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A guide to finding LGBTQ-friendly companies

A talent expert at Toyota North America advises employees on how to find diverse, LGBTQ-friendly organizations on their job searches.

A guide to finding LGBTQ-friendly companies
[Photo: Jason Leung/Unsplash]

Perhaps working for a diverse company—one that’s inclusive of all people—is important to you. Or maybe you want to be accepted into a workplace that sees you as a valuable equal. Whatever your reason, you’re seeking a certain environment, but how can you make sure—really, truly sure—that you have found a company that’s diverse and inclusive in all things?

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For Pride Month—celebrated each June to commemorate the Stonewall riots and recognize the impact LGBT people have had in the world—Glassdoor sat down with Tamesha Hart, talent acquisition senior manager at Toyota North America, to find out how job seekers can find a diverse company—plus, how to score a job at one of the top automotive companies in the world, which is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through its Toyota and Lexus brands.

Luckily, companies that welcome diversity are more plentiful than ever, Hart explains. “The demographics of America’s workforce have … evolved significantly,” Hart tells Glassdoor. “Today, women and minorities are a much larger part of the workforce, and many people are also working longer and delaying retirement. Furthermore, more and more companies today are now realizing that embracing diversity and inclusion [are] a competitive advantage to their business—it’s not just a ‘feel good’ or ‘nice-to-have’ [thing] anymore.”

According to Hart, corporate diversity and inclusion look like: “Clear linkage to the strategy, organizational goals, and objectives of the business; organizational commitment to creating an inclusive culture; employee involvement and respect for all; leadership accountability, measurement, and evaluation; and strategic, intentional planning.” But these things aren’t always easy to spot—especially for someone who is on the outside of a company’s walls.

So, how can you find a truly diverse company? Here’s what to look for and what to ask:

Look for a diversity and inclusion governance structure

“A company must have a diversity and inclusion governance structure that helps guide its strategies and programs, fosters leadership and management commitment, and drives employee engagement to create and foster an inclusive culture,” says Hart. (At Toyota, a Diversity Advisory Board oversees such governance.) So, make sure you check to see if the company you’re interested in has such a structure, or ask about it during your interview.

Research: Has the company made any top lists for diversity?

Lists exist to rank companies for their diversity, including Diversity Inc. Top 50 Companies for Diversity or the Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index, Hart points out. And, “these lists and scores are public information that candidates can easily find online,” she says. “These lists reflect companies that don’t just talk about diversity, but walk the walk day-in and day-out with employee and third-party validation.” For example, “Toyota’s earned 12 consecutive perfect scores on Human Rights Corporate Equality Index,” she says.

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Ask the right questions during an interview

Companies that value and prioritize diversity will also welcome questions about how they foster inclusion in the workplace. So, in your interview, don’t be afraid to inquire about a company’s diversity policies, Hart says, with questions such as: “Does your company have employee resource groups? And if so, how many? Can you speak to your company culture? What does a successful candidate look like in this role or company? And what skills and contributions would a successful candidate bring to this group?” Hart suggests.

See what programs the company offers to promote diversity

At Toyota, a “Social Innovation Division … leads our D+I Champions program, hosting four training sessions a year for our team members,” says Hart. “These sessions are designed to evoke personal insights, promote self-discovery, and facilitate organizational [changes].” Other companies that value diversity should have programs in place to support inclusion.

Lastly, if you’d like to work at Toyota, Hart says the company looks for candidates who’ve been involved in their company’s employee resource groups (ERGs), “especially if they held a leadership position at their company. This would demonstrate not only an aptitude for leadership, but a strong passion and commitment to an affinity they are passionate about.”

And you can learn more about Toyota’s culture of inclusion and diversity by following the company on social media, Hart says. “You’ll see firsthand how we’re an inclusive workplace where team members are encouraged to bring their full self to work,” she explains.

This article was originally published on Glassdoor and is reprinted with permission.

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