Employer Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit

The UW Career & Internship Center values the diversity of our student body and believes that our work to address systemic inequities facing students from traditionally marginalized backgrounds – including students of color, women, LGBTQ+ students, international students, students with disabilities, undocumented students, and others – starts with access to meaningful employment and internship opportunities. Furthermore, the benefits of a diverse workforce are well documented, and all organizations should strive for their staffs to be diverse and for all employees to feel included, respected, and empowered.

This page includes information to help your organization learn about the barriers facing marginalized student populations in their pursuit of employment and steps you can take to mitigate those barriers in your hiring, onboarding, retention, and organizational culture. The Career & Internship Center is not an expert in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) work nor do we claim to understand and know everything there is to know in this space. However, we firmly believe that taking action to address systemic inequity is a necessary step in helping all students realize their full potential and obtain success in their chosen career pathways.

For questions, concerns, or ideas about this work please contact Dan Herb, Internship Success Manager, at dherb@uw.edu.

  • Defining the Problem

    • Systemic inequity, inequality, and discrimination on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, citizenship status, economic status, education level, etc. is a reality of our world.
    • There is ample research (for example here, here, and here) that continues to show us that our current system of educating, hiring, and retaining talent does not work the same for everyone.
    • Systemic inequity will not be solved overnight and no single organization, company, or government can do enough on their own to solve everything.
    • The information included in this resource is designed to help employers take steps towards addressing inequity in the workplace.
  • Why this Work Matters

    • The benefits of a diverse workforce are well documented, and all organizations should strive for their staffs to be diverse and for all employees to feel included, respected, and empowered.
    • A diverse staff improves productivity, performance, and profits, and this work also reverses the effects of systemic inequity facing marginalized communities in our society.
    • This work is ongoing and ever-evolving and this resource will continually be updated as new information becomes available.
    • We encourage employers to continue learning, changing, and adjusting their policies and practices as work in this space continues.
  • 6 Steps to Improve Equitable Hiring

      • Changing the makeup of our workforce and creating more access to opportunity starts with how we recruit and hire new interns and employees. Our 6 Steps to Improve Equitable Hiring should be standard practice for all employers and are good first steps in diversifying your workforce. The information included in this resource was gathered from existing resources and research on the topic of equitable hiring practices. In addition, for information about recruiting candidates with disabilities see our website here.

    Also, check out our co-led webinar with UW Human Resources and other employer education webinars for more information.

  • 6 Steps to Improve Equitable Onboarding and Retention

    • Simply hiring diverse candidates is not enough to address the inequities in our workforce as employees must also persist and thrive in the companies and organizations in which they work. Our 6 Steps to Improve Equitable Onboarding and Retention are focused on your new hire’s first few months in the job and are largely applicable to all new employees at your organization. The information provided was gathered from existing resources and research on the topic of onboarding and retention practices.
  • Diversity and Inclusion at UW

