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DEI Resources

What is diversity, equity, & inclusion in the workplace?


The term diversity between people can be understood as: the presence of difference. This can refer to people of various races, genders, socioeconomic statuses, sexual orientations, religions, ethnicity, national origins, and mental or physical abilities. When applied to an organization, defining diversity should include a diversity of ideas and cultural diversity.


These are the norms, fundamentals, and/or policies in places that ensure everyone accesses the same opportunities. Equity requires preliminary and ongoing work to identify imbalances, loopholes, or unequal starting places.


Inclusion means that people with marginalized identities feel as if they: genuinely belong, are valued and relied upon, empowered, and ultimately matter. Inclusion is an outcome and often an actual experience of the workplace.

Affinity group resources

To ensure all students have the career resources they need, we have put together helpful information and resources for each of the below affinity groups. Explore the affinity group page that you identify with to learn more.

Students of color

Students of color

LGBTQIA+ students

LGBTQIA+ students

Students with disabilities

Students with disabilities

Student veterans

Student veterans

International students

International students

Student athletes

Student athletes

Student & employer DEI toolkit

As you enter the workforce, we hope you will find careers that align with your passion, interests, and values. To achieve this, we encourage you to explore diversity, equity, and inclusion approaches in your internship and job search process to help better inform you about the organization you plan to work for.

The Career Development Center is here to help you by providing tools and resources that support your exploration and evaluation of organizations to identify their commitment to inclusive practices and a diverse workforce.

Questions to assess an employer's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion

As you begin to consider opportunities for employment, it’s as important for the interviewee to get to know the organization as it is for the interviewer to get to know the person they are considering for the job/internship. Interviews serve not only for employers to get to know you, but also give you the chance to ask questions about the position, team, and company. Questions around diversity, equity, and inclusion may be challenging to phrase and to ask, but are an important part of getting the whole picture of an organization. Below are some questions that you may ask an employer during an interview or in the recruiting process.

Company Culture: What does the organization value?

  • How does your company define diversity, equity and inclusion?
  • What are some examples of events or initiatives that describe your company’s culture?
  • How specifically has your organization created an inclusive culture and work environment?
  • How is diversity celebrated and recognized?

Representation: Who makes up the organization/leadership?

  • Can you speak to the diversity of the leadership team? Board of directors? Staff as a whole?
  • How many (identity group) hold executive positions?
  • How does your HR department recruit diverse talent? Are there opportunities for employees to be involved in the talent acquisition process, such as serving on hiring committees?

Training & Development: How are employees supported?

  • What does promotion, advancement, and evaluation look like? Who makes those decisions?
  • Are there opportunities for professional development? How do employees access these?
  • Does your organization require training for employees on bias, anti-racism, DEI, sexual harassment, etc? How frequently? Who facilitates them?
  • Does your company have affinity groups or mentoring programs for employees?
  • Have you personally been a part of any DEI training provided by your company?

Action & Goals: What tangible items has the organization put in practice?

  • Can you provide an example of something your company has done to take action on (a DEI topic) in the past year?
  • Does your organization have any defined goals for diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  • How does your company handle incidents of harassment?
  • How are different abilities considered within your office space?
  • Does your company offer flexible work schedules or remote work for employees? What does the approval process for this look like?
  • How are non-dominant holidays observed? Does your company accommodate paid holidays for (religion)?
  • How does your company measure employee satisfaction and belonging? Do you have any data you can share?
  • Does your company consistently review compensation equity?

Employee Experience: What do current employees have to say about the organization?

  • Where do you think the company needs to improve most when it comes to DEI efforts?
  • As a supervisor, how do you foster a sense of inclusion and belonging within your team?
  • How would you rate your organization’s overall commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and why?
Employer toolkit: diversity, equity, and inclusion

Now more than ever, employers need to be able to speak to students about how your organization engages with diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

Popular job searching site ZipRecruiter reports that over 86% of job seekers rank DEI high on their list of importance when job searching. This number is even higher for Gen Z respondents, who are the vast majority of traditional aged college students today. If your company is seeking the top talent of new college grads, we recommend preparing to engage in discussions around DEI in your recruiting processes.

This involves not only preparing to answer students questions, but evaluating your own practices and policies as they relate to DEI.

Questions to Answer


Students are seeking evidence-based examples of your organization’s commitment to DEI. Consider if your organization has the following:

  • Demographic information about your employees, management team, or board of directors.
  • Compensation equity analysis data.
  • Employee satisfaction survey responses.
Training & Development

New grads not only want to know that your organization trains its staff on important DEI topics, but that they will benefit from that training and other development programs as well. Consider if your organization offers training programs on topics such as:

  • Bias
  • Discrimination
  • Anti-racism
  • Sexual harassment

Also be prepared to answer follow-up questions about your training opportunities such as:

  • Who facilitates training?
  • Are these required or optional for all staff?
  • What are your policies if an employee demonstrates they require more training on a certain topic?
Company Culture

Candidates want to know about the culture and values of an organization they may join. Be able to speak to culture-based questions such as:

  • How does your company define diversity, equity, and inclusion?
  • Do you have a written diversity statement?
  • What action steps is your company taking to increase inclusion in your workplace?
  • Does your company offer affinity groups for (identity group)?
  • How does your organization support __________?
Action Items

Social and cultural events of the last few years have put diversity, equity, and inclusion in the public spotlight. Be prepared to answer questions about if/how your company responded to important issues.

  • Does your company offer flexible work schedules or remote work for employees? What does the approval process look like?
  • How does your company handle incidents of harassment?
  • Can you provide an example of something your company has done to take action on (a topic) in the past year?
  • What does promotion, advancement, and evaluation look like? Who makes those decisions?
  • How are non-dominant holidays observed? Does your company accommodate paid holidays for (religion)?

Resources for Employers

  • NACE: The National Association of Colleges and Employers provides many tools, resources, and articles relating to DEI. 
  • D5 Coalition Self-Assessment: The D5 Coalition is a philanthropy-based organization that promotes Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Use their free self-assessment tool to gauge your organization’s current strengths and weaknesses in the DEI space.
  • Team Dynamics: This organization provides a selection of free, equity-minded resources and tools for organizations to use.
  • SHRM: The Society for Human Resources Management provides suggestions on creating and sustaining DEI initiatives in the workplace.