How to Build a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program | Glassdoor

A Guide for Employers

How to Build a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program

What You'll Learn

  • Why Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) matters more than ever
  • Why there’s a link between strong D&I and business performance
  • What Glassdoor® is doing to further Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • How to put a D&I program in place at your company
  • Why it’s so important to set aggressive, transparent goals around D&I
  • How to get started auditing your internal D&I numbers
  • Best practices for leveraging Glassdoor's diversity and inclusion products

Why a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program Is Critical to Your Company’s Success

Why Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) matters more than ever

We’ve known for a long time that strong diversity and inclusion within companies is a powerful enabler of business performance. A 2018 Boston Consulting Group study found that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation. This finding was especially significant for companies and industries where growth depends on innovation. It proves that diversity is not just an arbitrary number to meet, but that it’s actually critical for business success. And new research from McKinsey shows that companies whose leaders welcome diverse talents and include multiple perspectives are likely to emerge from the pandemic crisis stronger. If companies do not prioritize D&I  (also known as DEI for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)  during the crisis, the impact will be felt not just on the bottom line but will exacerbate inequalities in the long term1. 

Companies making real progress in their efforts to boost diversity have done so by adopting systematic, business-led approaches that actively pursue:

  • Ensuring the representation of diverse talent
  • Strengthening leadership accountability and capabilities for D&I
  • Enabling equality of opportunity through fairness and transparency 
  • Promoting openness and tackling microaggressions 
  • Fostering belonging through unequivocal support for diversity in its many forms

Change is Slow – transformation will take time

Gender diversity in U.S. leadership2

Average female representation on U.S. executive teams
Percentage of U.S. companies that have at least one female on their executive team
Years it will take for U.S. executive teams to reach gender parity
Years it will take U.S. to reach fair share based on current representation growth rates
Overall diversity in leadership (U.S. & global)

  • Gender diversity on advisory boards (0.04% U.S. vs. 1.54% global)
  • Ethnic diversity on advisory boards (0.91% U.S. vs. 3.20% global)
  • Gender diversity on executive teams (0.58% U.S. vs. 0.64% global)
  • Ethnic diversity on executive teams (0.64% U.S. vs. 2.68% global)

The Link Between Strong D&I & Business Performance Is Growing

The likelihood of financial outperformance is even stronger than what is observed with 2019 global averages for gender and ethnic diversity on executive teams3.

Overall diversity on executive team (U.S. & global)4

  • Gender diversity on executive team (38% U.S. vs. 25% global)
  • Ethnic diversity on executive team (48% U.S. vs. 36% global)

True diversity and inclusion means empowering employees and job seekers by respecting, embracing and even celebrating what makes them different. Businesses must stay alert to bias and work diligently to prevent unfair practices within the workplace. They must also provide clear channels of communication for employees who may face discrimination.

What Job Seekers & Employees Really Think About Your Diversity & Inclusion Stats

Job seekers look at more than compensation
A September 2020 Glassdoor survey found 3 in 4 job seekers and employees report that a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers. That means, whether or not your company is interested in increasing its diversity, chances are high candidates are evaluating diversity when they research your company and during the interview process.

Your employees think you should be doing more
The share of organizations where leaders and employees say diversity and inclusion is a value or priority rose to 72% in 2020 from 65% in 2019, according to a continuing PricewaterhouseCoopers survey5. But more than half of people surveyed by Weber Shandwick reported that their companies say all the right things about diversity, equity and inclusion, but do not do what they say. Of those participating in the same survey, 76% said they want their employer to commit to fight racism, discrimination and unconscious bias, and 82% want a commitment to fair pay. 

Importance of diversity in the workforce

of U.S. employees and job seekers say a diverse workforce is an important factor when evaluating companies and job offers.6
of U.S. employees think their employer should be doing more to increase the diversity of its workforce.7
of U.S. employees and job seekers would not apply for a job at a company where there is a lack of diversity among its workforce.8

Employees often aren’t aware of diversity initiatives
Perhaps part of the reason the majority of people think their company should be doing more is because they aren’t aware of initiatives within their company.

Your employees are a significant part of your employer brand. Candidates may look for signs of diversity on your site and in your online profiles, but they will also talk to their friends and read reviews on Glassdoor to find out how diverse a company is. If a diverse workforce is important to your company, make sure your employees know about your initiatives. Involve them in as many efforts as you can. It will not only get employees more involved and more invested in your company, it will help you recruit even more diverse talent. For more details on how to ensure your employees are aware of your diversity initiatives, see our section on How to Build an Internal Communications Strategy for Diversity & Inclusion.

Glassdoor’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

In June of 2020, Glassdoor CEO Christian Sutherland-Wong said, “At Glassdoor, we recognize that diversity within our own employee base is essential to the long-term success and vitality of our business. To date, we have fallen short.” He followed up the following month by saying, “As a next step, we feel it’s important to acknowledge where we are today, share the actions we are taking, and hold ourselves accountable to the kind of change we want to see here at Glassdoor and in the world.”

Glassdoor has vowed to tackle shortcomings in diversity and inclusion by doing what we do best – promoting transparency, which brings accountability and leads to change. 

So in July 2020 we published our inaugural Diversity & Inclusion Transparency Report for the first half of the year. In introducing the report, Glassdoor Chief People Officer Carina Cortez stated,  “We believe in radical transparency, we advocate for diverse and equitable workplaces, and so we commit to publishing an annual update going forward. I believe this data can be useful to many people, and these groups in particular:

  • Job seekers use this information to make more informed job decisions, perhaps to apply for a job here at Glassdoor, or to benchmark our employee data against another company they may be considering.
  • More employers share employee demographic data and set goals for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace to drive meaningful, systemic change.
  • At Glassdoor, sharing this information will hold us accountable to improve as we remain committed to a diverse and equitable workplace where people feel they belong.

Like anything we do, if we measure it, we can improve it. Improving our future starts with understanding where we are today."

Where Glassdoor is today with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Glassdoor global employee gender9

Glassdoor global employees, as of February 1, 2021
of Glassdoor global employees are men
of Glassdoor global employees are women
of Glassdoor global employees decline to identify gender

Glassdoor U.S. employee race/ethnicity

of Glassdoor’s U.S. employee population is among underrepresented racial/ethnic groups (those other than White and Asian).
of U.S. Glassdoor employees are White
of U.S. Glassdoor employees are Asian
of U.S. Glassdoor employees decline to identify
of U.S. Glassdoor employees are Hispanic or Latino
of U.S. Glassdoor employees are Black
of U.S. Glassdoor employees identify as two or more races
or less are Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian/Indigenous American/Alaska Native

While Glassdoor’s U.S. employee population has strong White and Asian representation, we are underrepresented among the percentage of Black (13.4%) and Latino or Hispanic (18.5%) people living in the U.S.

