Our 2020 Workforce Diversity Report

Today, we published our annual workforce diversity report. As an organization that exists to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce, we recognize the responsibility we have to help build that future, both within our workforce and for our hundreds of millions of members and customers. In the long-term, this means building towards a world where professional organizations are a reflection of the communities in which they operate.

As a company, we’re making a commitment to double the number of Black and Latino leaders, managers, and senior individual contributors on our U.S. team over the next five years. This commitment represents just one part of our broader strategy. The extended work we’re doing in support of this commitment will lift our efforts globally.

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At a time of global focus on racial injustice and a pandemic that has disproportionately affected Black and Latino communities in the United States, along with other marginalized communities worldwide, the work of economic equity has never been more important. We believe companies -- as the enablers of wealth creation and professional mobility -- must play a leading role in building a more equitable future for all. And as an organization that exists to create economic opportunity for the entire global workforce, we recognize the responsibility we have to help build that future, both within our workforce and for our millions of members and customers. In the long-term, this means building towards a world where professional organizations are a reflection of the communities where they operate.

Our Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging strategy begins with LinkedIn’s workforce, with an ongoing focus on increasing representation of underrepresented communities and building an environment of inclusion and belonging at LinkedIn. This strategy is both broad in scope and global, including a focus on gender, underrepresented racial groups, and other historically marginalized groups in every region where we operate. To infuse this work more deeply in our decision-making and operations, we’ve added a new value to our LinkedIn company values for the first time since their creation in 2008: “Embody Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging.”

We’re introducing a new commitment to double the number of Black and Latino leaders, managers, and senior individual contributors on our U.S. team over the next five years. By focusing on increasing and maintaining diversity in senior positions and the leadership pipeline, we’re centering attention on roles with the most responsibility and decision-making authority, while also enhancing development pathways for underrepresented talent at all levels. This commitment represents just one part of our broader strategy, and though we don’t yet measure race and ethnicity outside of the U.S., the work we’re doing in support of this commitment will lift our efforts for all marginalized and underrepresented groups globally.

Below, you’ll find a summary of how we’re putting our vision into practice in the near and long term, including our progress in FY20, and the aspirations that will guide us as we work hard to build a more diverse and inclusive LinkedIn. 

Doubling down on an environment of inclusion

This year, our top talent initiative is focused on building a people manager population who are world class at inclusive leadership. Managers have an outsized impact on the work of Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. They are responsible for hiring and promotion decisions, coaching and developing the people on their teams, and setting the tone for an inclusive culture. Recognizing that leading inclusively and mitigating bias will take sustained focus, we’re putting into place a strategy with three key pillars: 

  1. Expectations, where we’ve rolled out a framework defining what inclusive leadership looks like for every manager at LinkedIn

  2. Education, beginning with a foundational live-virtual learning course called Leading with Inclusion offered in every global region

  3. Accountability, where we’re developing processes to make inclusive leadership a requirement for success as a manager at LinkedIn

A critical component of our inclusive leadership work is that it will be global from the start. The practices and principles we apply will help build a culture of belonging for employees of many different historically marginalized backgrounds. We’ve already rolled out live virtual training in all three of our global regions, with participants from 20 offices to date. Our senior leaders, including the executive team and vice presidents, engaged in this learning path this past quarter.

Extending beyond the people manager population, we’ve activated allyship circles in over a dozen offices around the world. We’ve also deepened our focus on people with disabilities, launching a series of learning sessions in our India, Japan, and China offices focused on building an inclusive environment for people with disabilities, and this year, we were recognized by the Disability Equality Index (DEI) as being one of the “2020 Best Places to Work for Disability Inclusion,” scoring 100 in the ranking.

Retaining and developing our employees

In conjunction with our focus on creating an environment of inclusion, retention and development of underrepresented employee populations is a principal FY21 objective. While we saw an increase in Black and Latino retention in the U.S. over the course of FY20, we are focused on closing the remaining gap in retention between employees from underrepresented groups and our overall retention rate. We are expanding our Leadership, Engagement, and Development (LEAD) program, which is focused on engaging and developing  Black and Latino talent in the U.S., to help accelerate career growth and build our leadership pipeline. This year, we are adding additional programs focused on Black and Latino people managers and senior leaders.

While we only report on race and ethnicity in the U.S. today, our focus on retention and development is global. This year, we are scaling the ImpactIn mentorship program which focuses on mentoring underrepresented talent globally, and Catalyst, a professional development program focused on underrepresented racial groups in EMEA and Latin America, in an effort to double the number of annual participants. 

