Job Searching

How to Ask about DEI During an Interview

Practical tips for finding out if your potential new employer values Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Kelli Smith
Kelli Smith
Nov 12, 2023
 min read
Share :
How to Ask about DEI During an Interview

We know that one of the reasons so many of you Tech Ladies join our community is because you’re not just looking for work that match your skill sets, you’re also looking for workplaces that align with your values. And, for many of you, one of the key factors in deciding if an employer is right for you is their commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI). But how do you know?

In this article, we’ll review practical ways to find out about DEI while you’re in the job search process.

1. Decode the Job Posting

Finding out a future employer’s commitment to a diverse and supportive workplace starts with their job posting. Fortunately a lot of companies now include information about their DEI priorities and programs when they post a role online. But, either way, the job posting can tell you a lot about the company!

A good job description isn't just a list of responsibilities. It includes insight into the company's mission, values, and culture. Reading between the lines here can help you prepare targeted questions to ask during the interview process.

Whether or not DEI is explicitly mentioned in a job posting, we recommend paying attention to the following:

  • Inclusive language
    Do the words and terms used show the company values diversity and promote a supportive culture? Look for words like, "collaborative environment" or "team members from all backgrounds."
  • Supportive benefits
    Has the company listed benefits that support the needs of a diverse workforce, like flexible work arrangements, parental leave, or comprehensive health coverage?
  • Transparency
    Is the company upfront about what it's like to interview and even work at the company? For example, Tech Ladies hiring partner Movable Ink is transparent about their Interview Process and even includes a Career FAQs on their site.

Bonus for Tech Ladies: Every company we work with has a dedicated partner page where they can share more about the company and their commitment to building an inclusive team.

For example, our hiring partner Zapier shares information about their DIBE (Diversity, Inclusion, Belonging, and Equity) values and their ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) right on their partner page.

You can find a directory of these partner pages here.

2. Dig Deeper Online

Aside from dissecting the job posting, you can also find out more about a company’s DEI initiatives with some focused research. Below are some places to start your search!

  • About page
    Look here for what the company puts at the forefront of their business. And, if they’re not listed there, try to find their mission and values statements. Companies highly committed to DEI often include details as part of the larger company mission statement.

    You might find this information in some companies’ annual reports, or ones with a strong DEI commitment might publish diversity reports that tell about their diversity efforts and progress like the Zapier diversity and inclusion changelog.

    The About page might also include information about employees themselves, or at least about the leadership team, which might give you insight into the diversity of the team.
  • Careers page
    Even if you’re only interested in one particular role at a company, it’s worth checking out their careers page to see what it tells you about their values. For example, the many ERGs at Movable Ink are prominently featured on their careers page.
  • Social media
    What a company shares to the world at large can also tell a lot about what they see as important so spend some time looking at what potential employers post on different platforms. For example, Zapier has a LinkedIn Life page on DIBE to share about their dedication to it.

3. Hear from Others

While every person’s experience is different, every employee can reveal something about what a particular company is like. Connecting with people who are working or have worked earlier for an employer you’re considering can give insight into the the real commitment of the company to DEI.

You can look for these experiences in a few places:

  • Glassdoor
    Glassdoor reviews have a reputation of only being written by disgruntled employees and company leadership, but that doesn't mean they can't still be helpful. Tech Lady Carly Taylor recommends looking at these ratings and reviews “for additional insight, or pieces to specifically ask about in the job interview."
  • LinkedIn connections
    Current and past employees are always going to have the deepest insights into what it's like to work at a company. You can find the company's LinkedIn page and navigate to the team tab to create a list of individuals who have listed them on their profile. If you're not connected to anyone at the company, consider contacting employees in similar roles and departments to the one you’re interested in.
  • Tech communities
    Whether online or in-person, tech communities can be a great source of information about different companies. You can reach out on the community’s networking site (like the Slack for the Tech Ladies Pro) or at virtual or in-person networking events.

4. Ask Directly

Last but definitely not least, asking questions about a company’s DEI is one of the most direct ways to get information about both overall programs and specific areas that you’re interested in as you’re considering a new role.

Tech Ladies member Natalie Galligan says, “As a female engineer, I always ask if there are other female engineers in the team/company.”

And Tech Ladies team member Amanda Martinez has a few go-to questions that she likes to ask during an interview:

  • How does the company think about DEI as they’re hiring?
  • Does the company offer DEI training?
  • Does the company have someone who specifically focuses on DEI?
  • How does the company feel they are doing on any given DEI initiatives that they have?

Some other questions to consider asking are:

  • How does the company handle instances of discrimination or harassment, and what support is available for employees impacted?
  • What steps has the company taken to address unconscious bias in the workplace?
  • What policies and practices does the company have to ensure pay and benefit equity and career advancement?
  • Is the company involved in any initiatives or programs to promote diversity and inclusion in the broader community?

Learning up front about a company takes some time and effort, but it’s effort that pays off. Finding a workplace dedicated to diversity, equity, and inclusion can help ensure that it's a place you can find support, success, and ultimately grow your career.

For more resources on navigating your job search and landing a role you love, check out other articles on the Tech Ladies Blog.

Kelli works with our hiring partners, helping them connect with Tech Ladies interested in joining their great teams. She’s an expert in customer success and has worked in tech, including recruiting and hiring, for the past ten years. Kelli lives in southeastern Finland and loves dancing, podcasts, and productivity apps.
All Tech Ladies Blogs →
Subscribe to Newsletter

Resources for women in tech, and the companies that want to build inclusive workplaces where they can thrive.

We care about your data in our Privacy Policy.
All set 🎉!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Job Searching

How to Ask about DEI During an Interview

Kelli Smith
Kelli Smith
Nov 12, 2023
 min read
How to Ask about DEI During an Interview