Support for Minority Engineers Reflects Company Priorities and Values

Supporting Minority Engineers Reflects Priorities

We’re a global tech company searching for, fighting for, the best talent. We have evolved as an innovator and as an employer so we can attract and retain that talent.  I’ve watched it, felt it, and been part of it.

So I speak from a place of knowledge and experience when I talk to potential candidates at recruiting events: above everything else that a company offers, it’s that company’s culture that will become the most important attribute to your career success.

Experience Shapes Perceptions

I attended a historically black college. As an African American woman, it was the first and only place where I was part of the majority.

It’s an important experience that shapes the way I approach diversity recruitment programs. I know the workplace students face when they leave college – depending on where they choose to build their careers, many of these students will remain the minority.

Students – and all potential employees, really – need to feel that in their workplace, they will be appreciated and supported and recognized. This is universal – it does not apply to any one group.

Read more about our culture in our Corporate Responsibility Report.

What does apply to minority groups – and I’m speaking from personal experience here – is that they see themselves represented at their potential employer from the very first meeting with recruiters.

To do that, one of our priorities is to attend events like the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Two things happen here:

  • For the first time, many of our recruiters are now among the minority, and they get a sense of the challenges these students have and will face.
  • The students, ready to graduate and start careers, understand the importance we as a company place on supporting events that support their personal and professional growth.

Building Brand is More Than Name Recognition  

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and other events like it are a great opportunity to ‘pre-interview’ a potential employer. Here candidates can get the information needed to make informed decisions about a potential company.

Video: learn more about our 2017 Catalyst Award-winning Culture of Inclusion journey. Key leaders across our organization share their perspectives on their experience and the continued work to create an environment where everyone can and wants to do their best work every day.

That fact-finding is extremely important, and here’s why. In my blog, Why Company Culture is the Most Important Factor for Career Success, I talk about the hardest – but most important – story to convey to potential employees: company culture.

One of the ways to get a peek into that culture is to see how a company recruits.

With limited time and so many potential interactions, there are questions students (and professionals seeking new opportunities) can ask to determine if a company prioritizes minority development, career growth and success. For example:

  • Do you have organizations like employee resource groups? And how do those groups develop their members?
  • How have you seen top talent navigate their careers?  What strategies have they used?
  • Do you have minority senior leaders?
  • How long have you been at the company and what do you like most about the culture?  What keeps you there?

See You There

The Grace Hopper conference and events like it are where important relationships start, where connections begin between company and career.  If you’re coming to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Oct. 4-6 in Orlando, stop by and talk to me. I want to share my story with you, and hear yours.

Candace Barnes
Posted September 29, 2017 By Candace Barnes, Diversity Recruitment Program Manager North American Talent Acquisition, Rockwell Automation
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