  • Resources

  • DEI Glossary

    • This list was compiled by Colorado State University’s (CSU) Career Center on their DEI toolkit page.
    • Agency: Taking back or exerting power in a subordinated identity.
    • Ally: A person who supports marginalized, silenced, or less privileged groups without actually being a member of those groups. This person will often directly or indirectly confront systems of oppression.
    • At-Risk: Students or groups of students who are considered to have a higher probability of struggling academically or dropping out of school due to coming from social conditions that haven’t prepared them adequately or serve as hurdles in their way to success. Some challenges that at-risk students may face include poverty, homelessness, serious health issues, domestic violence, transiency or learning disabilities.
    • Biracial: (adjective) of, relating to, or involving members of two races.
    • Bias Incident: An intentional or unintentional act targeted at a person, group, or property expressing hostility on the basis of perceived or actual gender, race, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or disability. Bias incidents may consist of name-calling, epithets, slurs, degrading language, graffiti, intimidation, coercion, or harassment directed toward the targeted person or group. Acts qualify as bias acts even when delivered with humorous intent or presented as a joke or a prank.
    • BIPOC: An acronym for “Black, Indigenous, People of Color.” This term “highlights the unqiue relationship to whiteness that Indigenous and Black (African American) people have…” Learn more from The BIPOC Project
    • Cisgender: A term used to describe people whose gender identity matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Often abbreviated to cis.
    • Corporate Social Responsibility: (noun) Practicing good corporate citizenship by going beyond profit maximization to make a positive impact on communities and societies.
    • Discrimination: The intentional and often historical prejudicial treatment of individuals or groups of people using interpersonal, institutional or cultural means.
    • Diversity: The presence of difference between and among communities. This can include but is not limited to: social identities
    • Emotional Tax: The combination of being on guard to protect against bias, feeling different at work because of gender, race, and/or ethnicity, and the associated effects on health, well-being, and ability to thrive at work.
    • Equality: Treating everyone the same way, often while assuming that everyone also starts out on equal footing or with the same opportunities.
    • Equity: Working toward fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways that address their unique advantages or barriers.
    • Implicit Bias: When subtle negative attitudes about groups of people (e.g. stereotypes) exist without conscious awareness. Nonetheless they are pervasive and everyone possesses them regardless of a person’s good intentions. Implicit biases tend to manifest into negative, unjust, or harmful behaviors against individuals and groups.
    • Inclusion: The active, intentional and ongoing engagement within the campus community to create a culture in which we treat each other with respect and take action to maximize the potential of all community members.
    • Inclusive Excellence: The recognition that a community or institution’s success is dependent on how well it values, engages and includes the rich diversity of students, staff, faculty, administrators and alumni constituents.
    • Intersectional/ity: The intertwining of social identities such as gender, race, ethnicity, social class, religion, sexual orientation, and/or gender identity, which can result in unique experiences, opportunities, and barriers.
    • Institutional oppression: Policies and practices of institutions that marginalize or subordinate.
    • Marginalized groups: Sub-communities socially excluded from participating in the routine and mainstream activities of a society. They often are confined to the lower or peripheral edge of a society thereby lacking access to employment, affordable formal education, healthcare and social power, which often results in income discrepancies.
    • Minority groups: Categories of people who are differentiated from a social majority due to having less social power. They can sometimes be underrepresented in particular majors, careers or societies but can also be in majority numerically and yet lack social power or the ability to influence. Historically, minority is often associated with people of color (e.g. Asians, Latinos, and Blacks) but it actually can be applied to other identities like gender, sexuality and religion.
    • Monoracial: Of a single race (ethnicity).
    • Multiracial: composed of, involving, or representing various races.
    • Neurodiversity: The concept that there is great diversity in how people’s brains are wired and work, and that neurological differences should be valued in the same way we value any other human variation.
    • Non-Binary (also known as Genderqueer): A category for a fluid constellation of gender identities beyond the woman/man gender binary.
    • Oppression: Restricted access to resources and marginalization and isolation based on social group membership.
    • People/Students of Color: Refer to a large group of racially and ethnically diverse people/ students from various origins. Students who self-identify or are identified as Black/African-American, Asian/Pacific Islander, Native American/Alaska, Native/Indigenous, Chicano/Latina/o/x, Arab/Arab American or multiracial may be represented by this term. People of color is a term used mainly in the United States and Canada to represent persons whose ethnic/racial and cultural groups have been targets of racism and/or are excluded from privileges associated with whiteness.
    • Privilege: An unearned benefit or right granted to a person based on membership in a particular social group.
    • Social Justice: A belief that all people should have access to resources for sustaining a healthy existence.
    • Socially constructed identity: Created for the purposes of categorizing people; based on beliefs about groups of people, not biology. Including, but not limited to, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and religion.
    • Subordinated or Target group: Membership in a group that experiences oppression or marginalization in a mainstream society.
    • Structural oppression: Cumulative and compounding effects of societal factors that are fundamentally built into our systems and institutions. Learn more here.
    • Unconscious Bias: (noun) An implicit association, whether about people, places, or situations, which are often based on mistaken, inaccurate, or incomplete information and include the personal histories we bring to the situation.
    • Work-Life Effectiveness(noun) A talent management strategy that focuses on doing the best work at the best time with the best talent. It helps businesses create flexibility, enhance agility, and drive mutually beneficial solutions for both employers and employees.
    • Workplace Inclusion: An atmosphere where all employees belong, contribute, and can thrive. Requires deliberate and intentional action.