Glassdoor global tech vs. non-tech gender

of global employees are in technical jobs
of those in technical jobs are men
of those in technical jobs are women
of those in technical jobs are non-binary or decline to identify
of global employees are in non-tech jobs

Glassdoor U.S. tech roles race/ethnicity

of U.S.-based employees in tech jobs are Asian
of U.S.-based employees in tech jobs are White
of U.S.-based employees in tech jobs decline to identify
of U.S.-based employees in tech jobs are Black or African American
of U.S.-based employees in tech jobs are Hispanic or Latino
of U.S.-based employees are either Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian/Indigenous American/Alaska Native or two or more races

Glassdoor global leadership gender

of our global leaders are men and 37% are women10

Glassdoor U.S. leadership race/ethnicity

of U.S.-based leadership is White
of U.S.-based leadership is Asian
of U.S.-based leadership decline to identify
of U.S.-based leadership is Black
of U.S.-based leadership is Hispanic or Latino
of U.S.-based leadership is two or more races
of U.S.-based leadership is Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian/Indigenous American/Alaska Native
of Glassdoor senior executives are men
of Glassdoor senior executives are women
of Glassdoor senior executives are White
of Glassdoor senior executives are Asian
are among underrepresented groups (those other than White and Asian)


Check out our complete data set to better understand other breakouts related to Glassdoor’s current employee population and demographic data.

Where Glassdoor intends to be with Diversity, Equity & Inclusion by 2025

Glassdoor’s vision is that our workforce should be reflective of the communities in which we operate and that all our employees should feel like they belong and are supported. 

Our aspirational goal therefore is to have our workforce better reflect the population-at-large: gender averages based on general averages in the countries where we currently have employees, and racial/ethnicity representation more closely in sync with the overall U.S. population. We believe that by welcoming more people of different backgrounds and seeking to enhance our workforce diversity, we will be better equipped to more intimately understand the needs and wants of job seekers and employers broadly. 

So where do we begin? There are many areas we need to work on to improve. To be successful, we want to focus on the areas where we believe we have the biggest gaps. 

By the end of 2025, our aspirational diversity and inclusion U.S. goals at Glassdoor are: 

  • Black employees. Today, 4% of our workforce is Black. The general Black population average in the U.S. is 13% a 9% gap. By the end of 2025, we want to double our current Black representation at Glassdoor to 8%. 
  • Hispanic or Latino (Latinx) employees. Today, we have an employee population that is 5% Latinx. Since 19% of the general U.S. population is Latinx, by the end of 2025 we want to double our Latinx representation to 10%. 
  • Pacific Islander/Native Hawaiian/Indigenous American/Alaska Native employees. Today, 0.4% of our workforce identifies as belonging to these groups. U.S. representation in these groups is approximately 1.5%. By the end of 2025, we want to more than double our representation to 1% of our employee population.
  • Women in tech. Today, 23% of our tech roles are currently held by women. While an estimated 25% of women today hold tech roles, we want to help bring more women into tech, and so we aspire to have 33% of our tech roles held by women by the end of 2025. 
  • Women in leadership. Today, 37% of our leaders (Director+) are women, but we believe leadership should be more reflective of the U.S. population by gender. And, while we are proud that approximately one-half of our Senior Executive leaders are women, we also want women to hold 50% of our broader leadership roles by the end of 2025.
  • Belonging. Today, 78% of Glassdoor employees report that they feel a sense of belonging at Glassdoor.  We are proud of this but want to do even better. (Among tech companies, the benchmark is 73%.) By the end of 2025, we believe we can maintain and improve upon our 78% rating.

These self-directed goals are just the beginning. We have plans to collect and report on additional demographics going forward so we can better understand and support even more of our employee population.


How We Live Our Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Glassdoor

How compensation at Glassdoor aligns with our commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

As we work to improve diversity at Glassdoor, we also want to ensure we pay employees equitably. This means equal pay for equal work. We are happy to report that in 2020, Glassdoor’s Economic Research Team found no significant pay gap by gender or by race/ethnicity among Glassdoor employees. The team’s analysis included an apples-to-apples comparison of employees in similar roles with comparable experience and backgrounds.

The findings are consistent with those of previous years – Glassdoor found no gender pay gap for the fifth consecutive year and no pay gap by race/ethnicity in the two years we’ve evaluated this metric. Read more about the research, and try our free tool that allows you to see if there are pay gaps within your organization.

How hiring at Glassdoor aligns with our commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Part of building and nurturing a diverse and equitable workplace and culture where people feel they belong starts even before employees are hired. We are striving to bring a D&I “lens” to each stage of the hiring process, from job descriptions to sourcing to interviewing and employer branding. Going forward, our hiring practices will include:

  • Majority of sourcing dedicated to underrepresented groups. We are dedicating more than 50% of our sourcing efforts – including our online advertising campaigns – to focus on underrepresented groups. 
  • Eliminating bias in job descriptions. We are leveraging technology to help us review, write and rewrite all job descriptions, so language and messaging included are inclusive and free of bias. To learn more about how to eliminate bias in job descriptions, refer to this article.
  • Where we post our open jobs. Our open jobs, which we post on Glassdoor and Indeed, have the opportunity to reach a diverse and unmatched audience of over 80% of U.S. online job seekers, across industries, education levels, and years of experience11.  We are committed to ensuring we reach underrepresented groups where they are and where they are looking for jobs.
  • Diverse university recruiting. We are creating deeper partnerships and a stronger employer brand among universities with large and/or largely Black and Hispanic or Latino student bodies. In addition, we will be partnering with student diversity clubs and associations at colleges and universities across the nation. 
  • Interviewing standards. We are providing interview and diversity training for executives, recruiters, hiring managers and employee interviewers in an effort to ensure a fair and inclusive interviewing process for all candidates.
  • ERG meet & greets. We will welcome and encourage job candidates to meet with leaders and/or members of our various employee resource groups (ERGs) to learn more, ask questions and get a better sense of what it’s like to work at Glassdoor. 
  • Our employer brand values diversity. On our own Glassdoor profile, we have the opportunity to tell job seekers more about our mission, values and who we are. One section will be dedicated to diversity & inclusiveness and will be regularly updated with news, photos, programs and other information related to our commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture where everyone feels they belong. 
  • Testing & trying for success. One way to get better is to challenge norms and established policies. Upon reviewing our hiring practices, we have identified two areas we will no longer support because we believe they had the unintended consequence of limiting the diversity of candidates:
    • We are ending our employee referral bonus program. In the past, we paid as much as several thousand dollars as a bonus to employees for referral hires. However, we found this can lead to attracting like-minded candidates from similar backgrounds. In order to encourage diversity of background and thought, we will no longer incentivize referrals.
    • We are ending a policy that actively encouraged employees to refer family members and relatives. Upon further review, we realize this may have limited the range and diversity of candidates we attracted and limited our ability to consider candidates of different backgrounds and perspectives relative to our existing workforce.

How Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) at Glassdoor align with our commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

To support a diverse and inclusive workplace, Glassdoor currently has six employee resource groups (ERGs). These groups are designed to be welcoming places where employees can come together to celebrate shared cultures, backgrounds and experiences, both inside and outside of work. Our ERGs also play a key role in contributing their expertise, insights and experiences to Glassdoor’s business, ranging from contributions to product improvements, employee policies and company events. ERGs also volunteer and give back to their local communities.

Today, 40% of Glassdoor’s 700+ global employees are ERG members and 4% are ERG leads. We pay our ERG leads a modest additional amount to show our commitment to and appreciation for their work. We also provide training to our ERG leads’ managers to ensure they understand the value of the ERG lead role, and include the ERG lead’s role and responsibilities into their overall performance goals.

To learn more about ERGs at Glassdoor, see the section on ERGs at Glassdoor.

Learning and development through ERGs at Glassdoor
We also offer a variety of training programs, volunteer opportunities and events to further celebrate diversity at Glassdoor.  Some of what we provide includes:

  • Equity and diversity trainings
  • Internal speaker series, ranging from “How to Be an Ally” to “Celebrating Black Leaders”
  • Documentary watch parties and discussions
  • Employees can take 3 days leave each year – fully paid –to volunteer in the community or support groups or social causes they’re passionate about

These are only the first steps we are taking to share our D&I metrics and goals. By being more transparent, we are holding ourselves accountable to the actions we have committed to as well as our commitment to drive change. We will be back next year with an update.

How Glassdoor’s Diversity & Inclusion Products Further Your Efforts to Boost D&I

Glassdoor aims to give everyone—job seekers, employees, and employers—greater insight into the current state of diversity, inclusion, and equity within companies, and to give employers a platform to share their commitments to and goals for building more diverse and equitable workplaces.

To help anyone who visits Glassdoor better understand the current state of diversity, equity, and inclusion at a company, Glassdoor has introduced six new product features:

  • Diversity & Inclusion workplace factor rating
    Glassdoor added its sixth and newest workplace factor rating titled “Diversity & Inclusion.” This allows employees to rate how satisfied they are with diversity and inclusion at their current or past companies, based on a 5-point scale.
  • Employer diversity programs & initiatives
    Employers are now able to demonstrate their commitment to diversity and inclusion in a new dedicated section of their Glassdoor profile. This section enables employers to highlight programs, initiatives, and strategies they have put in place to create more equitable workplaces.

Use Company Updates in your Employer Profile to show job seekers how your organization is investing in diversity programs and initiatives, and what it’s doing to achieve a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. You can also share details about Employee Resource Groups, mentorship, and learning programs as well as community partnerships.

  • Workforce diversity goals
    Employers can now publicly share their goals to improve diversity at their organization; this may include goals around representation of certain underrepresented groups across the organization, by team, or by leadership level. Employers can also share their expected timeline for meeting their goals.


Take advantage of a new diversity and inclusion section on your Glassdoor profile to show candidates your initiatives and goals for achieving a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace. The new DEI page makes it easier for job seekers to find DEI-related content on your profile, consolidating and centralizing your company’s DEI goals, initiatives, culture, and employee ratings—all in one location.

  • Ratings and salaries filtered by demographics
    Thanks to users contributing their demographic information, job seekers and employees can compare how different employee demographic groups rate their companies, CEOs, and workplace attributes, along with how they’re paid. This feature allows people to see company ratings by race/ethnicity, gender identity, parental or caregiver status, disability, sexual orientation, and veteran status. The feature also allows people to see salary reports by race/ethnicity and gender identity.
  • Employee demographic contributions
    Anyone can anonymously and voluntarily share their demographic information on their personal Glassdoor profile. This information is displayed, in aggregate, on respective company profile pages on Glassdoor, allowing job seekers and employees to see company ratings, workplace factor ratings, salary reports, and more, broken out by specific employee demographic groups at specific companies.


To see how other employers are already taking advantage of these new features to attract talent, check out the Diversity & Inclusion sections for Amazon, eBay, Facebook, and  Glassdoor.

How to Set Up a Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Program at Your Company

Diversity and inclusion are often mentioned in the same sentence, because an inclusive organization can’t exist without a diverse workforce. And an organization must be inclusive in order to retain its diverse staff. It takes a comprehensive effort and continued investment over years to attract, hire, develop and retain a diverse workforce while building an inclusive culture.

Below is a quick reference guide for setting up a successful diversity and inclusion program:

  • Get leadership buy-in
    The CEO and other company leaders are the most visible spokespeople for diversity. Leadership support is critical to ensure diversity and inclusion efforts receive the appropriate attention, funding and monitoring. Leaders also provide daily examples for employees by exhibiting inclusive behaviors, managing their own bias, and supporting employees’ best work.
  • Define Diversity & Inclusion at your company
    The best diversity programs are tied to a company’s business strategy, are aligned with company values and have achievable goals. It will take some planning and teamwork to analyze the current situation, set a vision for the company’s D&I program, and then break it down into actionable steps.
  • Create Diversity & Inclusion benchmarks
    The initial diversity analysis should include requests to your employees to voluntarily share their demographic information so that you can compare data on your current employee population to benchmarks that you believe you should meet. Look at the diversity among your overall employee population first, then analyze it by all the steps in the employee lifecycle, including the candidate pool, hiring, employee performance reviews, promotions, compensation and turnover. Examining diversity measures by department and management level will help pinpoint necessary areas for training and help determine where to set more aggressive recruiting goals. 


The key to using benchmarks is knowing the available population for a given employee group. For example, it may not be realistic to expect gender parity with the general population in a field like engineering, where only 1820% of engineering graduates are female. Diversity benchmarks should also attempt to reflect the local market, which may be more or less diverse than national averages.

  • Enlist a diversity advocate
    Most large organizations have a head of diversity or other individual who is accountable for the D&I program. This individual may or may not be from a minority group. The best person for the job has relevant experience and a deep interest in improving the organization’s success through fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce. A successful diversity advocate is skilled at building relationships throughout an organization and ensuring accountability on diversity goals.
  • Be transparent about where you are with diversity
    Share your company’s data and goals internally. Because the data may need to be gathered from various systems, it can be difficult to keep track of current diversity benchmarks (and the population is changing faster than 10-year U.S. Census increments). Consider enlisting expert help: many firms offer diversity products and consulting that will help ease the burden of data management and analysis. Leaders are driven by metrics, so having reliable diversity metrics in place and updated regularly in a dashboard will go a long way toward ensuring the success of your D&I program.
  • Expand your hiring pool
    To ease the potential stigma of affirmative action hiring, focus on creating a more diverse hiring pool, and then objectively evaluating candidates from this expanded pool. Post in diversity-oriented job groups, partner with diversity organizations and connect with diversity-oriented groups at universities. Also, consider expanding your college recruiting to more diverse schools.
  • Commit to a diverse and inclusive workforce
    Improving representation of diverse groups within a company can take years. Leaders, managers and staff should be patient and persistent as they seek to create a more diverse and inclusive organization. Like all good things worth achieving, it’s worth the wait. Commit to the journey, and be inspired by the examples of companies who have reaped the rewards of making diversity and inclusion part of their DNA.

