DEI: An Essential Value!

Insider Advice: Show your DEI values alignment during the job search and beyond!

Anetra Brown, UO Alum and Senior Program Manager, Diversity and Inclusion, Salesforce

Mohr Career Connections team recently hosted alumnus Anetra Brown Senior Program Manager, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Salesforce to share some thoughts with the MGMT 311 class. Her insights were awesome, so we followed up with this Q&A so we could share her perspective with all LCB BizDucks!

Q: Share with our students how equity, inclusion, and belonging are shaping business/corporate culture and practices.

A: Having a diverse and inclusive workplace is not only the “right thing” to do, but it gives companies a competitive advantage. We know that when employees feel a sense of belonging and connection at work, they are more engaged. We also know that diversity of thought and perspective leads to greater innovation and challenges the status quo. More so now than ever is prioritizing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) more than a “nice to have,” but a business imperative.

Some of how companies prioritize DEIB in the workplace are by building inclusive hiring practices, company-wide DEIB training, adopting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), and cultivating inclusive employee-led communities (e.g. Employee Resource Groups).

Q: How can students reflect and demonstrate their commitment to inclusion on their resume and in an interview? (Whether the student is part of a majority identity or an underrepresented group?) 

A: One easy way to demonstrate a commitment to inclusion on your resume or in an interview is to share your pronouns. Including your pronouns on a resume or introduction in an interview is a great way to acknowledge and support gender inclusion in the workplace. If the interviewer is unfamiliar with pronoun usage, this also creates a teachable moment where you can educate them on the importance.

Another way to demonstrate a commitment to inclusion in an interview is to ask questions of the interviewer to learn more about the company’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) initiatives. If this is something you value, asking these questions during the interview process allows you to understand the extent of a company’s commitment to DEIB to determine if it is a good fit. 

Q: What actions can students offer and contribute as they begin their career in an internship or job to contribute to inclusive workplace, within 3 months, 6 months, and beyond?

A: Our work towards allyship and cultivating inclusive spaces is a lifelong journey; the learning never stops! Continually seek opportunities to practice active allyship in your daily life and career. You can practice active allyship by learning, listening, showing up, and speaking up. 

Learn: Find ways to educate yourself about other people’s experiences through books, podcasts, movies, community events, etc.

Listen: Practice deep listening and hold space for individuals from marginalized communities to share their stories and experiences.

Show Up: Actively participate in events and show support to other communities.

Speak Up: When you observe non-inclusive behaviors, speak up!

By Sara Mason
Sara Mason Assistant Director, Industry and Alumni Engagement