Telltale Signs Of An Uninclusive Company

Written by Nicola Wylie
Last updated July 3, 2023

In today’s job market, fostering workplace inclusivity isn’t just a desirable trait; it’s imperative. Unfortunately, many organisations fall short when it comes to creating a diverse and inclusive work environment. And this can have a huge impact on the workforce. That’s why it’s important to recognise the signs of an uninclusive company. 

This guide uncovers seven red flags that may indicate a potentially discriminatory workplace. Whether you’re a job seeker looking for the right company or an employee concerned about your working conditions, this guide’s for you.


What Is An Uninclusive Employer?

An uninclusive employer is an organization that fails to create a working environment that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion. This type of employer may demonstrate discriminatory behaviors, practices, or policies that marginalise certain employees based on race, gender, ethnicity, or disability.

In some cases, this is a deliberate act, and in others a lack of education and action. Either way, the consequences can have a serious impact on the workforce, particularly employees from underrepresented groups.


7 Red Flags That May Be Signs Of An Uninclusive Company

It’s not always easy to spot the signs of a non-inclusive work environment, especially as a new employee. However, over time, these markers can become more obvious. 

Struggling to tell if you’re in an unaccommodating workplace for diverse employees? Here are seven red flags that might indicate a lack of workplace diversity.

1. A lack of leadership diversity

Start by looking at the leadership team in your company. Are they all similar in age, race, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation? This is often a signal of a lack of diverse voices in decision-making processes. Unfortunately, this can trickle down and create an unwelcoming workplace for diverse individuals.

2. Limited representation

This one is pretty simple. Is there a distinct absence of people from diverse backgrounds in the company? If so, attracting and retaining diverse employees probably isn’t a priority for this organisation.

It’s important to note that an inclusive employer will have diverse employees across all levels and departments in the organisation. As such, don’t just look laterally but rather at the organisation as a whole.

The same goes for suppliers. Uninclusive employers often overlook inclusive practices when contracting suppliers, vendors, and contractors. This could be another red flag to look out for.

3. Non-inclusive recruitment practices

Employers that consistently hire from a narrow talent pool are likely to recruit a very specific demographic. In addition, it may indicate that it has a preference for that demographic. 

Ideally, look out for employers that advertise job opportunities on a wide range of sites to attract diverse candidates. In particular, employers that advertise on diversity-friendly job boards are a large green flag. This will guarantee you that the company prioritises inclusive recruitment practices.

4. A lack of diversity and inclusion initiatives

The absence of a formal diversity and inclusion programme could indicate that this employer is non-inclusive. If your current organisation doesn’t provide this, talk to HR and ask why that is. 

On the other hand, employers that run formal diversity training, cultural competency workshops, employee resource groups, and inclusive policies are demonstrating their commitment. 

5. Unequal opportunities for advancement

One of the biggest signs of an uninclusive company is how opportunities for career advancement are given. Do certain groups consistently face barriers or limited development opportunities? That’s an indication that this employer is not doing enough to support underrepresented groups and create an equal playing field.

Unconscious bias in hiring, internal promotions, and performance management processes can point to a lack of diversity awareness. This can cause potential barriers for employees from underrepresented groups.

All company policies and practices should be transparent and accessible. That way, employees know exactly what they have to do to progress in the business, reducing discrimination. 

What’s more, non-inclusive companies tend to neglect implementing policies and practices that empower people with disabilities from fully participating.

6. Hostile work environment

An unwelcoming work environment is another one of the signs of an inclusive company. This can take the form of micro-aggressions, discrimination, and harassment.

If you notice that certain individuals are being treated unfairly or left out of decision-making processes, this is usually a red flag.

7. Little to no employee support

Inclusive employers know the importance of supporting different employees’ needs. This means providing a range of benefits to accommodate employees’ diverse backgrounds, experiences, and realities. It also includes offering support systems so everyone in the workforce has access to the resources they need to thrive.

Conversely, non-inclusive companies tend to lack these policies. If a potential employer doesn’t offer flexible working options, parental leave, or accommodations for people with disabilities, this may indicate a deeper issue.

Final Thoughts

We hope these red flags help you to assess the level of diversity and inclusion in potential future employers so you can make an informed decision about your next step.

If you’re currently working for a non-inclusive employer, you’re not alone. Reach out to your network for support and advice. In some cases, raising your diversity concerns with HR can help to address the issue. However, in many instances, the problem runs deep and can not be solved quickly. 

Working in an unwelcoming workplace can take its toll on your mental and physical health. So, it may be time to move on. 

Our resource hub is packed with resources, information, and advice on how to find a diversity-positive employer

Ready for a change? Check out our diversity-friendly job board for the latest opportunities from inclusive employers.

Are you an employer? We offer advice and support on everything from how to attract diverse talent, write inclusive job ads, and reduce bias in the workplace. 

Get in touch to learn more about our range of services for employers.

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Last Updated: Wednesday May 31 2023
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