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QUESTION: In applying for a leadership role, I’ve been asked in interviews how I would contribute to their diversity initiatives if I get the job. I don’t have any specific experience working on diversity initiatives. How do I answer this question?

Grant Cooper, Strategic Resumes & Business Plans

To respond effectively, first do your homework via online research to familiarize yourself with the company’s previous diversity challenges. Next, do a deep dive on your own career. Although you may lack specific experience formally leading such programs, identify examples where your hiring, mentorship, and collaboration involved diversity. Finally, add in any diversity training you may have had.

Barbara Schultz, The Career Stager

Diversity is about appreciating differences instead of tolerating someone who doesn’t look or think like me. I’ve always viewed people that way. As a company leader, tone at the top matters and I earned the reputation for being fair and objective. While I’ve never led a formal diversity initiative, I’m eager to join a company that takes it that seriously. How do you ensure every voice is heard?

Emily Christakis

Convey your commitment to the recruitment, retention and development of historically under-represented groups in the leadership ranks including women, ethnic/racial minorities, as well as people with disabilities. Demonstrate how you’ve ensured a diverse pool of candidates were considered for critical positions or how you considered a non-traditional candidate to lead a high-profile project.

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