Your company diversity statement, also known as an Equal Opportunity Employment (EOE) statement, is your pledge to all protected groups (and unprotected groups) that you value equality in employment. Your accommodation statement is your pledge to workers with physical limitations that you’ll accommodate them.
These statements are how you tell potential candidates from historically underrepresented groups know that everyone is welcome to apply. Regardless of their gender, race, national origin, physical limitation, or anything else.
Companies use diversity statements in their job descriptions to assert their commitment to a fair work environment for all. They use accommodation statements to show their commitment to enabling workers with physical limitations to effectively do their jobs. And these statements aren’t just window dressing. The reassuring presence of these statements can encourage qualified job seekers from diverse backgrounds or with physical limitations to apply to your job.
Company diversity statement
In a nutshell, a company diversity statement says that a company will not discriminate against anyone from a protected group. The messaging may go beyond just protected groups to include job seekers from diverse but unprotected groups. And it goes for hiring as well as employment practices.
A company diversity statement can be a simple, one-line declaration that serves as a pledge to uphold equality. It can be a narrative of the company’s dedication to diversity through the years and how that dedication impacts the company’s values and mission. It can be an apology for past mistakes, a pledge to amend those mistakes, and a roadmap for creating change.
A diversity statement can be a list of all the protected (and unprotected) groups that are welcome at the company. It can also be a line-by-line list of the specific programs and actions the company takes to ensure inclusivity. Or it can be dense legalese aimed at compliance with regulators.
Whatever form your company diversity statement takes, it’s important to remember that diversity statements can impact different job seekers in different ways. Also, it’s worth remembering that a company diversity statement by itself is just messaging. If your culture runs contrary to the words in the statement, then the words are empty.
An accommodation statement tells job seekers with physical limitations that your company will make reasonable accommodations to employ them. It can be a simple promise to work with disabled workers so they can succeed. It can also be a detailed list of some of the specific ways your company will do that.
Reasonable accommodations can be any number of things, including:
- Remote working for employees who don’t thrive in an office environment.
- Noise reduction or real-time speech translation for hard-of-hearing employees.
- Alternative transportation for employees who don’t drive a car.
- A mechanical lift or hand truck for someone otherwise unable to move a 30-pound box.
(Note: Requirements are the companion piece to your accommodation statement. It doesn’t do much good to say you’ll accommodate workers with physical limitations and then add a physical ‘nice-to-have’ in the requirements section of your job description. It’s best to keep requirements to the bare essentials necessary to do the job.)
Company diversity statement, accommodation statement
Your company diversity statement and accommodation statement are your pledges to diversity and equality. They can help reassure job seekers that all qualified candidates are welcome to apply. And that, at your company, they won’t face sexism, racism, nationalism, ageism, religionism, ableism, or any other form of discrimination.