At Airbnb, we believe that a diverse workforce is key to achieving our mission of creating a world where anyone can belong anywhere. Today, our employee population is comprised of people from different races, religions, national origins, ethnicities, sexes, gender identities, sexual orientations, abilities/disabilities and ages, as well an increasing number of military veterans. Though we have made some strides, we still have significant work to do in order to increase the representation of diverse groups within the Airbnb employee community.
Our growing diversity team, under the leadership of David King III, Airbnb’s Director of Diversity and Belonging, is developing a new, comprehensive plan to recruit, retain and develop a diverse population of employees. Below is a recap of our company’s 2016 diversity work and insights into the areas we will focus on in order to impact our diversity recruiting goals in 2017.
Our 2016 EEO-1 report indicates that our workforce is comprised of 43% women. Although this represents a 3% year over year decline for our female employees, we have doubled the number of women in senior leadership positions and increased the number of women in technical roles – from 22% to 26% percent.
Nearly 10% of our United States-based employees identify as members of underrepresented minority groups. 6.5% are Hispanic or Latino, 2.9% are Black or African American, 0.4% are Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, and 0.2% are American Indian or Alaska Native. In technical roles, the number of employees from underrepresented minority groups remained flat at 5%, but the number of underrepresented minority group employees in senior leadership positions increased year over year.
Earlier this year, we launched a comprehensive review of our home sharing platform. While we made progress towards our diversity goals in 2016, our workforce is not sufficiently diverse. Our 2017 goal is to increase the percentage of employees from underrepresented minority groups in the U.S. to 11%. We also commit to continuing our efforts to achieve gender parity in our workforce.
Here are some of the steps we are taking to help recruit, retain, and develop employees from underrepresented backgrounds:
Transparency: Airbnb signed the White House Tech Inclusion Pledge which formalizes our commitment to implement and publish company-specific goals to recruit, retain, and advance diverse technology talent, and operationalize concrete measures to create and sustain an inclusive culture; annually publish data and progress metrics on the diversity of our technology workforce across functional areas and seniority levels; invest in partnerships to build a diverse pipeline of technology talent to increase our ability to recognize, develop and support talent from all backgrounds.
Strategic Recruiting: We have substantially expanded our efforts to recruit new employees from Historically Black Colleges and Universities, schools with large Latino populations, and schools with large female populations in science and engineering. In addition to expanding our university recruiting efforts, we recently began a 6-month pilot with Jopwell for our business recruiting. Jopwell has a database of 13,000 Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American professionals.
Diversity Rule: We will implement a new Airbnb policy that will mandate that all candidate pools for senior level positions at Airbnb include women and candidates from underrepresented minority groups.
Accountability: Assure that all hiring managers and their team leaders will be assessed, in part, on their efforts to diversify their teams.
Protecting Equal Pay & Employee Benefits
Equal Pay: We have signed onto the White House Equal Pay Pledge and joined the Employers for Pay Equity consortium as part of our ongoing commitment to workplace fairness for all employees. We analyzed employee pay data earlier this year – and didn’t identify a gender pay gap, however, pay equity analysis is a continual process. As our employee community grows, we will continue to analyze factors that influence pay and promotion decisions to ensure equal pay for equal work across the organization. We will also extend this work to include pay equity analysis for underrepresented minority groups. We are committed to collecting more data, monitoring, measuring and innovating to ensure Airbnb continues to reward people fairly, based on their work and our collective success.
Employee Benefits: We will continue to assess our benefits programs and consider refinements based on the different backgrounds and unique needs of our employee population. In the last year, we enhanced our parental leave program outside of the US and added a global gradual return to work program for new parents, supported LGBT-related policies and practices including domestic partner benefits and transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits, and expanded our Employee Resource Group (ERG) program to include groups that support the disabled, immigrant, Native American, and Asian populations at our company.
Building Diverse Partnerships
Building mutually beneficial partnerships and maintaining a sustained dialogue with diverse organizations is critical to the development of our diversity and belonging program. We are constantly reviewing our partnerships in order to ensure that we are working with organizations that will help bolster our talent pipeline and support our employees. We are proud to work with organizations such as /dev/color, Career Communications Group (BEYA), Level Playing Field Institute, United Negro College Fund, First Graduate, Code2040, The Honor Foundation, Lesbians Who Tech, Anita Borg Institute, YearUp, Human Rights Campaign, and The Arc SF among others.
In addition to traditional partnerships, in the summer of 2016, we started a new program called Airbnb Connect. The program is a six-month paid learning program intended to improve pathways to careers in engineering and data science for people from underrepresented backgrounds seeking to transition to a career in tech. This program is supported by partnerships with organizations such as Coalition for Queens (C4Q), a non-profit that focuses on increasing economic mobility through technology and building an inclusive tech community and Galvanize, an education company that teaches skills to grow and accelerate careers in technology.