Writing your equal opportunity employer statement? Here’s some inspiration

A group of employees in an office space

Filed under:

The best career pages read less like a wish list for the perfect candidate and more like smart marketing copy. One opportunity to make your company shine occurs in a somewhat surprising place: your equal opportunity employer statement.


What exactly is an equal opportunity employer statement?

According to US federal law, it is illegal for most employers with over 15 employees to discriminate against a job applicant or employee because of race, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy, national origin, age, disability or genetic information.

In order to enforce those laws and ensure that employers are meeting their obligations, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) requires employers with more than 100 employees to file annual reports about the demographics of their workforce. Strictly speaking, these reports only need to contain information about a company’s current employees – an employer is not required to collect or report similar data about its job applicants unless it is an agency or contractor of the federal government. That said, it is very common for non-government employers to provide job applicants with an equal employment opportunity statement (which may include voluntary questions about the applicants’ race, gender, disability and veteran status) to signal their commitment to enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) in their recruiting and hiring initiatives.

According to HR Simple, “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 language in your EEO statement (which often appear in all your job postings) also involves words that a candidate will measure you by.” That explains why many companies include an equal opportunity employer statement on their career pages and in their job descriptions. And while some opt to use standardized language or a simple statement like “Company X is an equal opportunity employer,” there’s plenty of room for creativity.


5 companies that get creative with their equal opportunity employer statements

We love it when companies use their equal opportunity employer statement to show off their personality and values. Here are a few examples to inspire you.

Hired We believe that when we can bring our whole selves to work on a day-to-day basis we become happier, more comfortable, more confident and more excited to do great things for our company, each other, our product and our users. Hired aims to both build an internal team as well as help our clients build their teams with talent from all different backgrounds and lifestyles.

HubSpotHowever you identify or whatever your path here, please apply if you see a position that makes your heart skip a beat. Come join us and help us build a global company where we're all proud to belong.

Confidence can sometimes hold us back from applying for a job. But we'll let you in on a secret: there's no such thing as a 'perfect' candidate. HubSpot is a place where everyone can grow. So however you identify and whatever background you bring with you, please apply if this is a role that would make you excited to come into work every day.

VimeoWe work hard to enable creators of all kinds to succeed and, to that end, we prioritize attracting diverse talent and cultivating an inclusive environment that encourages collaboration and creativity. We’re committed to building a company and a community where people thrive by being themselves and are inspired to do their best work every day

Squarespace – Today, more than a million people around the globe use Squarespace to share different perspectives and experiences with the world. Not only do we embrace and celebrate the diversity of our customer base, but we also strive for the same in our employees. At Squarespace, we are committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ethnicity, ancestry, religion, national origin, gender, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital or parental status, disability, veteran status, or other class protected by applicable law. We are proud to be an equal opportunity workplace.

BuzzFeedAt BuzzFeed, we believe our work benefits from the diverse perspectives of our employees. As such, BuzzFeed celebrates inclusion and is committed to equal opportunity employment. At BuzzFeed, you can expect:

1) A supportive, inclusive atmosphere on a team that values your contributions

2) Opportunities for personal and professional growth via work experience, offerings from our in-house Learning @ BuzzFeed team, our Employee Resource Groups, and more

3) An attractive and equitable compensation package, including salary and stock options

4) A generous and well-rounded benefits program featuring PTO, unlimited sick time, comprehensive medical benefits, a family leave policy, access to mental health platforms, retirement plans, gym and wellness discounts, and much more

5) Plenty of snacks (healthy and indulgent), catered lunches, beverages, etc.

BuzzFeed is the world’s leading tech-powered media company, with a cross-platform news and entertainment network that reaches hundreds of millions of people globally. The company aims to spread truth and joy across the internet by producing articles, lists, quizzes, videos, original series; lifestyle content through brands including Tasty, the world’s largest social food network; original reporting and investigative journalism through BuzzFeed News; strategic partnerships, licensing and product development.

