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Assessing an Organization's Culture

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Tip: The Office of Career Strategy is committed to serving Yale’s diverse student population. Below are selected resources to help you evaluate organizations based on their culture and their policies.

Below are some factors to consider as you assess an organization. Note that the size of an organization may affect its ability to accommodate a wide range of needs and that the questions below have been written in the context of an employer in the United States. Sincere thanks to the University of Georgia's Career Center who has generously shared resources in this area.

  • Mission, Values, and Goals: To what extent does the organization prioritize diversity and inclusion? Look for diversity and inclusion in the organization’s mission statement, values, and goals. Does the organization have a diversity statement on their website? If so, how does the organization define diversity? What are the organization’s anti-discrimination policies?

  • Demographics: What percentage of employees are women, older workers or underrepresented minorities? Do you see diversity at all levels of the organization from leadership positions to entry-level positions? Does the organization have a chief diversity officer or diversity manager? Is diversity represented on the organization’s board of directors?

  • Affinity Groups: Does the organization offer special interests groups for employees (i.e. Women’s Group, LGBT Group, Young Professionals Group)? Outside of affinity groups, how does the organization build community?

  • Work-Life Balance: How do employees describe their work-life balance? How does this fit with your own interests and priorities?

  • Workplace Environment: During your interview with the organization, observe interactions among the staff. Is the office environment welcoming? How does the staff treat you, and how do they treat one another? Is there space for special needs (i.e. prayer room, lactation room)?

  • Mentorship: Does the organization provide opportunities for mentorship and professional growth?

Link: The following organizations have developed resources to assist candidates in evaluating organizations (be sure to review the evaluation criteria for each of these resources):