Our 2021 Workforce Diversity Report
At LinkedIn, we are building a more diverse and inclusive company where all talent thrives. We envision a workforce that reflects the communities we serve, and diversity, inclusion, and belonging (DIBs) remain our number one talent priority. Over the past 12 months we’ve made significant investments, and we’re seeing advances across our DIBS strategy globally. In this year’s workforce diversity report, we’re sharing an update on our progress with a mix of enthusiasm for the momentum we have established and deep humility in recognizing that we have more work to do.
We’ve accelerated our work to create an environment of belonging across LinkedIn. This work is global in scope with a goal to build a consistent culture of inclusion that every employee at LinkedIn is responsible for driving. We partner with organizations that share our commitment to creating diverse and inclusive workplaces and offer invaluable expertise directly developing our talent strategy. Last year, we launched our inclusive leadership for managers initiative, reaching over three-quarters of our global manager population. We are now expanding on that foundation with additional learning paths for people managers and a growing portfolio of offerings for individual contributors (ICs).
Last year, we made a public commitment to double the number of Black and Latino leaders, managers, and senior individual contributors in our U.S. workforce by FY25. After a strong FY21, we are proud to report that we’re pacing ahead of schedule on this commitment, growing the Black leader, manager, and senior IC population by 35.0%, and the equivalent Latino population by 20.3%. Our highest growth has been at the leadership level, where Black and Latino representation at the Director+ level have grown by 1.5 pp and 1.0 pp, respectively over the past year. More broadly, we’ve seen strong growth in representation at all levels, where U.S. Black employee representation grew by 1.0 pp and Latino representation by 0.6 pp. We have also placed an emphasis on gender diversity globally. We saw progress in the representation of women in technical roles, which grew at 1.3 pp this year. Our representation of women in leadership remained stable at 41.8% and will continue to be a global focus area in each of our three regions.
Looking ahead, we will continue to build on the momentum we established in FY21 by focusing on our core strategic pillars — Environment of Belonging, Growth & Development, Inclusion Recruiting, and Strategic Partnerships. We also launched an Equity Strategy organization to help drive equal access and equitable outcomes in our products and platform experience. By continuing to invest in this forever work, we aim to create long-term, sustained progress that continues to help us evolve to where we aspire to be.
Environment of Belonging
Underpinning our strategy is a continued focus on the environment we create for every employee. Our priority is to ensure that our people managers provide inclusive leadership to their teams. This group—the people who most influence employee careers and the day-to-day working culture—is essential to our progress.
Our approach is a holistic three-part strategy focused on expectations, education, and accountability. We began by setting a clear expectation that every manager globally must cultivate an inclusive leadership skill set to succeed at LinkedIn. Over 75% of people managers completed our Leading with Inclusion half-day learning event this year, which was offered in every global region, and we’re already seeing a positive impact on the teams of managers who have gone through the learning. Knowing that inclusive leadership is a lifelong pursuit, we will be rolling out new learning paths and engagement tools this year.
Our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are an important foundation for an environment of belonging, and we have invested in the 500+ ERG leaders who contribute their skills and energy to this goal. We not only see these employees as leaders in their ERG communities, but also as current and future leaders of LinkedIn’s business. This year we introduced Distinguish, a program to recognize the contributions of our global ERG co-chairs through financial awards and other forms of recognition. This program is part of a broader strategy that includes investing in leadership and business strategy skills for our global ERG leaders through our C.E.O. leadership program. Beyond these initiatives, our environment of belonging strategy includes Allyship Academy, efforts centered around people with disabilities, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and executive and leadership engagement. [Learn more about this work here]
Growth & Development
The core to sustaining an inclusive and diverse workforce is ensuring that employees from all backgrounds—especially those from historically excluded or marginalized groups—have the same opportunity to grow and develop their careers. Over the past year, we have deepened and expanded our growth & development work across regions, audiences, and levels.
One example where we’ve seen success is the Catalyst Program, which focuses on leadership development for employees from underrepresented racial groups in EMEA and Latin America. Catalyst expanded this year into three connected programs tailored to employees at different seniority levels and at different stages of their development journeys. Catalyst has had impressive results in supporting retention and career transformation by focusing on both employees and their managers.
As our growth and development strategy has evolved, we’re deepening investments in groups like women in leadership, women in technical roles, and leaders of color. We’re also expanding our footprint with new initiatives focused on the Asian American, Pacific Islander communities, and LGBTQ+ communities. [Learn more about this work here]
We made significant strides in inclusive hiring in FY21. Globally, we continued our focus on women in leadership in all regions and women in technical roles in the U.S., China, and India. In the U.S., we saw by far our strongest year ever growing our Black and Latino employee population, with particular strength in leadership driven by a focus on building diverse pipelines. Beyond these groups, we invested in inclusive hiring practices to mitigate bias and create inclusive experiences for candidates across a wide range of social identities.
Our Diverse Slates Program is core to our hiring strategy, designed to reinforce a systematic approach to evaluating a diverse slate of candidates each time we hire. This intentional focus helps hold our recruiters and hiring managers accountable for creating more opportunities to hire people that reflect the diversity of our communities and LinkedIn members. In its first two years, this initiative has contributed to the increase in our hiring representation, which has in turn increased diversity in our employee workforce.