We are also continuing to invest in gender equity with a particular focus on women in leadership and women in technical roles through our Women’s Initiative (WIN), Women in Tech (WIT) cohort programs in the U.S., India, and China, and our EmpowerIn initiative for women in leadership in APAC. We’re also increasing our focus on building LinkedIn leaders from within our nine Employee Resource Groups with the recent launch of our C.E.O. (Collaborate, Empower, and Own) Employee Resource Group Program. This program has provided leadership training to over 200 ERG leaders globally, representing groups including the LGBTQ+ community, Veterans, Asian Americans, parents, caregivers, and more. 

These programs exist within our broader company-wide learning and development strategy and offerings for all employees aligning with our “Something for Everyone” approach: Career and growth-focused live workshops for individual contributors like Drive Your Development, ManageIn program for managers, True North Leadership for directors, Data Driven University, the Apprentice Manager Program for Engineers, and much more including multiple workshops focused on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. We also offer a wide range of LinkedIn Learning resources for employees worldwide which include topics on allyship, anti-racism, and mentorship by DEI experts such as Mary-Frances Winters, Arianna Huffington, Vernā Myers, Dereca Blackmon, and Kwame Christian.

Diversifying LinkedIn through hiring

Our global hiring efforts have helped to increase our workforce diversity over time. We’ve seen traction over the past 12 months in three core areas – increasing the inclusivity of our hiring, attracting a more diverse set of talent, and nurturing meaningful relationships that lead to opportunities.

A key initiative launched in the U.S. in FY20 has been our work to achieve a diverse slate of candidates – inclusive of Black and Latino talent, as well as women for technical and leadership roles – at onsite interview stages. In FY20, we saw greater accountability for hiring inclusively by both managers and recruiters, with a double-digit increase in the achievement rate of diverse slates for hires year-over-year. Essential to this has been our focus on candidates’ potential and capabilities that matter to the role, enabling us to consider candidates from a broader array of backgrounds. And we continue to explore other ways to evolve our approach - for example, we piloted a new hiring program in which we recruited and hired people without traditional customer support backgrounds for open roles on our Global Customer Operations team. By allowing candidates to develop and showcase the skills they needed to get hired, we were able to broaden our talent pool and hire qualified people from non-traditional backgrounds.

Moreover, to attract a more diverse set of applicants, we’ve promoted LinkedIn’s roles through a wide range of sources, including LinkedIn talent media, focused LinkedIn events, sponsored engagements, and by partnering with organizations that support people from underrepresented groups at various career stages. Through all of this, we seek to demonstrate LinkedIn’s unique mission and strong commitment to Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. As an example, our TransformHER events created a forum to uplift and inspire women of color and allies. Our two events in FY20 – one in-person, and one virtual streamed through LinkedIn Live – saw over 4,000 live participants and over 100,000 viewers on replay, with over 1,000 registrants expressing interest in exploring opportunities at LinkedIn, globally. In the U.K., an ongoing series of LinkedIn events has focused on introducing Black professionals to opportunities at LinkedIn, while also offering opportunities to build skills and network.

We believe great hiring goes beyond the transactional to establish meaningful relationships with talented individuals that allow us to find the right opportunity together. In FY20, a large portion of our external hires came through recruiter outreach, making the establishment of a strong diverse pipeline of talent essential to our hiring,  particularly at the leadership level. In alignment with our 5-year commitment in the U.S., our Bridge program brings together LinkedIn recruiters with Black and Latino leaders in small gatherings to build community. Similarly, our Women Who Lead series in APAC has established a cohort of more than 40 senior female leaders across companies and countries, who engage regularly with LinkedIn and one another. We saw an acceleration of senior leadership hires from underrepresented groups in FY20 and have continued that momentum into FY21.  Our focus will remain on bridging the Network Gap, building strong relationships with our recruiters, and leadership team, and keeping engaged with diverse talent for future career opportunities at LinkedIn.

Returning to our commitment

Our commitment to double the number of Black and Latino senior U.S. employees over the next five years represents one important marker within our broader Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging strategy. We want to be clear that our work is built to create more opportunity more fairly. Creating opportunities for some does not involve taking opportunity away from other groups; rather, our work is focused on expanding our reach and removing barriers to success that disproportionately impact underserved and marginalized communities. We believe this commitment will push us to pursue bolder approaches that will have a positive impact not only on women, Black, and Latino populations, but on our entire global workforce as we build a diverse and welcoming environment where people of all backgrounds can thrive and do their best work.  

Our FY20 workforce diversity report

We will continue to publish our diversity numbers annually, both to contribute to the transparent dialogue on diversity in tech and to hold ourselves accountable to our five year commitment. Below, you’ll find an overview of our representation as of June 30, 2020.