7 Signs a Remote Company is Committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Remote Job Hunting

Remote companies use DE&I buzzwords on their websites and job ads, but that doesn’t mean they’re legit. These 7 clues make an inclusive company easier to spot:

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What does it mean for a remote company to be committed to diversity, inclusivity, and equity?

An inclusive company welcomes and values team members with different nationalities, genders, races, ages, religions, sexual orientations, and abilities.

Unfortunately, it’s far too easy for companies to simply hop on the DE&I bandwagon and say these practices are important without ever following them.

So how can you tell whether a remote company truly values diversity, inclusivity, and equity?

You break out your notebook and do a little snooping.

7 Signs You’ve Found an Inclusive Company

Look for these seven telltale clues that show a remote company is also an inclusive company:

#1. Job Descriptions Explicitly State a Commitment to DE&I 

Chances are, your first impression of a remote company will come from browsing a job ad. So it makes the best first place to start your investigation.

After your first general read-through, take a second look with a fine-tooth comb to assess the exact language used.

Most inclusive remote companies will add a sentence or paragraph explaining their commitment to a DE&I workforce/work environment.

But they should use unbiased language in their job descriptions to back this up.

As we mentioned in our recent guide on creating more inclusive hiring practices, male-gendered language is often sprinkled in job descriptions. Words like “challenge,” “leader,” and “competitive” can deter women from applying despite being qualified.
So even if they use DE&I buzzwords, make sure their language backs up their claims.

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On top of checking out the position you’re interested in, look at the language used in other job openings at the company to see if they pass this test too.

The description for your position may be okay. But if the language used in any higher-up roles seems geared towards males or other specific groups, you may have a problem.

#2. The Company Website and Social Media Channels Showcase D&I

If the job ad seems legit, move on to researching the remote company itself. Start with their website and then branch off into their social media channels.

Your mission: to see whether they actually follow through on the language used to express their diverse, equal, and inclusive statements.

Begin with their About Us page. What values do they highlight? How do they speak about their corporate culture?

Next, look at their actual team to see what they consider diverse and inclusive. Are different races, ages, and abilities represented well?

Without short bios of the team available online, you may not be able to see whether different religions, gender identities, or education levels are present within the company. 

But you should notice whether everyone seems like a semi-clone of each other. 

Finally, take a look at the company’s social media channels. What are they sharing, liking, and using to represent their values day-to-day?

These online portals will help you figure out a remote company’s vibes, just like you’d assess an in-house position when you arrive for an interview.

#3. It Already Has a Diverse Team -- Including Upper Management

As you go through this company’s website and social media channels, pay close attention to the team, especially senior management.

Are all the higher-ups young white dudes? Or are women, people of different ages, and BIPOCs represented throughout the company hierarchy?

This provides great insight as to whether a remote company is actually as diverse and inclusive as they say they are.

If you don’t notice variety at all levels of the company, the keywords used in their job ads may be just for show. 

#4. They’re Actively Involved in Diverse Community Outreach

Does the company make volunteering and community outreach a priority? Do they specifically help underserved communities?

Though remote team members may not work together, they can unite for common causes in their local neighborhoods.

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Where the company encourages its team to donate their time and resources represents issues they’re trying to help fix.

So do you also believe in these causes? 

If you don’t see the company’s community outreach efforts, don’t sweat it. 

You may find that this company just needs fresh ideas of who else they can help. And that’s a conversation you can certainly have once you’re hired.

Speaking of which, you may not notice the final three signs you’ve found an inclusive company until you get to the interview phase.

#5. You See Diversity in the Interview Process (and You Feel Included)

Interviewing for a remote company can take a few different routes. You may start with a phone interview with someone in HR or have a video call with the entire team.

Each step offers another chance to look for signs of DE&I.

If you’re interviewing for a small remote company or startup, you may only get to speak with one person. In this case, don’t be afraid to ask questions about DE&I company policies (more on this next!).

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However, you may interview with a three-layer cake of team members at larger companies, each higher-up the ranks. This should provide a well-rounded view of who’s actually working there and involved with onboarding decisions.

No matter who gives you an interview, you have the right to ask about their DE&I policies.

#6. Actionable DE&I Company Policies 

Does this company have corporate policies in place that support DE&I initiatives? 

This unique set of principles and guidelines is what the company will use to establish and define its short- and long-term goals for greater diversity, equity, and inclusivity.

A few examples of DE&I company policies include continuing awareness and training, inclusive hiring practices, and strict disciplinary actions (including termination) for any employee who violates this agenda.

Your interviewer should have this policy available or at least be able to discuss it.

If they can’t or seem to fumble around the issue, trust your instincts and move on. This company may be all talk and no action.

Again, don’t be afraid to ask these questions during your interview.

#7. You Can Ask Questions About DE&I (+ Get Solid Answers)

The interview process is just as much of a fact-finding mission for you as it is for the company. Yet one critical mistake remote job candidates often make is not interviewing the company to see whether they’re a good fit for them.

So when the interviewer turns the spotlight on you and asks if you have any questions, use this time wisely to bring up DE&I. 

Ask specific questions about their policy and initiatives. Then follow-up by asking for real-life examples.

Consider using these questions during your interview:
  1. Can you share more about your corporate policies for diversity, equity, and inclusivity?
  2. Can you provide examples of how your company puts those into practice?
  3. How does your company plan to expand DE&I initiatives in the future?
  4. Does your company offer DE&I training? If so, how often? Is it company-wide?
  5. What about DE&I community outreach?

Here’s the really crucial part: gauging their responses.

Carefully listen to see whether the questions are avoided, the answers are vague, or they seem like canned responses. These are all red flags to run for the digital hills. 

The company should prioritize their DE&I efforts so much that every employee (and interviewer) can vouch for the initiatives and hope to include you in their movement for change.

So if you’ve found a remote company that checks off all seven of these boxes, congratulations! You’ve unlocked the inclusive company jackpot. Go forth and apply with confidence!

However, you need to cautiously weigh your options if a company you’d really like to work for doesn’t make the cut. Though you can suggest DE&I initiatives once hired, there’s no guarantee that the company will actually take your lead, which is unfortunate.

Then you may be back to square one of your remote job search in a few months.

Looking for Remote Work? Find an Inclusive Company Committed to DE&I Today

Now you know how to spot companies that are as truly committed to a diverse, inclusive, and equal remote work environment as they say they are.

Potential employers hoping to check off as many of these boxes will update their website, social media channels, and job ads to reflect their efforts. After a bit of sleuthing, you’ll know if it’s the right remote company for you.

If you don’t see this in action, or hear dodgy answers during the interview, cut your losses and move on. You don’t have to settle for a remote company that isn’t transitioning with the times.

You’ll find loads of inclusive companies posting remote jobs on We Work Remotely every day.

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