While this is a critical component of our strategy, a diverse slate initiative only succeeds when paired with a comprehensive inclusion recruiting strategy that combines talent attraction, nurture, and hiring processes to mitigate bias. We’ve invested in each of these areas in support of a comprehensive approach to inclusive hiring.
Collaborating with partner organizations and external experts has been integral to our DIBs and Equity strategies. Across LinkedIn, we work with over 50 partners that share our focus around creating diverse and inclusive workplaces. Our partners share invaluable expertise and work with us directly to develop our talent strategy. This strategy includes connecting LinkedIn with talent pools through Blavity Inc.’s Afrotech platform in the United States, and Career Trackers focused on Australia's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. We are also expanding the way we engage external expertise and resources to strengthen professional development and build an inclusive environment for employees, working with organizations like OutLeadership, HITEC, and Prospanica.
The second component of our partner strategy focuses on our shared objective of creating equity for professionals outside of LinkedIn's walls. We work with organizations serving a wide range of communities to empower them to use LinkedIn to build a community for their members, amplify their voices, and connect with economic opportunities. We have seen a 70% increase in the number of LinkedIn followers of our major DIBs partners and increased engagement, enabled by partner forums, access to our DIBS Resource Hub, the AdGrants Program, LinkedIn Influencer program, and online community building and events. [Learn more about this work here]
Equity for the Global Workforce
In March 2021, we formally launched our Equity Strategy. This is a cross-LinkedIn journey focused on creating equal access to opportunity and helping drive more equitable outcomes for all members of the global workforce. The endeavor is ambitious in scope and includes the ways our platform creates value for our diverse member base, the products we build to help our customers pursue their diversity, equity and inclusion goals, and the interactions that take place on LinkedIn every day. We have expanded the Self-ID feature on LinkedIn to better understand and identify unfair bias on our platform and take proactive steps to mitigate that bias as well as inform product and feature updates. We have continued to make investments in our platform and products as well as in our content review policies, practices, and teams to better protect members from harassment and encourage the necessary and sometimes uncomfortable dialogue around equity and social justice. Equity for the global workforce starts with us, that’s why LinkedIn’s efforts to create more equitable outcomes for our members is deeply connected with our internal Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging strategy.
As we look to the years ahead, we are especially mindful of building sustained, lasting impact in Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Programs like our Inclusive Leadership for Managers initiative are one way we plan to do this. Another is to more deeply embed principles of equity into the core of our talent processes. Building programs to support DIBs is essential. However, we are also investing in systematic approaches to talent development, compensation and benefits, hybrid work, and other talent foundations beyond our programming. We create better work experiences for all employee groups across the company through our DIBs efforts, as we inspire employees to do the best and most important work of their careers.
Editor’s Note: Historically, we reported representation as a percentage of the workforce who self-identify. Aligning to Microsoft, we now report representation based on the total workforce population, inclusive of those who choose not to self-identify. If totaling only the members of the workforce who self-identify, 2021 LinkedIn representation data would be as follows for historical comparison: 5.0% Black (+1.1 pp year over year); 4.2% Black leadership (+1.6 pp year over year); 6.8% Latino (+0.6 pp year over year); 4.7% Latino leadership (+1.1 pp year over year); 41.9% Women in leadership (+0.1 pp year over year); 25.4% Women in tech (+1.4 pp year over year). For clarity, we’ve included both current and historical representation data restated in our new methodology at the bottom of this report.
The above image shows 8 charts showing workforce representation. Race/Ethnicity as a percentage of U.S. employees: Not disclosed 6.9%; White 40.0%; Asian 39.2%; Latino 6.3%; Black 4.7%; 2 or more 2.6%; Another race or ethnicity 0.2%. Gender as a percentage of global employees: Male 54.3%; Female 45.0%; Not disclosed 0.6%. People with disabilities as a percentage of U.S. employees: 1.8%. Race/Ethnicity as a percentage of U.S. technical employees: Not disclosed 9.0%; White 21.9%; Asian 61.7%; Latino 3.4%; Black 1.8%; 2 or more 2.1%; Another race or ethnicity 0.2%. Gender as a percentage of global technical employees: Male 73.8%; Female 25.1%; Not disclosed 1.1%. Race/Ethnicity as a percentage of U.S. non-technical employees: Not disclosed 5.0%; White 57.2%; Asian 18.0%; Latino 9.0%; Black 7.5%; 2 or more 3.1%; Another race or ethnicity 0.3%. Gender as a percentage of global non-technical employees: Female 56.8%; Male 42.8%; Not disclosed 0.4%. Race/Ethnicity as a percentage of U.S. leadership: Not disclosed 6.8%; White 51.2%; Asian 31.9%; Latino 4.3%; Black 3.9%; 2 or more 1.9%; Another race or ethnicity 0.0%. Gender as a percentage of global leadership: Male 57.9%; Female 41.8%; Not disclosed 0.4%
In accordance with French Government requirements, LinkedIn publishes a Gender Equality Index Score for our French business. Please find the score included in our Gender Equality Pay report for 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Click here for more information about our 2020 Diversity Report.