Corporate DEI Visibility

Career services professionals in a higher education setting serve in a unique role as liaison between students and employers. This role allows us to witness conversations between students and employers where an alignment of values is assessed by both constituents. Many students approach these discussions with a hope of determining a company’s authentic commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices, yet lack the understanding of what questions to ask to uncover meaningful and substantial evidence of sustainable DEI efforts. To better understand the key indicators of sustainable DEI practices within the corporate world, we consulted leading sources in the DEI space and co-authored a White Paper identifying six indicators which reflect a sustainable commitment to DEI efforts. These key indicators are likely to contribute to lasting systemic impact and have the potential to be accessible and transparent to the public.

These six indicators have informed the development of a student guide for the purpose of lessening the research burden on students to assess companies that align with their values for sustainable DEI practices. This guide serves to educate students on these key indicators of visible DEI practices, empowers students to ask deeper and more thoughtful questions relating to a particular company’s commitment, provides curated resources on where and how to research companies with authentic investments toward progress, and prompts for critical reflection encouraging the level of self-efficacy crucial for making confident career decisions.

Leveraging our position in higher education career services as liaisons between students and employers, we also want to utilize this opportunity to share insights and perspectives we’ve observed in our interactions with students to help corporate partners become more visible and transparent in the way they represent their sustainable investments in DEI while they’re engaging in campus activities. These insights are shared with employers through an employer guide with the intention of helping employers prepare for more candid and direct conversations with students interested in their companies.

Practical Tools

A Guide for Students

Use this guide as starting point for your research into the sustainable DEI commitments of the companies you are pursuing. The sample questions and reflection space will help you move beyond asking, “What is your company’s culture?”, to crafting targeted questions, prompting deeper discussions with employers, and ultimately making more informed decisions.

A Guide for Employers

This guide provides a starting point for employers to gather knowledge about specific investments their organization is making that support sustainable DEI efforts. It will also prepare employers for deeper questions students are asking to move beyond, “What is your company’s culture?”, prompting deeper, intentional discussions, allowing students to make more informed decisions.