How to Hire a Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer

A Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer is fundamental to the success of a diversity and inclusion initiative within your organization. This person will lead the charge in creating a vision of an equitable and inclusive future and will be held accountable for creating a culture of belonging. 

The process of hiring a Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer

  • Why. Before hiring, consider why you want to hire someone into the role, and why now. Key stakeholders should be clear, transparent and honest about the motivation and drive behind hiring for this role, as well as the intention and goals for this position. 
  • Who. Before you begin interviewing, be sure to identify a diverse interview panel or committee, including individuals from different departments in your organization, with various cultural backgrounds and life experiences. 
  • Where. During the hiring process, be sure to leverage the talents of people within diverse organizations, such as professional membership organizations and search firms.
  • How. How you hire is almost as important as who you hire. It is critical in recruiting for this role that the hiring process is as unbiased and equitable as possible.

Job requirements of a Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer

A qualified candidate for the role of Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer should have a background in creating or fostering systemic change. They should also have demonstrated success in influencing leaders and teams and developing metrics to track success.

The seniority of the position depends on the scope of the role, resources, and the size and scale of the organization. At a large company or Fortune 500 company, the Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer should be an executive, C-Suite level position at the Vice President or Senior Vice President level, reporting directly to the CEO. At small- to mid-level organizations and startups, the role may not be as senior, but it should have proportionate, meaningful authority. In both cases, it is important that the Head of Diversity has decision-making authority, resources (a team and budget/funding), executive support and a broad scope of influence across the organization.

Competencies to consider when hiring a Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer

  • Strategic thinking
    Candidates should have a strategic mindset and the ability to think in both the short- and long-term and in terms of scalability and sustainability. D&I work is a marathon, not a sprint. Candidates therefore must be able to assess and analyze systems, processes and procedures, and identify solutions for implementing positive and meaningful change. 
  • Change management
    Candidates should have a track record of managing large-scale change efforts in an organizational setting. At the core of successful, effective diversity and inclusion efforts is change. 
  • Emotional intelligence
    The facets of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness and relationship management. At the core of all these concepts is empathy. In order to create programs that are inclusive and create a sense of belonging, candidates  need to deeply understand the lived experiences of others. 
  • Cultural intelligence
    The capability to communicate and work effectively across cultures is necessary in this world of global commerce and communication. 
  • Relationship building
    The ability to connect with others and form positive relationships will ensure the candidate will have the right partners onboard to implement change. 
  • Influence
    The ability to persuade, generate buy-in, and inspire will set up your new Head of Diversity for success.

How to assess resources needed to hire a Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer

Diversity and inclusion efforts require strong leadership, financial resources and a dedicated team. Budget should be allocated and D&I should be a priority line item when fiscal planning begins.  The funding allocated to talent and learning and development (L&D) efforts is a good benchmark to use to begin budget planning. In addition, Human Resources must be allocated appropriately. A well-staffed team should align to the commitments the organization makes to improve its diversity and inclusion efforts.

Here are some key roles to consider when allocating resources for a Head of Diversity or Chief Diversity Officer (CDO):

  • Employee Resource Group Manager: a team member to lead and provide strategic support to the resource groups.
  • Business Partner: a point of contact and strategic partner to the various departments in the business, like product and operations.
  • Employee Lifecycle Partner: a team member to work on strategies for all aspects of the talent cycle, from onboarding and recruiting to performance, talent management and retention.
  • Education Lead: a team member responsible for developing programming to educate the organization.
  • PMO and Operations Manager: a project manager that oversees all projects, programming and operations.
  • Communications and Marketing Partner: a communications and marketing expert to craft powerful messaging and promote engagement.

How to Build an Employee Resource Group Program

Historically, Employee Resource Groups (ERGs),  have served and supported the culture of corporate America since the 1970s. Typically organized around a shared, immutable identity, such as race, gender, age, or mental health, they serve as a haven of belonging, offering a space for underrepresented employees and their allies to find one another. ERGs are internal advocacy organizations to help employers become more equitable and inclusive. People who decide to join ERGs are aiming to make an impactful change within their companies.

Most companies are interested in nurturing a more inclusive environment so people of all backgrounds, perspectives and walks of life feel safe, seen, heard and valued in the workplace. But inclusive workplaces don’t just happen they take cultivation, nurturing and intentionality.  The effort is definitely worthwhile.

Below are the basic steps to building an ERG program:

Lay the foundation
Establish clear criteria. What is an ERG? An ERG is different than an interest group, and shouldn’t be about shared interests or activities. Rather, ERGs should focus on creating positive, supportive and safe environments for groups that often face unique and systemic challenges in the workplace based on shared immutable characteristics. These are  characteristics that are innate to one’s identity or aspects of one’s self that cannot change. Immutable characteristics include gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, disability, veteran status, parental status, immigration status, and cultural or religious affiliation.

Establish a structure
ERGs should have well-defined leadership structures and processes. Consistency will help drive collaboration and organizational effectiveness across different ERGs. Most successful ERGs share several characteristics:

  • Co-chairs. Shared leadership responsibility lightens the load on any one individual and fosters collaboration, communication and diversity of thought.
  • Pillar leads. ERGs should recruit at least 26 pillar leads who report to the co-chairs. Each pillar lead takes a different area of responsibility, such as:
    • Business Add value to business teams by ensuring key business decisions are made with equity and inclusion in mind.
    • Education Plan and execute initiatives that help educate the broader employee population about issues facing the community.
    • Events Plan and execute heritage month celebrations, social events and outings.
    • Community Plan and execute community volunteering and giving events to enhance employer brand and support communities in need with vital resources.
  • Executive sponsors. Each ERG should have at least one executive sponsor who reports directly to the CEO. Additional sponsors can be added as necessary.
  • Diversity council. The co-chairs of each ERG should be automatically added to a company-wide diversity council that meets regularly. At least one meeting per quarter should include the CEO. This fosters communication, collaboration and accountability, and demonstrates company commitment to ensuring underrepresented voices are heard at the highest level.
  • Budget. Each ERG should have a budget to use at its discretion for conferences, speakers, events, food and outings. Additional budget can be allocated for community giving grants at the discretion of each ERG.

Share the vision and start recruiting
Establish credibility. In order for ERGs to form, the company’s D&I, People or HR team must show they can create positive, supportive and safe environments. Reach out to a multitude of diverse leaders across the organization and share the vision for your ERG program.

Share the vision for ERGs at an all-company meeting. Make sure everyone knows why they’re important. The CEO should express visible, vocal support for the program, backed up by investment in time, budget and influence.

