Seven signs of an inclusive business

So you are looking for a new job. Whether you are just starting out in your career or have a few decades under your belt, ensuring a company culture is inclusive for all ages is essential for a great company culture.

But how can you really to know?

As an external candidate, you will not have access to internal policies, processes and demographics. You also won’t be familiar with the workplace culture. But there are still plenty of ways to get the scoop.

Companies that care about an inclusive corporate culture will make it easy for you as it will be part of their external branding.

Here are seven ways to dig deeper to be sure.

1) The first place to start is the company’s website. It’s a wealth of information and critical in your research. A few clicks should make one thing very obvious – whether the business is inclusive or not.

Corporate imagery often shows other dimensions of diversity, but everyone is under 30. It’s a sloppy job on the company’s branding part as it shows they’re grabbing stock images and ticking all the boxes they think are important for visible diversity: race and sex.

It also means that no one thinks about age. Chances are the internal work culture is oblivious to the relevance of age inclusion as well. It is not a good sign.

2) Visit the careers page and look for information on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Do they refer to age equity as part of their scope? When age is incorporated into the DEI strategy, business leaders understand how age-related assumptions, biases, myths, and stereotypes interfere with creating a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. .

3) Look at the language of a job description. Words expressing a preference, for example, recent graduate, Young and energetic, are words that the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) suggests indicate systemic age discrimination. These words may imply that older candidates are not wanted, but they may also suggest that younger employees will need to work longer hours with minimal free time.

4) Visit LinkedIn to view the company profile. From there, you can see employees who are also on LinkedIn. Set the filter to current employer and scroll faces. What kind of diversity do you see? Is age diversity present?

If you see the diversity of ages, that’s a good sign. But if other elements of diversity are missing, that’s a problem. The lack of inclusion of any group could indicate a workplace that is hostile to different opinions, ideas, backgrounds, experiences and ways of working.

5) Look for first- and second-level connections with current or former employees. Contact them and ask to know more about the culture of the company. Let them know you are interested in applying and want to know the pros and cons of working there. Ask him if he’d be willing to talk to you for 10 minutes or answer a few questions over text. No one knows the culture better than an employee, so this step is one you don’t want to miss.

6) Another way to get direct feedback from employees is to use job boards. Indeed and Glassdoor are two examples of boards that include company reviews. Reviews may be posted by current or former employees and often by people who have been interviewed but may not have received an offer. It’s another great way to get a sense of company culture.

If you see a comment in reviews that is relevant to you, such as the need for more diversity and inclusion or that older people are not welcome, use that information to request more information from of a LinkedIn connection. Set search filters for last year to keep it recent. Most businesses look at business reviews on external sites, and if they have smart leadership, they investigate and make the necessary corrections.

7) Finally, do a general web search with the company name and the word discrimination. For a lawsuit, you’ll want to set the filter to the last three years with a custom search, because litigation is a long process. Dismissed cases usually suggest a settlement, and those terms are usually not disclosed.

The Age Discrimination in Employment Act protects people aged 40 and over against age discrimination. This protection is administered by the EEOC, where complaints of age discrimination are filed. Even an EEOC complaint can take years to go through the system if they choose to take it on.

If you have a lawyer friend, have them do a quick search through Lexus-Nexus, a legal site that tracks all employee-related lawsuits. With just a few clicks, they’ll see if any age-related lawsuits have been filed or any other cases of discrimination. Inclusion is inclusion is inclusion. If even one dimension of diversity is excluded, that is not a good sign.

Once you’ve completed this research, you’ll learn a lot about the company and its work culture. Best of all, you’ll have plenty of ideas to draw inspiration from if you decide to interview for a job.

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