How DEI Helps Companies Build Early Career Talent Pipelines and Strengthen Employer Brands

3 min readAug 25, 2023

The workforce is evolving, and with it, expectations of companies to be more inclusive in their hiring and retention practices. Younger generations, particularly Gen Z, are entering the workforce with a strong sense of self-confidence and a clear idea of what they want in a work experience. They are willing to pass on a job, even if it pays well, if it does not align with their values or create a supportive work environment.

So how do companies compete for talent? Post-pandemic, many attempted to attract younger demographics by dismantling their cubicles and building open workspaces with pool tables. Then the pandemic shifted how we work. Offices were shuttered, and employees worked from home, creating the “work from anywhere” culture many companies now find contentious. Gen Z, on the other hand, has fully embraced it and seeks to align with companies that value work/life balance and offer opportunities for growth and development.

But job candidates don’t just want employers to dismantle their cubicles. They expect companies to aid in the dismantling of systemic racism and other pressing issues plaguing society, like climate change. Developing an employer brand that appeals to Gen Z requires a visible and vocal commitment in these areas. With seasoned workers aging out of the workforce, taking their institutional knowledge with them, the balance of power has shifted to young job candidates, making those commitments essential.

Gen Z is the first multicultural majority generation in U.S. history. They are tomorrow’s leaders, and the onus is on employers today to create an early career talent pipeline to replace outgoing talent.

That won’t be easy, especially for companies unwilling to evolve with culture. In the past, the employer sat in the seat of power, and now it’s the candidate, and they aren’t asking about pool tables. They want to hear about the companies’ DEI goals and progress, employee resource groups (ERGs) and the annual DEI report. Failing to make this information accessible could jeopardize the employer brand.

In this episode of The New Mainstream podcast, Henal Majethia, Diversity Recruiting Manager, University Relations at Eastman, discusses the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in building healthy early career talent pipelines and strengthening the employer brand.

Meet Menal Majethia

Menal (“hen-null”) Majethia began her career after graduating from the University of Tennessee at Amazon Fulfillment, supporting Operations, Supply Chain, and Distribution, and later launching the Operations University Recruiting initiatives for the East Coast. In this role, Henal supported US and CA hiring goals and was able to spearhead the HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and HSI (Hispanic-Serving Institutions) recruiting presence. She was exposed to DEI during this tenure. Upon completing graduate school at Northeastern University, Henal joined Eastman, where she continues leveraging her skills in early career talent and DEI in her current role.




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