Establish an easy way for individuals to express an interest in taking a leadership role with an ERG. Outline clear job responsibilities, time commitments and company support.

Use a combination of formal and informal communication channels to get the word out and solicit volunteers. While announcements should be made in company-wide forums to ensure information and opportunities are communicated broadly and effectively, you should also ask leaders to leverage their personal networks within the company to encourage ERG involvement.

Establish processes
Set up regular meetings with each ERG, and with each group of pillar leads. Pillar lead meetings across ERGs are important to drive collaboration and an inclusive approach to the work of each ERG.

Set up a meeting at least once every quarter amongst the co-chairs (diversity council), and ensure executive sponsors and the CEO will attend. Actively plan the agenda for each diversity council meeting to ensure time is spent on the topics that are timely and relevant to all parties.

Establish a process for ERGs to plan and execute events. The D&I, People or HR team should advise on each proposed event to ensure the topic aligns with the overarching D&I strategy and that the event will be conducted in an inclusive way. A close partnership with the Facilities/Events team is important.

Integrate with the business
One of the major benefits an ERG program can offer is through involvement and integration with key business decisions. Find opportunities for ERG leads to be seen as advisors, consultants, and decision-makers. Common areas to include ERG leadership input include company-wide events, celebrations, marketing campaigns, product design and branding,

ERGs are often seen as community building tools and they are. But the vision for an ERG program can and should extend far beyond community building. ERGs can do great things. They can help employees create the kind of work environment they want. They can be a source of innovation and inspiration. They can act as activists for positive change. They can be advisors and consultants. They can be changemakers, and visionaries. They can be signposts pointing the way to a more inclusive, equitable world. They should be supported and nurtured there's no doubt the investment is worthwhile.

ERGs at Glassdoor
At Glassdoor, we are committed to not only cultivating a transparent and robust culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging, we also want to help other companies become more focused on D&I. We want to create a world where everyone has an inclusive and equitable place at the table, and help employers develop a safe and diverse workplace for all. We know our collective voices are more influential together, so we’re aiming to share awareness about allyship for all communities with our ERG programs. In addition to working to foster and build a more equitable environment, we’re striving to hold ourselves accountable for our D&I commitments and create quantifiable goals against which to measure our progress.

We want our ERGs to provide a community for underrepresented groups. We also believe ERGs are a critical part of creating an inclusive culture and ensuring that our products, marketing and content reflect our diverse base of users. When our ERGs engage with our senior leaders, it opens up new and enhanced ways for our organization to tap into their expertise and perspectives. We’ve therefore made sure our ERGs are structurally integrated into our business processes. Below are some examples:

  • Our ERG leaders collaborate on content published on our blog relating to diversity, race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality. 
  • Our Product team consults our ERG leaders to ensure our products are designed with a multitude of diverse viewpoints and perspectives. 
  • Any candidate interviewing at Glassdoor can and is encouraged to request to meet with an ERG leader to get a complete picture of what it’s like to work with us.
  • We provide modest additional compensation for those that step up into ERG leadership roles; we want to acknowledge and show we genuinely value their significant efforts and commitment to making us a better company and place to work. 
  • We created a Diversity, Inclusion, Community & Equity (DICE) council that includes ERG co-chairs. This council meets quarterly with our CEO to update him, hold him accountable to our D&I aspirations and ensure the voices of all Glassdoor communities are heard.

Below is a list of the current ERGs at Glassdoor:


    BUILD’s (Blacks United in Leadership and Development) mission is to create a community of togetherness, inclusivity and awareness of Black culture. In alignment with Glassdoor’s mission of helping people everywhere find a job and a company they love, BUILD prides itself on creating a safe, supportive environment where members feel comfortable to be their authentic selves and represent their voices in matters of business decisions, product development, recruiting and workplace culture.

  • GAIN

    Glassdoor’s Asian Employee Resource Group (GAIN) has a mission to celebrate and support Pan Asian multiculturalism and cultivate a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace. This ERG aims to elevate the voices of Glassdoor’s Asian community and empower its members in business decisions, product development, recruiting and workplace culture. Additionally, GAIN strives to foster professional development, mentorship and leadership opportunities for its members.

  • LaFamilia

    The mission of this ERG is to celebrate and promote awareness of the Hispanic/Latinx culture, and provide professional, educational and cultural ideas to the Glassdoor community. LaFamilia is committed to addressing the needs of Hispanic and Latinx communities, and providing opportunities that empower lives and careers.

  • Pride

    Pride seeks to foster an inclusive, safe and respectful environment for the LGBTQ+ community at Glassdoor. This ERG promotes transparency, acceptance, education and belonging, which encourages everyone to live as their authentic selves at all times. Pride does this by celebrating individual differences, creating visibility and promoting strong allyship.

  • WinG

    The mission of Women in Glassdoor (WinG) is to cultivate global connectivity that stimulates an inclusive environment for women to advance their skills and leadership potential. This group serves as a forum for women to find their voice and be heard within the Glassdoor community.

How to Set Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Goals

D&I has become a top priority in the workplace this year, and will hopefully remain so in the future.

Since the horrific killing of George Floyd in May of 2020, reviews on Glassdoor discussing diversity, racial justice, Black Lives Matter and related topics rose 63% over the course of the following week. And 71% of these reviews expressed concern or dissatisfaction with companies’ responses. More than 300 companies also expressed support for the Black Lives Matter movement and acknowledged the reality of systemic racism and racial injustice.12

It’s important to stay focused on a critical long-term goal for employers: making workplaces more inclusive and equitable for underrepresented groups.

To that end, we’ve seen Human Resources executives working hard to put processes, policies and initiatives in place to support ongoing workplace diversity and inclusion efforts. But the efforts of individual employees are not enough. It’s going to take a transparent, company-wide approach to measuring and improving D&I in order for things to change.

Focusing on D&I statistics is important because it’s only by measuring an organization’s progress that change and accountability are maintained over time. 

Collect your D&I data

Capturing data around your organization’s demographic makeup will provide insight into which strategies should be prioritized to improve diversity and maximize inclusiveness.

One very important point worth noting: It’s okay to not feel proud of this information at first. The point isn’t to be perfect on Day 1. What’s important is to commit and start taking steps however small at first to achieve an equitable workspace. That likely requires acknowledging previous shortcomings.

Key steps in discerning what D&I data to collect and how to collect it

  • Identify the data you want to collect. Most employers collect data on gender, race/ethnicity, veteran status and disabilities. Today, more employers are starting to collect data around sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression.
  • Make it clear how this information will and will not be used. Ensure that administrator access to sensitive data is limited only to key personnel. Proper security protocols must be put into place. This is highly sensitive personal data, and any breach in access or security can have major repercussions.
  • Make participation optional. While you should always include a “choose not to disclose” option, you should emphasize the benefits of providing the information with language like “By providing this data, you can help ensure our workplace is as equitable as possible.”
  • Allow people to self-identify, but not as “other.” Rather than include an option for “other” on key demographic fields, use the phrase, “A _____ that is not listed,” as in “A sexual orientation that is not listed” or “A race/ethnicity that is not listed.” Using “other” as a catchall for additional possible responses can easily cause feelings of marginalization for someone who does not find a specific response they deem accurate or appropriate for them.
  • Track your results. Establish a regular data reporting schedule and elevate key insights to senior executives.

