When approaching your career path or job search, it's important to recognize the resources and networks you have to support you. Additionally, knowing what unique perspectives you bring based on your identity and personal background can be helpful to share with potential employers. Below are professional communities, mentors, and web resources that can assist you. Career Services can coach you in how to approach these conversations, what questions to ask, and how to make a strong impression.
Connect with Professionals and Peers
Consider connecting with multicultural professionals or others who work in your career area to get career advice and mentorship.
- Connect to a regional or national professional association for people of color for professional development, training, and networking opportunities such as the National Society for Hispanic Professionals, the National Association of Asian American Professionals, Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
- To find professional groups check out Weddle's or Google key words such as "Multicultural Engineers Professional Association".
- Create a LinkedIn account and join groups such as the Minority Professional Network.
- Career field professional associations specific to identity groups through Diversity World:
- African American
- Asian American
- Native American
- Ask family, friends, advisors, community leaders or instructors about multicultural professionals they know who you can speak with for advice on your career plans.
Connect with Employers
- Attend career fairs, employer information sessions/networking events, and employer panels to expand your professional network and meet employers face to face.
- Find search engines that are specific for recruiting candidates with diverse backgrounds such as Colors NW Careers
Many employers who have a commitment to diversity will recruit at job fairs for specific affinity populations. Here are a few examples:
- PSI Diversity Job Fairs
- DISCO International Career Forums for Japanese-English Bilinguals
- Asian Diversity Career Expo
- National Society for Hispanic Professionals Job Fairs
- List of Diversity Career Fairs on the Multicultural Advantage website
How do I know if an employer is committed to diversity?
While it may be difficult to determine how truly supportive an employer is, you can explore their website for key indicators of their commitment or ask specific questions of an employer. Here are some ways to research:
- Check company rankings regarding commitment to diversity at DiversityInc.
- Does their website include:
- A statement of their commitment to diversity, including goals and programs
- Non-discrimination policies and a stated commitment to them
- In-house employee support or social networks for people of color
- Recruitment efforts in cultural diversity publications or events
- Membership in professional organizations for people of color
- Racial/Ethnic diversity amongst the senior management and Board of Directors
- Evaluate companies during your interview process, asking questions like:
- What policies does the organization have on religious observances (prayer room, etc)?
- What is it like to work here? Could you describe the organization's culture?
- Could you give me an example of the organization's commitment to diversity?
- Does the organization offer diversity trainings or workshops?