Jobs in Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging Have Risen 123% Since May—Here’s How To Get One

By Jane Kellogg Murray

Updated March 29, 2021 | Published October 13, 2020

Updated March 29, 2021

Published October 13, 2020

Jane Kellogg Murray is a senior editor for Indeed. Based in Vermont and living on a Christmas tree farm, she enjoys helping others find suitable work opportunities through Indeed’s Career Guide.

Despite the ongoing impact of a global pandemic, diversity, inclusion and belonging (DI&B) job opportunities are popping up all over the country. According to Indeed data, demand for DI&B roles has increased significantly over the past year.

Between September 2019 and September 2020, Indeed job postings in diversity, inclusion and belonging have risen 56.3%—from 140 jobs per million to 219. More significantly, after the U.S. economy declined in Spring 2020, the DI&B industry recovered quickly, with job postings rising by an astonishing 123% between May and September. The timing coincides with the rise of recent nationwide protests as companies began to express their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and publicly make promises to fight for equality in and outside of the workplace:

“There has been a significant increase in the creation of DI&B jobs since the beginning of the nationwide protests following the death of George Floyd in May,” explains Misty Gaither, director of global DI&B business partners at Indeed. “The positions range from entry-level programmatic roles up to the C-suite, with companies making historic moves to meet the moment.”

In this article, we explain the emerging and evolving industry of diversity, inclusion and belonging. Since this industry is still relatively new, many people seeking roles in DI&B may not have extensive traditional experience. As such, we’ll also suggest transferable skills that can help you move into the industry.

Read more: Learning About Diversity and Inclusion: 10 Free Virtual Courses

What are diversity, inclusion and belonging jobs?

A diverse group of employees—in race, ethnicity, age, gender, physical ability, religion, sexual orientation, life experiences and others—can benefit a company in a multitude of ways. So as companies continue to focus on making their teams more diverse and inclusive, hiring will continue to surge for recruiters, leaders and managers that can help carry that mission forward. Diversity, inclusion and belonging is a three-pronged approach, which is why these terms are being used in so many of these new job titles.

Diversity aims to remove bias and barriers so that a company’s workforce can reflect the heterogeneity of the communities it operates in. To do this, companies are hiring specialized recruiters and hiring managers to ensure an unbiased application process, committing to equal pay and promotional opportunities and removing barriers to entry by hiring people with nontraditional backgrounds and skills.

Inclusion ensures organizations build comprehensive teams and products within an environment where ideas, backgrounds and perspectives of all kinds are respected, a factor that has been proven to help companies more successful at fostering innovation.

Belonging is the newest and arguably most important extension of this field. Despite advancements in diversity and inclusion (D&I), companies have only recently begun to also recognize the importance of cultivating a sense of belonging. Just because someone from a diverse background is included in an organization doesn’t mean they feel they belong. Belonging can be the most difficult initiative for companies to capture, but hiring leadership to purposely create an inclusive community is the first step to harboring a feeling of belonging for all team members.

Common diversity, inclusion and belonging jobs

As this is a growth field, there are a variety of job opportunities available in diversity, inclusion and belonging. Some of the most common roles available and in high demand include:

Diversity recruiter

Primary duties: A recruiter who specializes in DI&B ensures a company’s policies promote diversity and equality. They might train human resources representatives and hiring managers on how to make fair decisions. Diversity recruiters also ensure companies use inclusive language in all hiring material.

Diversity and inclusion manager

Primary duties: The diversity and inclusion manager works closely with human resources to ensure diversity agendas are successfully implemented and in line with a company’s objectives. They must understand external trends and be able to transfer these to the company to improve its brand and diversity in the workforce.

Chief diversity officer

Primary duties: Similar to a diversity and inclusion manager, a CDO develops, manages, and supports data-based diversity and inclusion strategies for an organization. They typically work for companies with large (sometimes global) workforces and may lead an entire team of DI&B managers in spearheading diversity efforts. They also are tasked with identifying new programs or initiatives that can bolster diversity within an organization.

Read more: How To Talk About Race, Gender and Social Issues at Work

How to transition to diversity, inclusion and belonging work

Since DI&B is still a relatively new field, it’s common for job applicants to come from a variety of career paths. “Transitioning from other careers is possible, and even powerful, as it can help you approach DI&B in a unique way and even make you more effective in partnering with teams and stakeholders outside of your immediate team,” says Matthew Krajewski, senior manager of accessibility and product inclusion at Indeed.

The key is to leverage your unique skill set and work experience and present it as an asset to the hiring manager: “I successfully transitioned from a career in product management and user experience design to DI&B work,” Krajewski adds. “My toolbox for approaching this work is all my experience in product, design, program and operations.”

Below are some tips for utilizing your relevant skills in your DI&B job search:

Optimizing your transferable skills for diversity, inclusion and belonging jobs

In your resume

Since you’ve likely never applied to a DI&B job before, take the time to customize your resume for it. Only include relevant experience and highlight transferable skills like people management or presentation skills.

In your cover letter

Start your cover letter with a powerful statement, such as a personal anecdote or an impactful belief statement that mirrors the company’s values.

In your interview

More than anything, it’s imperative to have a genuine passion for social causes and inclusion when working in DI&B. When it’s appropriate, talk about why you have the right combination of skills and enthusiasm for the job, as well as the strategies you would use to help the company cultivate a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

Read more: The Complete Guide To Changing Careers During COVID-19 (With Tips From a Recruiter)

Preparing for a job in DI&B

Foster diversity and inclusion now

“My number one advice for folks looking to get into DI&B is to look at what they can do right now, within their sphere of influence, to create an inclusive culture,” says Allison Dingler, global DI&B program manager at Indeed. “DI&B is a vast field, needing a multitude of skills and backgrounds. Consider how your skills translate to DI&B work and start doing that work before you ever have a DI&B title.”

Keep learning

“DI&B changes quickly, and being connected to consistent, up-to-date resources is invaluable,” Dingler says. “Personally, I would be impressed with someone who is doing the work to enrich their mind and heart with material related to DI&B,” adds Krajewski. “The more reading you can do, and the more you can demonstrate how that reading has impacted your worldview, the more you prepare yourself for becoming fluent in the language of DI&B. I frequently cite Audre Lorde and James Baldwin in my own work, and make sure to read the latest commentary from leaders like Ibram X. Kendi and Shaun King.”

Hone your skills

“Lastly, I would encourage folks to hone their skills on emotional intelligence, influence without authority and self-care,” Dingler says. “This work can be daunting, but good self-care routines and strong relationships can help fill your cup when you’re facing large-scale or systemic challenges.”

Educational resources to learn more about diversity, inclusion and belonging

Whether you’re pursuing a job in DI&B or simply interested in learning more, these resources can help build your understanding of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace:

  • Leading a Team Through a Social Justice Crisis

  • Job Search Guide: Finding Companies That Value Diversity & Inclusion

  • Allyship at Work: What Is Gender Identity?

  • Learning About Diversity and Inclusion: 10 Free Virtual Courses

  • How To Handle Microaggressions in the Workplace

  • 5 Steps To Become a Better Ally at Work

  • 23 Films, Podcasts and Books To Be a Better Ally at Work

  • A Comprehensive Guide To Gender-Neutral Pronouns

  • How To Talk About Race, Gender and Social Issues at Work

  • A Guide To Activism in the Workplace

  • How To Find an LGBTQIA+ Friendly Workplace

  • All About Cultural Competence and Workplace Culture

  • Common Communication Barriers (With Examples)

  • How To Support Millennials In the Workplace

  • Women and the Burden of Emotional Labor During COVID-19

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