Assess your benchmarks and set your D&I goals

With your organization’s unique D&I data in hand, you can start to chart the path your organization will need to travel to become more diverse and inclusive. “More Diversity” is not an actionable, meaningful or effective plan to pursue. You need to be able to evaluate your benchmarks against your goals and create a viable plan to achieve your specified objectives.

Below are some considerations you’ll want to take into account as you set your short-term and long-term goals around D&I:

  • What’s typical for your industry? What’s typical for your industry may not be ideal, but it’s a good place to start when comparing your organization’s benchmark data with the rest of your industry. And what are areas in which your industry as a whole needs to improve that you can focus on first? Glassdoor’s new features allow you to compare your D&I goals with others in your industry.
  • How inclusive and equitable is your employee lifecycle? Diversity is about representation, but inclusion is about far more, namely the entire employee lifecycle. How do your demographic statistics change as candidates proceed from interviews to offers to new hires? How do promotion rates compare across different demographic groups and across demographics by department? These cuts of data may reveal opportunities to make better and more equitable decisions throughout the entire employee lifecycle, and help you understand where to correct shortcomings.
  • Who can you trust to inform your goals? Pursuing an effective D&I initiative may require consulting or bringing in outside expertise. Consult and review the findings of analysts, consultants and leaders in the D&I space to inform the goals you set for interviewing, hiring and promoting more diverse candidates within your organization.

Know your reason for Diversity & Inclusion

Understanding and effectively communicating the reason behind your organization’s commitment to transparency around D&I is key. It’s important that senior leaders are able to speak with confidence, authenticity and conviction about their plans and goals to diversify the company. This will help the organization constructively address any resistance that may be encountered and will demonstrate a genuine commitment to driving forward an effective D&I strategy.

How to Conduct a 360° Analysis of Your Diversity & Inclusion Numbers

Why is collecting data such an important part of the process?

D&I is a priority for both employers and employees today. But very few organizations feel confident they’re building the diverse workforce they need to succeed and even fewer have collected sufficient data to know for sure.

The needs of a diverse workforce have evolved faster than the systems and processes that support it. Underrepresented groups in the workplace tell us the daily inequities and microaggressions they face are no longer tenable.

Of course, they’ve been making their needs known for a long time, but our companies and our culture haven’t been listening or changing fast enough. And when we don’t evolve to meet the needs of people who have been underserved and underrepresented, they will demand better from us.

Employers that listen and respond set themselves up to attract and retain the new workforce of the future – a diverse workforce that deserves and demands to be treated equitably and fairly. Employers that fail to change and adapt will find themselves cut out of the talent market. They will struggle to hire and retain diverse, skilled and high-potential talent.

The best way to approach D&I data within an organization

D&I data within a company is essentially visibility into ways that inequities manifest in systems and processes. Below are three best practices for companies that want to get the most accurate visibility into this kind of information.

  • D&I data must be self-reported and optional. Companies cannot require employees to provide their personal data. But they can ensure employees have accurate, comprehensive and respectful demographic options. Companies can make it clear why it’s in the employees’ interest to report the data. This data must be self-reported companies should never make assumptions about an employee’s identity because of how they look, such as a profile picture or how they appear in the office.
  • D&I data must be able to be updated. Employees should be able to access and change their personal data so they can be confident it best represents their identity at any given time. For example, if a company hires a transgender person in the process of transitioning, they might identify as male when they start and female months later. Inclusive technology means incorporating simple, seamless and compassionate ways to update one’s demographic information.
  • D&I data must be highly protected and secured. The first step in renewing your D&I data efforts is to audit levels of access to this information. D&I data should be stored in a company’s human resource information system (HRIS) platform and accessible to only one or two key employees. Executives, managers and peers should not be able to access an employee’s self-identifiable information. This data should only be used for aggregate reporting that ensures equity in key processes and events, such as promotions, pay and development opportunities.

What insights to capture when analyzing data 

Most employers aren’t yet using D&I data in meaningful ways to ensure and promote equity and fairness. But this data can offer remarkable insight into the current state of D&I within an organization.

Here are a few starting questions an organization can use:

  • Are promotion rates the same across different demographic groups (e.g., men/women, Black/White, LGBTQ+/Straight)?
  • Is there a gender, sexual orientation or race/ethnicity pay gap?
  • Are underrepresented groups invited to participate in development opportunities and programs at the same rates as others?
  • Are underrepresented groups held to different performance standards than others?
  • Are underrepresented groups evaluated differently, placed on performance improvement plans (PIPs), terminated or laid off at different rates than others?

When you have accurate data on hand, you can dive into these insights and take a hard look at who is applying for jobs at your organization. For example, if you are conspicuously missing a certain demographic group, ask these questions:

  • Is it the way a job description is phrased? 
  • Is it the location where the ad is posted? 
  • Do the requirements unintentionally exclude certain demographic groups?

D&I data allows an organization to analyze and better understand the root causes for the lack of diversity in its talent pipeline. Companies are using data to better understand their customers and create more meaningful products. Data allows companies to make decisions that are targeted and effective, and they often report seeing the connection between engaged, happy, productive employees and happy customers. Companies should apply the same level of rigor in analyzing employee population data as they do in understanding their customers.

Diversity Doesn't Work Without Inclusion

There’s an increased focus on diversity today, which is meaningful and does represent progress. But this is only a first step. Diversity without inclusion and belonging fails to break the cycle of inequity. If a company brings an underrepresented person into a noninclusive environment, that person will have little or no real chance to make an impact. Along with taking the initiative in developing and using D&I data, organizations must prioritize putting highly inclusive leaders at the helm so that, when they do hire an underrepresented person, that individual is able to maximize their impact and contribute fully to the organization.

How to Build Out Your D&I Recruiting Capabilities

It’s easy for an organization’s diversity strategy to hinge on the talent acquisition team – after all, bringing in underrepresented talent is often highlighted as a top priority for companies looking to foster increased diversity. But it’s important to remember that an effective D&I (also known as DEI for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) strategy is a shared responsibility across every person in an organization. An approach to DEI that only focuses on recruiting forgets that creating a culture where people are treated equitably – and where all employees feel they have a career path, growth opportunities, and mentorship – ultimately drives a sustainable strategy. While setting intentions to widen the funnel of talent coming into an organization is a vital part of a DEI strategy, it’s crucial that diverse employees coming into an organization feel a sense of belonging and inclusion, otherwise, they will leave at higher rates than their non-diverse peers.

