The results from Randstad’s Women & Diversity in the Workplace survey are in! Read some of the main takeaways, plus tips on assessing a company’s commitment to DE&I in a job interview.

When it comes to diversity and gender equity, most employers can talk the talk. But results from Randstad’s Women & Diversity in the Workplace survey suggest that, in some organizations, words still speak louder than actions. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Pay inequality — more than half of women (53%) have either personally experienced (33%) or witnessed (20%) pay inequality for the same position in their place of work.
  • Unconscious bias — more than one in four women have witnessed unconscious bias in the workplace (29%) or others being treated unfairly by coworkers (27%).
  • Promotion rejections — more than half of employed women (54%) have been passed over for a promotion for which they asked or applied. Reasons they cite for being passed over include nepotism and favoritism.

how to talk about diversity in a job interview.

Stats like these don’t tell the whole story. Many organizations have made huge strides in their diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) efforts in the past few years. Those are the kinds of companies that women job seekers want to join — but how do you know when you’ve found one?

Our advice is to use the last few minutes of job interviews to ask respectful but searching questions about your potential employer’s DE&I culture. Here are a few questions that will help you get the information you need:

I’ve been studying your DE&I mission statement. Are you on target to reach your senior management diversity goals?

This question is a twofer. First, it demonstrates that you’ve done your homework — always a good look. Second, the answer will suggest how serious the company is about improving diversity among senior management and the C-suite — a top priority for around one-third of respondents in our survey.

what are some of your ongoing programs to advance DE&I?

You need to know whether the company is serious about diversity or simply jumping on the bandwagon. After all, it’s easy to post #BreakTheBias messages on International Women’s Day. But our survey shows that women face challenges in the workplace all year round, so forward-thinking companies need to be unflagging in their efforts to address these obstacles.

what diversity, inclusion & cultural competence training can I expect to receive?

Another twofer. If the hiring manager looks at your blankly, that’s a red flag. But this question also showcases your growth mindset. Individuals may belong to more than one underserved community. If you’re not a woman of color, for example, you may have had different opportunities and experiences than a candidate who is. In a truly inclusive workplace, all employees are given the chance to learn from different opinions and perspectives.

where do you think the company needs to improve the most?

This is the candidate’s version of “Tell me about your weaknesses.” But rather than disconcerting the hiring manager, it’s likely to reassure them. No organization is perfect. DE&I is a neverending journey towards a better workplace. This question shows that you understand that reality and are willing to be part of the journey.

On the other hand, if the interviewer says, “No, I think all our policies are working fine and we have everything in place,” that suggests a box-ticking approach to DE&I and you should probably look elsewhere.

Asking penetrating questions about DE&I may impress a recruiter or hiring manager, but you still need to ace the rest of the interview to land the job. Brush up your skills with Randstad’s interview tips, covering everything from what to wear to how to prepare.