We've recently seen a significant shift societally, which has created an environment where people expect representation in the workplace and aren’t afraid to push for it.
As such, organizations are starting to pay extra close attention to diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. There are many D&I certification programs out there which aim to increase awareness and create a working environment that is open, inclusive, and respectful of everyone. One of these comes from Equalture, which offers the Equal Opportunity Hiring Certification Program.
We sat down with Charlotte Melkert, Co-Founder and CEO of Equalture, to find out how organizations can join its certification program and make an impact with their D&I efforts.
Hi Charlotte, can you tell us what made you want to create the Equal Opportunity Hiring Certification Program? How did the idea come about?
I started Equalture with my twin sister Fleur a couple of years ago. We felt very strongly about the impact that bias was having on hiring decisions, which is still a massive problem in recruitment. Recent events such as Black Lives Matter (BLM) have painfully proven that we are still far away from a world in which everyone is treated equally, regardless of age, gender, race, or sexual preferences. It still happens so often that people feel forced to change their name on their CV to get invited to job interviews.
Here at Equalture, we wanted to take the next step in our mission to shape the world of unbiased hiring by encouraging companies to take that extra step with us and get rewarded for it. So, that’s why we started this initiative.
What is the goal you hope to achieve with this Program? Is it to raise awareness about the importance of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I), or is this part of a bigger project?
We, of course, want to raise awareness, but our Program is indeed part of a bigger project. Our vision statement is to ‘shape the world of unbiased hiring,’ and we believe that this program can help achieve that.
Tell us more about the different certification levels (Pioneer, Innovator, Leader). How did you come up with this division?
We wanted to have different certificates that fit the different levels of dedication and professionalism. Some companies have just started exploring D&I, while others have Diversity OKR programs in place already, as an example. So, the three certificates fit all different companies, from the ones exploring this topic to those that can be seen as an example to others.
We wanted to take the next step in our mission to shape the world of unbiased hiring by encouraging companies to take that extra step with us and get rewarded for it. So, that’s why we started this initiative.
Co-Founder and CEO of Equalture
Once companies apply, what does the process look like to get onto the Program?
An essential criterion is to be working with our software. That’s not a commercial trick, but it’s something we believe is crucial, as we help companies get to know their candidates in an unbiased way.
So, if you’re interested but don’t work with us yet, that’s the first step. If you already work with us, we usually assess your application within 24 hours.
The certificates are valid for a year. Will you be re-assessing these companies after a year? Or will companies have to re-apply to get a valid certificate?
We will reassess companies after every calendar year, but we also do some random checks throughout the year to ensure that a company still meets the requirements for the certificate they received.
How else can organizations apply equal opportunity employment practices? Do you have any tips or suggestions you can offer?
I have seen some of our customers getting started with a Diversity OKR Program, and so far, their results have been great.
Making Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion a part of your company OKRs raises the urgency to get started with this. We recently wrote a playbook on this topic, which might be helpful to check out. It explains what obstacles you might face along the way and how you can get started.
You can find out more about Equalture’s Equal Opportunity Hiring Certification Program here.