After an organization has invested serious and sustained efforts in building a culture of inclusion and belonging, a diversity recruiting strategy can be an effective and sustainable way to contribute to that culture, and ensure that everyone in your organization sees someone like them – preferably in a position of leadership.

Define your diversity recruiting strategy

Any effective diversity recruiting strategy starts with clear goals. To articulate your diversity goals, you must first understand your current state. This means, having well-established data capabilities that accurately reflect the self-disclosed demographic information of employees – one that takes into account intersectional identities.

Once you have a good baseline, it’s time to define what your company is trying to accomplish by increasing diversity so that you can set a clear path to get there. It’s not enough to just say you want to hire X number of people from underrepresented groups. Instead, your diversity goals should tie into your business goals. For example, you might want your employee demographics to more closely  match the customers you’re trying to reach. If the products and services you’re designing aren’t being created by the people who are using them, there’s going to be a dissonance between product design and user experience. One well-known example was when right-handed Google engineers designed mobile video uploads to display properly on smartphones only when being held by right-handed users. Had there been a left handed engineer on the team, that issue would have been addressed early in development. 

Set goals 

If you know what demographic makeup your organization is targeting, you can work backwards – taking attrition into account – to determine the total number of people you have to hire. If you're trying to hit a specific goal, you then know what percentage has to be in the specific demographic groups in order to make meaningful progress toward the goal.

Invest in your sourcing capabilities 

Recruiting efforts should focus on widening the funnel and all hiring decisions should be based on the requirements of the job. The most effective diversity recruiting strategy is to invest in sourcing capabilities so that recruiters find passive candidates who have the necessary skills and expertise, then actively work to get them interested in a position.

Facilitate the process

Set specific guidelines for diversity sourcing time to ensure there is equitable focus on getting more people from underrepresented groups in the funnel for every job posted. After a set amount of time has passed, say one week, you can advertise the job to a general audience. Once your recruiters have a broad group of candidates, they can bring them in to interview and treat them equitably across the board. 

Did you know?

The Rooney Rule, which was established in 2003 in the National Football League, was an early affirmative action policy that required an interviewing quota for underrepresented groups, even though there is no hiring quota or hiring preference given to minorities. This precedent, which still requires league teams to interview ethnic-minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs, has impacted hiring rules in many other industries to this day. In January 2021, five of the largest U.S. banks publicly committed to mandating a diverse slate of applicants when hiring employees, which is part of a larger effort to add diversity to an industry in which leaders remain largely white and male.

Train hiring managers

It’s critical to train hiring managers on how bias can show up in the interview process at each stage, from how resumes are read, to the types of questions that are asked, to how you look at someone on a video call or in person.


If you have ambitious diversity hiring goals and get to the final stage of the interview process to find there are only White or male candidates, it may be tempting to think you need to start over. However, it is neither ethical nor legal to do so. Instead, it’s critical to widen the funnel at the start, train employees to eliminate bias during the process and build language into every job description clarifying that everyone is expected to “add to a culture of diversity.” It’s important to remember that anyone – regardless of gender, skin color or any other distinguishing attribute – can add or detract from a culture of diversity, inclusion and belonging.

Leverage ERGs and diversity councils 

Ensure that candidates see representation of employees like them during the interview process. One best practice for attracting diverse candidates is to offer an opportunity for any candidate coming into an interview – either onsite or virtual – to meet with a member of an ERG of their choice. By engendering a sense of belonging and showing candidates that ERGs are an important, influential part of your company’s culture, they are more likely to feel at home at your organization and accept a job offer. 

It is also important to set up a diverse interview slate. Research, including a well-known series of three studies conducted by Harvard Business Review, shows there is a high correlation between representation on the interview circuit and whether a diverse hire is ultimately made. Not only are candidates more likely to decline if there’s a lack of representation on the interview loop, they are less likely to be offered a job at all. 

Add net new talent into the marketplace. 

We’re up against systemic issues that affect people in virtually all stages of their lives and parts of society. These issues are not solved when we only recruit diverse talent from other companies. Instead, it’s critical to recruit new diverse candidates to the talent pool. Specific ideas for how to open the recruiting process to add new talent to your candidate funnel follow.

Bias entry points at each stage of the recruiting process

Sourcing candidates

  • If you have an employee referral program, consider countering unconscious or affinity bias by rewarding diverse referral candidates.
  • Leverage newly minted remote-work policies to bring diverse talent from a range of geographic locations not considered in the past into your recruitment funnel. 

Screening resumes

  • Start by removing bias from job descriptions. Use a tool like Textio to identify problem spots in your word choices. 
  • Be aware of preconceived ideas you might have around candidate names. For example, studies have shown that Black and LatinX-sounding names get passed over at higher rates than White-sounding names. 
  • Be aware of bias around age. A December 2020 AARP survey found that 57% of people aged 50–65 facing job insecurity feel a need to age-proof their resume by removing dates that can be used to determine their age.


  • Be aware of how likeability, small talk and personal style can prevent you from assessing a candidate solely for their skills and ability to do the job. 
  • Ensure that the interview panel is the same for each candidate. 
  • Ensure that the interview questions are the same for each candidate. 


  • Debrief conversations are when bias can go from unseen to seen. Individuals on the interview panel might submit feedback that veers into biased territory, citing awkwardness, likeability or culture fit. To mitigate the introduction of bias, pay attention to how debriefs are conducted.
    • Pay attention to how the panel talks about people differently based on their gender or race/ethnicity. Note any potential inequities or biases that arise..
    • At the start of the meeting, the debrief facilitator should ask people to jot down a few key words about the candidate to temper the influence of other people’s opinions. 
    • To reduce the potential for groupthink, stick with a consistent order for panelists to share their feedback. To avoid having colleagues agree with their superiors to protect their own positions, consider having the highest-ranking person in the room go last.

Focus on the big picture

Track progress and report out 

After the initial goals are set and you’ve had a reasonable period (anywhere from a few months to  a year or more depending on your internal resources) to make an investment in sourcing, facilitate a process, train hiring managers, and leverage ERGs and diversity councils, it’s important to track progress and report out to the entire company. Transparency in the process allows for the celebration of wins that will add momentum to your efforts or – on the flip side – provide accountability and prompt reexamination and potential recalibration if you haven’t gained solid traction. 

When sharing progress toward your goals, speak in terms of aspirations, not quotas. D&I programs can be criticized because they can feel so quantitative – “checking boxes” doesn’t feel good to anyone, especially people from underrepresented groups. It’s far better to speak in terms of a larger vision for your company to mirror the demographics of the people you serve, with the larger goal of creating products or services that better meet the needs of customers.

How to Integrate Diversity & Inclusion Into Your Learning & Development Program

A Learning & Development (L&D) program should be a core component of your D&I strategy. Learning is how we develop, change and grow. This type of program provides an opportunity for employees to become more self-aware, learn new skills, and build capabilities and competencies. L&D also facilitates a space for teams to have necessary dialogue and share their experiences to create connection. 

