Resources for Multi-ethnic Students

The Office of Career and Professional Development at Washington and Lee University has not vetted any of the internship and volunteer opportunity listings on this page and makes no representations or guarantees regarding any of the listed opportunities. It is the responsibility of students and alumni to do their own due diligence when applying for and accepting any of these opportunities.

Quick Links: General Career Advice | FAQs | Career Resources | Workplace Issues and Resources | On-Campus Resources

General Career Advice

  • Understand your protections against discrimination: Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, or sex which includes sexual/romantic orientation and gender identity/expression. The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination based on disability. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on pregnancy. Title II of the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act prohibits discrimination based on genetic information.
  • Know your rights: Understand the questions employers can and cannot ask you as you proceed through the hiring process. Review a sample of allowable and prohibited questions here. Focus the conversation on your skills and abilities and what you bring to the workplace.
  • Evaluate the corporate climate: Research the demographics of the company and get a feel for their level of diversity. Try to talk with alumni in that industry and current and former employees in the company about their experiences. You should also look at the diversity in the company's management and executives, as this provides insight into how committed they are to diversity. You can ask employers about diversity initiatives or how they plan on supporting diversity in the future. Consider reviewing the company's mission statement, website, and social media to determine their position on inclusion and diversity. Find out if the company has an affinity group for its multi-ethnic employees.
  • Stay informed and negotiate: Learn more about wage discrimination and visit CPD's resource library in Handshake to read about how to negotiate a good starting salary or raise. This information can also come from networking with other employees. See CPD's advice on salary negotiations here. Payscale, Salary.com, Glassdoor, and Robert Half are online resource for salary comparisons and negotiation scenarios.

FAQs

How culturally competent is the employer?

  • Network with company employees to find out about its work environment and attitude towards diversity. Read articles about the company and its reputation regarding issues of diversity. Informational interviews can help you get a feel for the workplace dynamic.

What questions can be helpful to ask in an interview?

  • Directly confronting an employer about their stance on diversity or environment may be difficult to ask. Try asking more open-ended questions such as, "Why do employees choose to stay here?" "How does this company support teamwork" or "How do people advance in this workplace?" Listen carefully to the answers provided.

What hairstyle is considered professional for an interview/workplace?

  • This is a difficult question to answer especially for African-American women. Misunderstanding and discrimination sometimes arise from a person's hairstyle choice. It is important for you to make a personal decision about the style most comfortable for you. Your natural hair should not be the basis of an employer's hiring decision; however, for issues regarding hair color, research the company and/or connect with a current employee to see what is considered professional.

Career Resources

Workplace Issues and Resources

On-Campus Resources