Diversity is an integral part of today's workplace and as employ- ers seek to diversify their workplace, you might have what they are seeking. Today's employers define "diversity" beyond the traditional minority and gender differences, to include groups of all differences. What you might consider "different" may actually make you more desirable and give you a competitive edge over other applicants.
Diverse candidates provide employers another perspective so they can meet the needs of a rapidly changing customer base. You can use your understanding of other communities to help the organization be more flexible, diplomatic, and open-minded. If you use your "insider knowledge," you can create a favorable environment for a wide range of people.
Below are some examples that you should include on your résumé or mention specifically during your interview.
- Understanding of a particular population(s) that will enable an organization to be more effective and successful
- Bilingual language ability or abilities that can be applied and utilized
- Cultural sensitivity that can help an organization be more flexible, diplomatic, and open-minded
- Cultural experiences and opportunities gained in the U.S. or abroad that can be applied to an organization
- An "insiders perspective" that can be instrumental for an organization
But most importantly, think about how your life experience has helped you develop universally valued abilities. Adapting to an- other culture forces you to be flexible, strong, and tenacious; embracing change builds character and self-reliance. These qualities have helped you succeed and are the ones you will bring to the workplace. In the end, it is all about who you are, how you work, and how you fit into the company's environment.
Characteristics of Employers that Embrace Diversity
- Overall support for all diverse populations
- Located in geographical diverse areas
- Clients from diverse populations
- Leadership values diversity
- Mission statement, website, and/or other public source of information clearly defines and supports their diversity perspective on their established mentoring, internship, hiring, and leadership development programs
Employers that Support Diversity
Finding an employer that supports the diversity you bring to the workplace is integral to your success. Researching an organization's policies and past activities provides a good overview of their value of diversity.
When Choosing an Employer, Consider the Following:
- A clearly stated and well publicized nondiscrimination policy
- Company-wide diversity training
- An equitable benefits program
- Employee resource groups (a.k.a. affinity groups) in your particular area(s) of interest
- Diverse leadership
Seek out websites focused on diversity that provide information and resources. Look for industry or professional association web sites.Career Center's recommended list of Diversity Resources.