Diversity

Diversity in the workplace will continue to increase into the next century as employers have begun to recognize the value-added to their organizations when diverse candidates are hired. But, you may be wondering how to find an employer that supports and embraces diversity. The guide below will provide you with tips, suggestions, and insight on how to navigate the job search as a person of color.

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Get Ahead of the Game with the Diversity Meet Up: Pre Showcase Connections

On September 26 we invite you to a networking event to meet employers and learn about opportunities in a less formal setting. This is a great way to get a head start before taking on Career Showcase the next day. This event includes an educational session and free flowing interactions with employers if you are actively looking for opportunities or just beginning to think about your career plans. Refreshments will be served while you network. See below for event details and registration information.

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Mission and Values Statement

Most companies have a section of their website where they list their mission and values statements. Likewise, some employers may devote an entire webpage to diversity and inclusivity initiatives. Here are some key things to look for when reviewing an organization’s website:

  1. Look for inclusion or diversity statements on the company’s webpage
  2. Research the website to see whether or not the company has anti-discrimination policies
  3. Look to see whether or not the company has affinity groups that support different minority employees
  4. Look at the leadership and employees. Do people look similar or can you notice differences in ethnicity, race or gender?
  5. Is there a specific person who is devoted to diversity, equity, or inclusion initiatives? Some common titles for a person devoted to this effort may be, Chief Diversity Officer or Diversity and Inclusion manager.

Questions to Ask Employers

Another great way to determine whether or not a company is committed to diversity is to actively engage in dialogue with an employer during interviews, career events, or networking mixers. The following questions can be used as a guide with your conversation with employers:

  1. Can you tell me about some of your diversity initiatives?
  2. Which company policies directly support diversity?
  3. How does the leadership of your company reflect diversity?
  4. How does your strategic plan incorporate diversity and inclusiveness?

What are Affinity Groups?

Some employers may reference affinity groups when they are describing their efforts toward creating an inclusive and diverse workforce. Affinity groups are special groups that an employer may form to support, and promote the retention and advancement of different minority groups within the workplace. These groups provide employees of a specific affinity ( a similarity that suggests a relationship) with a forum to meet and network personally and professionally. Some examples of types of affinity groups include: gender based, race and culture based, physical disabilities, military service, sexual orientation, and many more.

How can the Career Connections Center help me identify employers who are committed to diversity?

You should schedule a 1:1 career planning appointment. During career planning appointments, you have the ability to sit down with a full–time staff member or graduate counselor to further explore different careers and potential employers.

What questions can a Career Planner help me answer about race and ethnicity?

A career planner can help you to identify places to look for mentors on and off campus and can help you to navigate the job search process. Some questions that a career planner can help you with include:

  1. Should I complete the optional self-disclosure form on an application?
  2. How can I find mentors within my field that look like me?
  3. How can I dig deeper to understand if an employer is committed to diversity?
  4. Does it matter how I wear my hair for an interview?
  5. What questions are employers not allowed to ask me during my interview?

Know Your Rights:

As a student of color, you may have concerns about discrimination that could occur at your workplace. Many companies have diversity statements or non-discrimination policies to protect you as an employee. However, during the interview process you may be unsure of what questions are and aren’t appropriate as it relates to your race and ethnicity. Below are a list of common questions that are against the law for an employer to ask during an interview:

  1. What is your national origin/citizenship?
  2. Are you a U.S. citizen?
  3. Where were you born?
  4. What is your “native tongue?”
  5. Are you authorized to work in the United States?
  6. Do you go to church?
  7. What is your religious affiliation?
  8. What religious holidays will you take off from work?

If you encounter discrimination in the workplace and you need additional support, you should schedule a career planning appointment in the Career Connections Center. A career planner can help you navigate and reflect on your experiences, identify allies, and develop an action plan.

Expanding and Building Your Network:

Research has shown that networking is the number one way that job seekers secure full-time job and internship opportunities. So, how can you start building and utilizing your network? Meeting with professionals of color who work in your career is a great place to start. Below are a few tips to help you start identifying people within your industry to network with:

  1. Ask friends, advisors, professors and community leaders if they know any professionals of color that could help advise you on your career plans and goals
  2. Create a LinkedIn account. LinkedIn is an easy way to identify professionals of color and connect with them.
  3. Utilize your professional network. Professionals associations, (such as The National Association of Engineers or the Public Relations Society of America) have specific initiatives that support members of their organization based on race, sexual orientation, or functional interests within the field.

Did you know that the Career Connections Center will work with your student organization to develop a career–related customized presentation?

The Career Connections Center works directly with student groups, faculty members and staff to develop customized career-related workshops. All that you need to do is submit the request at least 3 weeks in advance on our online form or contact Nadene Reynolds at 352-273-2307 or NReynolds@ufsa.ufl.edu to schedule a time to meet to discuss outreach workshop options.

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