BuzzFeed is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to and will not be discriminated against based on age, race, gender, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, disability or any other protected category


The Greenhouse equal opportunity employer statement

At Greenhouse, our equal opportunity employer statement is built into the "Pay, perks and such" part of our job posts. This is how it’s currently worded:

At Greenhouse, we love to celebrate our diverse group of hardworking employees – and it shows. We’re proud to say that in 2018, we were ranked #2 by Crain’s New York Best Places to Work, #10 Best Company Culture by Comparably, #37 Best Place to Work by Glassdoor and are recognized on Inc. Magazine’s Best Workplaces list. We pride ourselves on our collaborative culture, which is pervasive throughout every step of a Greenhouse employee's journey. Starting with our interviews and continuing through our executive “Ask me anything” sessions, collaboration is at the heart of working at Greenhouse.

We offer a full slate of benefits including competitive salaries, stock options, medical, dental, vision, life and disability coverages, FSA, HSA, flexible vacation, commuter benefits, a 401(k) plan and a parental leave program. And we offer some not-so-standard, extra-fun benefits, including learning & development stipends, adoption and fertility benefits, an employee discount platform and, of course, fully stocked fridges and cold brew on tap. :)

We value diversity and believe forming teams in which everyone can be their authentic self is key to our success. We encourage people from underrepresented backgrounds and different industries to apply. Come join us and find out what the best work of your career could look like here at Greenhouse.


Is this related to the demographic questions that are sometimes included in applications?

As we mentioned earlier, only government agencies and contractors are required by law to collect demographic information about candidates, and the information required by the law is quite specific.

However, many companies (including Greenhouse) choose to collect demographic data about candidates because it can be a valuable asset in the quest to reduce bias and foster diversity in recruiting and hiring processes.

Some of our customers use the templated EEOC questions that were designed to apply to government agencies, but those questions cannot be edited and therefore might not collect the data that the customer actually wants (for example, the EEOC does not offer a non-binary option for gender).

Because of this, we created Greenhouse Inclusion to allow customers to ask their applicants custom demographic questions and collect and run internal reports on the resulting data. Note that whether these questions are in the same format as those required by EEOC or developed independently by the customer, they must be voluntary and the answers cannot be a factor in any hiring decisions.

If you’re currently a Greenhouse customer, there are four options available for collecting demographic data about your applicants within the platform:

1) You can decide not to ask applicants demographic questions at all (unless you are legally required to ask them)

2) You can use the standard templated EEOC questionnaire that is optionally built into Greenhouse

3) You can configure your own custom demographic questions to collect the data you want (but you won’t be able to run reports on it through Greenhouse)

4) You can buy Greenhouse Inclusion, configure a custom questionnaire and run reports on all the data you collect

Learn more about the theory and practice of Greenhouse Inclusion here.


Want to explore other practical ways of promoting DE&I at your company? Check out these tips from talent leaders at The New York Times, Affirm, Greenhouse and Hired.

Many thanks to Greenhouse’s Head of Legal, Kate Hooker, and Head of Talent Acquisition, Jacqui Maguire, for providing their insights for this post. Please note that this blog post is written for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. To ensure your company is compliant with EEOC, be sure to consult with your lawyer. In addition, there may be risks associated with collecting demographic data about applicants when you are not required by law to do so. At Greenhouse, we believe that the insights we derive from our own applicant data are valuable enough to our DE&I efforts that they outweigh those risks, but you should analyze and develop your company’s position on this topic independently and with the help of your lawyer.

What is an equal opportunity employer statement? Explore a few ideas and get inspired for crafting a compelling version for your company.

Melissa Suzuno

Melissa Suzuno

is a freelance writer and former Content Marketing Manager at Greenhouse. Melissa previously built out the content marketing programs at Parklet (an onboarding and employee experience solution) and AfterCollege (a job search resource for recent grads), so she's made it a bit of a habit to help people get excited about and invested in their work. Find Melissa on Twitter and LinkedIn.