When it comes to attitudes around workplace diversity, millennials have it sorted.
A recent survey by Weber Shandwick and the Institute for Public Relations asked more than 1,000 U.S. adults their perceptions about diversity and inclusion. One of the standout findings was that millennials are more tuned-in to diversity issues at work and more likely to report discrimination when they see it compared to other generations.
Older adults (Gen Xers and Boomers) are more likely to change the subject when the conversation steers towards diversity. Perhaps more eager to learn and less concerned with offending, millennials are at ease talking about diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
That’s why we were surprised to hear that many students “failed” the diversity related questions in interviews with a major graduate employer this week.
Now, I highly doubt that these students were disinterested in inclusion or equal opportunities for all. They probably had blue hair themselves and were best friends with someone in UniQ. I’m confident they see the value that different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives can have within a team and would thrive in such an environment.
Both the interviewer and I agreed that the reason they “failed” these questions was that to them, inclusion is second nature. They struggled to provide standout examples of times they embraced diversity because it was happening every day!
Unfortunately, with diversity being such a hot topic, I don’t think employers are ever going to stop asking these questions in their interviews. My advice is to be prepared, do your research on their policies, and be ready to come up with examples in your professional life where you have worked with people of a different background.
And don’t forget – this is also your chance to make sure that the company cares too. The survey found that 47% of millennials consider diversity and inclusion an important factor in considering a new job. This blog post from Glassdoor has some great examples of questions that you can ask to make sure they walk-the-walk – https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/interview-questions-inclusive/