workplace should be at the top of the list for any job seeker. Look for a workplace that celebrates the differences in people, not a workplace that doesn’t accept differences.