Employer Justice Equity Diversity Inclusion Resources

Creating A JEDI Workplace

Academic and Career Advising Center (ACAC) strives to provide individualized and culturally responsible services and resources to all Humboldt students and alumni. As part of that effort, ACAC has provided this resource site for employers who are interested in learning more about creating a JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) workplace. These resources are designed to assist employers who recruit at Humboldt in creating an environment where students from diverse backgrounds can thrive at their organizations. We hope to help you answer the question “what does it take to recruit and retain individuals from diverse backgrounds to work at our company?” Our goal is to meet you wherever your organization may be in creating a more diverse workforce and a more just working environment for all employees. We hope that these resources will help you recognize your own implicit biases and help you understand how to navigate JEDI in your workplace.
ACAC would like to acknowledge and extend our gratitude to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for allowing us to adapt their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Employer Toolkit and content for our website.

We’d like to begin by defining a few critical terms:

Diversity is a community of people who are made up of different social identities, including but not limited to: age, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race/ethnicity, religion/spiritual practice, sexual orientation, and veteran status.
Inclusion is giving individuals and groups, especially those who have been excluded in the past, a sense of belonging by recognizing their unique needs and strengths, and a sense of agency by collaborating, when possible, on decisions and policies that affect their workplace experience.
Equality and Equity are two other important terms that you may hear often. It may be assumed that these are the same, but there are some distinct differences. Equality means treating everyone the same regardless of their differing attributes. Equity is focused on fairness and equality of outcomes, not just support and opportunity. Organizations may want to consider how they can shift toward a focus on equity as a means to achieve equality in the workplace. This equality and equity graphic and article (graphic also shown below) illustrate these terms and concepts well. 

equality versus equity

Equality is when resources are distributed evenly; everyone receives an equal share. While equality is definitely a condition to strive for, as the above image demonstrates, the problem is that not everyone starts on equal footing. Equity addresses the barriers that people face and provides each person with the resources they need in order to be on equal footing with everyone else. As the second panel above shows, because each person is a different height, they need different amounts of a resource to help see over the fence. However, it is the third frame in the above image where real social change begins to happen – when barriers are removed completely.

Why a Diverse Workforce is Important:

Diverse workforces are important for a variety of reasons, some of which are outlined below. It is important to point out, as Janice Gassam Asare does in her Forbes article, that diverse workforces must also be inclusive. Representation is just one part of the bigger picture. This makes employers’ work more challenging, and it is also necessary to achieve true equity. Research suggests that the more valued, empowered, and respected an employee feels, the better they perform.
This TalentLyft article and graphic below identify ten impactful reasons why a diverse workforce gives companies a competitive advantage.

Top 10 benefits of workplace diversity

Top 10 benefits of workplace diversity:

  • Variety of different perspectives
  • Increased creativity
  • Higher innovation
  • Faster problem-solving
  • Better decision-making
  • Increased profits
  • Higher employee engagement
  • Reduced employee turnover
  • Better company reputation
  • Improved hiring results
Additionally, our world and our country are becoming increasingly more racially diverse. By 2045, the U.S Census Bureau anticipates that less than 50% of the country’s population make-up will be white. Humboldt has prioritized recruiting more racially diverse students, staff, and faculty to better represent the state population. Furthermore, business is becoming increasingly more global.
This study from McKinsey and Company notes the considerable increase in financial performance of companies with higher levels of gender and ethnic diversity on their executive teams. Furthermore, this study discusses why inclusion matters for companies, in addition to diversity.
Creating equitable and diverse workplaces is not about following a trend. Take, for instance, that it took until June 2020 for the Supreme Court to rule that firing employees based on their sexual orientation or transgender status is a violation of Title VII, or that only 1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are Black, even though African Americans make up 13.4% of the U.S. population. There are no Black female CEOs on this list. Furthermore, the wage gap in America still persists, with women making 82% of what men earn annually.
This inequity is further impacted by race, location, age, disability status, etc. We still have a long way to go in reaching true work-place equality. Our hope is that this toolkit can help you in striving to meet that goal at your organization.

Career Services Overview of Diversity and Inclusion Effort:

The Humboldt Academic and Career Advising Center (ACAC) staff is collectively committed to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion through our work with students, employers, alumni, and the Humboldt community.  We strive to provide individualized and culturally responsible services and resources to all Humboldt students and alumni.
Our staff is committed, both personally and professionally, to infusing justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) into our work. We continue to build upon the efforts our Center has made through bi-annual strategic planning and reflection. ACAC 2020-2023 JEDI Strategic Plan
ACAC is committed to:
  • Creating a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment;
  • Challenging stereotypes within our student, staff and faculty interactions;
  • Encouraging individuals to explore their unique experiences and talents to make informed choices;
  • Providing accessible one-on-one career and academic advising appointments;
  • Sharing resources that meet individual needs to navigate the university and the workplace.
ACAC recognizes that the various, often intersecting, identities of individuals can lead to unique considerations during the job and internship search, as well as in the work environment. 
Navigating identity in the workplace is such a deeply personal process. The Identity Based Resources provide information about assessing prospective employers, networking, mentorship based on identity, and navigating professional fields, as well as other identity-specific resources.
The UnDACA community faces unique challenges within education and employment.  ACAC has developed these resources to assist students in navigating these: https://acac.humboldt.edu/students/undaca

Employer Best Practices for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:

The information on this page is focused on the areas of recruitment, hiring, and retention and was compiled from research on best practices related to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Sources are hyperlinked within the suggested action. 



  • Broaden evaluation criteria (i.e. Reconsider evaluating candidates on things like GPA and cultural “fit”)
  • Refrain from asking applicants for their salary history as it perpetuates the wage gap 
  • Ensure that inclusive wording is used in job descriptions
  • Demonstrate your company’s commitment to JEDI efforts on job postings, online, and on social media
  • Ask diversity-related interview questions and/or require a diversity statement as part of the application
  • Offer accommodations for people with disabilities during the interview process (i.e. more time for testing; proactively communicate to all applicants how to request accommodations)


  • Demonstrate that your organization's commitment to diversity and inclusion starts at the top
    • Explicitly link diversity, equity, and inclusion to the organization’s mission and values
  • Provide full staff trainings
    • Sample topics could include: implicit bias, inclusive language, web accessibility
    • Bring in guest speakers and trainers from diverse and various backgrounds
  • Offer workplace flexibility (e.g. working from home, non-traditional hours, etc.)
  • Conduct regularly scheduled “stay interviews,” as well as planned opportunities for more freedom, challenge, growth, and recognition
  • Collect data that determines why employees leave

Additional Resources 

A breadth of articles, videos, and research regarding inclusive recruiting practices on college campuses 
Equity and inclusion-specific articles and expertise on the issues impacting today’s evolving workplaces.
This links to the “Trends in the Profession” section, which includes DEI related articles.