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  • SE3 Racial Equity Task Group

Read.Watch.Listen. Cultural Fit

January 2021 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

Welcome to the next installment of Read.Watch.Listen: a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation.

Photo Credit: freepik

This month, we explore hiring practices, with a focus on how to hire for improved diversity, equity, and inclusion. The resources below discuss hiring for "cultural fit" and demonstrate how seeking a specific background or skillset can hinder innovation and growth. These resources provide suggestions for augmenting hiring practices, emphasizing the concepts of "cultural add" and "values fit."

Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at


The End of Culture Fit - Forbes

Written for Forbes by Lars Schmidt, the article explores the steps several major companies have taken to expand their hiring beyond “culture fit” in favor of “culture add”. While culture fit is “fraught with bias”, culture add reflects the desire of these companies “to ensure all voices, opinions, views, upbringings, etc. are reflected by their staff makeup.”

Originally published March 21, 2017; Estimated Read Time: 5 min


Hire For Cultural Fit or Add? - Stanford eCorner

Adam Grant is a professor of psychology at Wharton, and author of the book Originals: How Nonconformists Move the World. Here, he discusses how hiring for cultural fit can be detrimental to a company’s long-term growth.


We were wrong about culture fit, we should be hiring for values fit. - The Culture Ops Podcast

Bretton Putter, author and CEO of CultureGene, discusses the downsides to screening for cultural fit when hiring. This episode of the Culture Ops Podcast then focuses on the benefits of screening for values fit to improve company culture by reducing bias and increasing your ability to adapt to changes.


This article was originally published in the January 2021 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.

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