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New grads demand diversity credentials in employers, college administrator says

‘Be ready to discuss solutions to rectify systematic racism,’ a college admin tells employers

A recent USA Today opinion piece by a college administrator at Suffolk University advised companies hiring new graduates to consider their own “equity and inclusion” credentials.

Dave Merry (pictured) is the executive director of the campus Center for Career Equity, Development & Success. He wrote in his April 18 opinion piece that prospective employees will want to know a company’s plans “to mitigate inequities and injustices in the workplace.”

“You should also be ready to discuss solutions to rectify systemic racism, the gender wage gap, underrepresentation of people of color in C-suites,” Merry wrote. This includes “hiring practices that disadvantage trans and nonbinary applicants, and other workplace inequities.”

He wrote that “employers must demonstrate programs and support systems that promote workplace equity and foster the long-term success of students who come to work for them” if they want to recruit and keep “new graduates.”

Merry goes on to say how at Suffolk, his teams are preparing their own graduates to seek out diversity-minded employers.

“All first-year students now take for-credit career readiness classes,” at Suffolk University, Merry wrote.

He said one of the first assignments “asks students to evaluate how their own identities will impact their careers, and how they can create more equity and opportunity for people who have been historically marginalized.”

The college administrator said “too many employers” have not properly though about the importance of diversity and equity.

His center helps them out by providing them with sample questions to consider, such as “Have you considered whether your job description and application process are biased?” and  “Do you have equitable promotion tracks and leadership opportunities?”

The Suffolk center also created a toolkit for employers “that helps organizations assess and implement best practices in recruiting, hiring, retaining and growing diverse talent.”

MORE: Yale moves forward with implementing DEI

IMAGE: Suffolk University

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About the Author
Margaret has previously worked as an associate editor of Columbia magazine, an editorial assistant at DNAinfo.com, and an elementary school teacher at a charter school in Phoenix. She holds a B.A. from New York University and lives in New Haven, Connecticut.