How to Judge a Company’s Real Attitude Toward Diversity and Inclusion

Sophia Ahmad, chief marketing officer at Xfinity Consumer Services, explains how you can get beyond the buzzwords and find out if there is action and intention behind a company.

For job hunters seeking an employer that truly values diversity, equity and inclusion, it can be a challenging time. DE&I discussions have been thrust into the mainstream, which is fantastic — but how can women find out who’s merely giving lip service, and who might be the perfect fit for their careers?

“Look beyond the website, ask smart questions and talk to as many people as you can,” said Sophia Ahmad, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Xfinity Consumer Services, in an interview. “Vet the company. It’s just as important as them vetting you.”

Ahmad is “one of three girls raised by a brilliant mum and dad who moved to England from India in the early 1960s, and they were innovative for their time,” she said. “They were incredibly encouraging and told us we had to get an education and be able to stand up on our own two feet.”

That’s just what she did. And as she emerged from school and took a position at Ernst & Young, spent 15 years at Sky TV and ultimately came to Comcast, she learned to identify the values most important to her — and to seek them in her job interviews.

Ahmad wanted to find companies where she could “continuously improve and learn,” and she sought positions that offered rich opportunities for her career while valuing her skill, her point of view and her identity as a southeast Asian-Muslim woman. Here are her tips for women seeking an employer that is genuinely dedicated to inclusivity.

Ask about DE&I in action.

Get beyond the buzzwords and find out if there is action and intention behind a company’s avowed DE&I commitment. “It can be as simple as: ‘I read about your diversity initiatives on your website. Can you tell me about how that comes to life?’” Ahmad said.

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