Bite-size Case Study

Diversity and inclusion information: Cisco

Published on January 30, 2022 Originally recorded 2021   8 min
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When you think about an inclusive organization, it's one that values and embraces employee differences. The Society of Human Resources Management, or SHRM, defines an inclusive workplace as one where everyone feels valued and heard. As noted diversity champion, Verna Myers explains it, "Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance." In other words, inclusion means that you can come to work and feel comfortable being yourself. How do you figure out if the organization is serious about inclusion?
Textio is a start-up company based in Seattle, Washington in the US. They help their clients write better job descriptions. That is, they help businesses have better conversations with their targeted audience candidates. In a recent study, Textio reviewed the job descriptions of approximately 60 companies. Specifically, they reviewed the company's EOE statement, which stands for Equal Opportunity Employer. An equal opportunity employer is an employer who pledges not to discriminate against employees based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetic information. By virtue of that explanation an equal opportunity employer can also signal to candidates that the organization values diversity and inclusion, but it really depends upon what words are included in the EOE statement. On this slide, we see the findings of Textio's research. The first observation is, although it is common for organizations to include an EOE statement in the job description, Textio's research found several differences. Specifically, about 26 percent of the companies did not have a recognizable EOE statement. At 40 percent, the majority of companies had an EOE statement that was drafted by the legal team. These statements are standard and they tell applicants that everyone has the basic right to work for the organization without being discriminated against. When candidates see that kind of an EOE statement, it's generally overlooked in the job description. Therefore, the question remains, can organizations use EOE statements to attract candidates? Textio's research found that organizations can use the EOE statement to express why hiring diverse talent is good for business, and about 25 percent of the companies fell into this category, which is shown at the top of the slide.