Should I say I'm a minority on job application if company values workplace diversity?

Question: Should I mention my minority status in a job application? When an employer states in a job listing that it is an “affirmative action/equal opportunity employer” and “minorities are encouraged to apply,” does indicating I’m a minority give me an advantage? I am otherwise qualified for the position, but, after applying for jobs for several months, I’d like to give myself any competitive advantage I can. – Anonymous

JobAdvisor: The most important part of your application will always be your skills, experience and education. But your minority status can be a plus when applying to companies looking for the competitive edge a diverse and inclusive workforce delivers.
If you decide to provide this information, there’s a correct time and place to offer it. Let me explain.
While it’s a positive sign when an employer includes this language in its job postings, it also is a given. Almost every employer in the United States today should identify as an “equal opportunity employer.” By law, all but the very smallest employers (usually 15 or fewer employees) are subject to federal and state anti-discrimination laws.
Many companies now ask for this information upfront by having candidates complete a job application when they submit their resume online. If you are motivated to share the diversity you bring to a position and company, an application form is the place to mention it.
Otherwise, do not go out of your way to disclose the information. This includes not mentioning it on your resume or in your cover letter.

Here’s why: An application form – whether it is completed online or on paper – is a tool used by HR and recruiters to ensure their hiring practices comply with the law and with company policy. But to prevent discrimination or the appearance of discrimination, hiring managers generally are not privy to the personal characteristics about a candidate that are unrelated to job performance.
We know diverse and inclusive teams are more innovative, are better problem-solvers and produce better business results. Many companies today are proactively working toward more diverse and inclusive workplaces as part of their business strategy.
Additionally, employers with government contracts may be required to have affirmative-action goals and to provide reporting on their hiring.
To better understand a company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, check out its website and social media accounts. See whether diversity is included in the company’s mission, vision and strategy and how it portrays its workforce.
Knowing a company is committed to these principles will help you feel comfortable sharing this voluntary information. If you do so, do it on an application form.

Q: The CEO hired his eldest son as president of one of the companies in our group. But his son hardly comes to work, always saying he’s on a business trip. He even used a company credit card to pay personal expenses. I know because I am in the accounting department. What can I do to fix this? – Anonymous
Taylor: You are asking a question about the ethical behavior and legitimacy of a company executive. My answer: Tread carefully.
Unless you are in a leadership position at the company, this issue is not yours to fix.
As to your concerns about his attendance, it’s not your place to bring this to a higher authority unless you are his supervisor or someone directly affected by his repeated absences.

But because you work in a financial capacity for your company, it is your responsibility to flag financial practices inconsistent with your company’s policies. Companies commonly have credit card policies outlining acceptable charges, and it’s customary for individuals who have been issued credit cards to sign or acknowledge a policy.
If payment of his expenses doesn’t follow your company’s stated practices, bring the issue to your supervisor or someone in HR.
Realize that there might be circumstances about the expenses you are unaware of.

Additionally, a company can decide to pay personal expenses for an employee. The questions then are whether the company properly records the personal expenses paid as employee compensation and the expenses are taxed appropriately.
About the larger question of appropriate behavior, companies work to create ethical cultures because they positively affect employees and business results. Many offices have ethics hotlines, which allow employees to anonymously report inappropriate or illegal actions. Contact information often is posted in common areas such as break or workrooms.
This is also an avenue if you bring an ethical issue to your supervisor but believe no steps are being taken to resolve the problem.
I would caution you, however, to make a report on an ethics hotline only if you have concrete and clear evidence to make an allegation. Rumors or hearsay should not be reported.