The purpose of an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) statement is to comply with EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission) law but there’s also a marketing aspect to it. The words in your EEO statement (which often appear in all your job postings) are also words that a candidate will measure you by.
In fact, many employers are adding hot new diversity-related words into their EEO statements such as “inclusive”, “LGBT” and “gender identity”.
On the flipside, if your words are too compliance-heavy, you’ll be interpreted as conservative or stodgy.
Legal Note: You should talk with own attorneys/counsel about what compliance language is necessary for your own EEO statements in job postings.
I looked at EEO statement samples from 10 employers that could help you improve or create your own EEO statement.
Here they are:
I lead with SurveyMonkey because tennis star Serena Williams recently joined their board to help improve their diversity hiring; and Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg is also on their board and has a lot of energy around hiring women.
They take a short-and-sweet non-legalese approach and mention 2 key words: “diversity” and “inclusive”.
“SurveyMonkey is an equal opportunity employer. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.”
E&J Gallo Winery
If you want to use the fewest EEO words possible and yet still likely be in compliance to work as a contractor or sub-contractor with the U.S. government (see Section 60-1.41 of the EEOC law on job advertisements), you can do what the Gallo wine company does in their job postings — they simply insert these 3 words at the bottom of every job:
“Equal Opportunity Employer”
Note: Gallo has a bunch of additional details on diversity on the rest of their GalloCareers web site.
Notice how Google uses the first person language (we, our, etc.) and stands out for using positive words such as “celebrate” and “thrive”.
“At Google, we don’t just accept difference — we celebrate it, we support it, and we thrive on it for the benefit of our employees, our products, and our community. Google is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and is an affirmative action employer.”
U.S. Federal Government
You might not think of the Federal Government as modern or progressive but they were among the early major employers to include mention of “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” in their own jobs’ EEO statements:
“The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.”
This is a controversial topic — The Human Rights Campaign called out the Department of Commerce for later deleting any mention of gender identity and sexual orientation.
Dell throws in the kitchen-sink of areas they don’t discriminate against and I applaud them for being so inclusive. One challenge with this approach is that the list of types of people they welcome will keep getting longer and unwieldy as new topics like gender and sexual orientation (both of which they have) arise.
“Dell is an Equal Opportunity Employer and Prohibits Discrimination and Harassment of Any Kind: Dell is committed to the principle of equal employment opportunity for all employees and to providing employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment. All employment decisions at Dell are based on business needs, job requirements and individual qualifications, without regard to race, color, religion or belief, national, social or ethnic origin, sex (including pregnancy), age, physical, mental or sensory disability, HIV Status, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, marital, civil union or domestic partnership status, past or present military service, family medical history or genetic information, family or parental status, or any other status protected by the laws or regulations in the locations where we operate. Dell will not tolerate discrimination or harassment based on any of these characteristics.”
Facebook’s EEO is pretty standard but I include it hear because they include both an email address and phone number for disabled candidates.
“Facebook is proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, gender (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or other applicable legally protected characteristics.
If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may call us at 1+650-308-7837.”
I include Zayo’s EEO statement because they add the less-used line about merit: All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.”
“Zayo is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Zayo does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, national origin, veteran status or any other basis covered by appropriate law. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit, and business need.”
Tesla’s EEO statement is contrarian just like them. They say that not only do they hire based on merit, but they fire based on merit. Everything is based on merit!
“Tesla is an equal opportunity employer. All aspects of employment including the decision to hire, promote, discipline, or discharge, will be based on merit, competence, performance, and business needs. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, marital status, age, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, pregnancy, genetic information, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, veteran status, or any other status protected under federal, state, or local law.”
IMP Group International
Leading off with “Our goal” is unique. It’s both first-person (Our) and mentions that it’s their goal (implying that they’re working towards progress on diversity). They also mention “diverse” in their open line which immediately differentiates themselves from other EEO statements that jump right into legalese.
“Our goal is to be a diverse workforce that is representative, at all job levels, of the citizens we serve. IMP Group Ltd. has an Employment Equity Policy and we welcome applications from Aboriginal People, African Nova Scotian’s and Other Racially Visible People, Persons with Disabilities and Women in occupations or positions where they are under represented. If you are a member of one of the equity groups, you are encouraged to self-identify, on either your application form, covering letter or resume.”
Don’t you think mentioning LGBT as one of just 9 words in their EEO statement might win over the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender) community? I do.
“Comcast is an EOE/Veterans/Disabled/LGBT employer”
I know I said I only had 10 EEO statements but here are 3 more!
UnderArmour’s EEO statement mentions “respect” and “teammates” in its opening sentence — those are positive words that are rarely seen in an EEO statement.
“At Under Armour, we are committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and teammates without regard to race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy (including childbirth, lactation and related medical conditions), national origin, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information (including characteristics and testing), military and veteran status, and any other characteristic protected by applicable law. Under Armour believes that diversity and inclusion among our teammates is critical to our success as a global company, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool.”
This EEO statement might be might favorite of all. It’s written in Plain English, mostly first person and drops all legalese. It also answers the question “Why” (the more inclusive we are, the better our work will be).
“Textio embraces diversity and equal opportunity in a serious way. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. The more inclusive we are, the better our work will be.”
I also wrote this one which I’ve used for Ongig’s own jobs and is EEOC compliant to allow Ongig to work with the government:
“We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity. All employment is decided on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need.”
The reason I care so much about EEO statements is that they are a common element of job descriptions and Ongig’s mission is to transform your job descriptions to boost candidate applications and diversity. Give me a shout if I can help you with your EEO statement.
It’s not just about compliance…it’s about who you are and who you want to be.
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