To integrate D&I into your L&D program: 

  • Conduct a needs assessment.
    The goal of a needs assessment is to determine the levels of diversity, inclusivity, equity and belonging that currently exist and the new skills and competencies you need to cultivate within your workforce to improve. It is the first step in developing a D&I learning strategy. The Head of Diversity’s listening tour should provide data and insight on the current state of inclusivity and belonging at your organization. You can also collect data from focus groups, interviews, engagement and pulse surveys, headcount, demographic data, talent data and performance trends. 
  • Undertake program development. Design and develop a program that is truly unique to the DNA of your organization. Analyze the data from the needs assessment to discover the learning and development solutions you need to implement to drive change. A customized program is typically most effective. However, there are also other learning and development programs you can consider launching, such as:
    • Unconscious bias 
    • Microaggressions 
    • Allyship 
    • Inclusive leadership 
    • Cultural intelligence
    • Anti-racism


To be inclusive and effective, a learning ecosystem should:

  • Leverage digital and social learning
  • Consider customized learning journeys to meet the people where they are 
  • Facilitate and support learning communities
  • Focus on outcomes and support the performance of the employees and the organization 
  • Focus on and empathize with the learner

  • Develop content using instructional design. Consider inclusivity in how you design programs and in how you develop content. The learning experience is varied and should be represented as such in training programs. 

To ensure that design is inclusive, keep accessibility top of mind. Consider captioning, colors and design methodology. A blended learning design approach provides options and flexibility.


  • Design programs that cater to different learning styles and personality types
  • Solicit a diverse perspective to review content and give feedback

How to Build a Communications Strategy for Diversity & Inclusion

How leaders communicate their efforts around D&I at your company – both internally and externally – must be central to the overall strategy. Having a solid plan for building out a D&I program at your company is fundamental, but without a structured plan for communicating all you’re doing as an organization internally to your people and externally to your customers and stakeholders, you’re likely to miss opportunities to fuel the virtuous cycle that comes with gaining momentum on your journey. 

Doing the work to improve diversity, inclusion and equity is paramount, but driving communications is a close second. People inside and outside your organization need to be aware of all you’re doing so they can learn from and contribute to the ultimate goals. Before creating a communications strategy for diversity and inclusion at your company, it helps to clarify the end goal of your communications. 

What is the goal of internal communications around D&I?

  • To ensure each individual and diverse group within your company has a voice and a solid sense of belonging.
  • To educate employees about the importance of D&I, shine a light on places where bias occurs unconsciously, and help everyone adopt inclusive attitudes and behaviors toward all people – regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, physical ability or mental ability.

What is the goal of external communications around D&I?

  • To signal to potential candidates, customers and stakeholders that you are actively working to build diversity, equity and inclusion at your organization so they will consider that when choosing who to do business with or where they want to work.
  • To publicly raise the bar for diversity and inclusion policies and practices, and to force a new standard of expectation in your industry.

Once you’ve identified the particular goals of your organization’s internal and external communications around diversity and inclusion, you can use the checklists below to help ensure that you’ve thought of everything. 

Checklist for internal communications around D&I 

  • Take into account all audiences inside your organization 
  • Consider intersectionality – points of overlap between groups – and consider addressing and celebrating multiple identities that influence how you interact with your colleagues 
  • Educate employees about the importance of D&I 
  • Help employees understand their role in D&I 
  • Ensure a commitment at every level of your organization
  • Inform employees about holidays and days of remembrance that are significant to diverse groups within your organization 
  • Set standards for inclusive language in all internal communications

What is inclusive language?

Inclusive language is free of words, phrases and tones that reflect prejudiced, stereotyped or discriminatory views of particular people or groups. It is language that does not deliberately or inadvertently exclude people from being seen as part of a group.

  • Actively promote internal policies and initiatives that have been designed to promote D&I 
  • Ensure that non-verbal communications are diverse and inclusive 
  • Be authentic and relatable 
  • Be consistent with regular updates on progress throughout the year 

Checklist for external communications around D&I: 

  • Take into account all audiences outside your organization
    Consider holidays and days of remembrance significant to diverse groups when writing any kind of external communications, including advertisements
  • Ensure that external non-verbal communications, including advertisements, are diverse and inclusive 


Job seekers and employees want employers to step up their transparency around D&I. If employers don’t, they will miss out on diverse talent.13

  • Set standards for inclusive language in all external communications
  • Actively promote the internal policies and initiatives that have been designed to improve D&I to your external audiences to ensure job seekers, customers and stakeholders are informed
  • Showcase your D&I goals and initiatives on Glassdoor

By the numbers

2 in 3 employees and job seekers (66%) trust employees the most when it comes to understanding what D&I really looks like at a company, significantly higher than senior leaders (19%), the company’s website (9%) and recruiters (6%).14

  • Be authentic and relatable. 
  • Be consistent. 
  • Track your D&I rating on Glassdoor to make sure employee satisfaction ratings on the topic of belonging are aligned between diverse groups.

By the numbers

Nearly 2 in 5 employees and job seekers (37%) would not apply for a job at a company where there are disparities in employee satisfaction ratings among different ethnic/racial groups.15

How to Measure Success & Communicate Your Diversity & Inclusion Progress  

While it might be tempting to keep this process of collecting, analyzing and acting on D&I data private, we urge you to be as transparent as possible. Your organization will benefit by showing employees that it cares about D&I. And your industry as a whole will benefit as you become a strong voice in the conversation around D&I. Your employees, customers, stakeholders and competitors should know exactly where you stand on these issues.

To that end, it’s important to decide when and how you will communicate your D&I progress. Some organizations like Kellogg Company share an annual announcement and analysis. Other options include a D&I microsite on your organization’s website or hiring page. You can also showcase initiatives and benchmarks with Company Updates in your Employer Profile on Glassdoor. The format doesn’t matter as much as your organization’s commitment that D&I doesn’t end with collecting and analyzing data.

Not knowing how to start often holds companies back from moving forward. Don’t let that be the case for your organization. Take the first step today to make sure you’re building an organization and a company culture that stands for diversity and inclusion at the most basic level. If your organization doesn’t meet your goals today, at least you’ll have a plan in place to move forward toward this critical goal.

Best Practices from Facebook for Leveraging Glassdoor’s Diversity & Inclusion Products

We sat down with a Facebook leader to discuss the impact of implementing Glassdoor’s Diversity & Inclusion products. They shared their overall impressions, plus some best practices they’ve learned in the process. 

Facebook: Glassdoor’s new D&I products allow us to communicate our commitment to diverse hiring and measure how this commitment plays out in our employee reviews. The new products also help us showcase the variety of programs we’ve dedicated to help people find community, understand the importance of diverse perspectives, tackle bias and participate in building an inclusive workplace. Facebook offers people who work here opportunities to find work that matters to them, and we understand that finding meaningful work can be different for everyone. For anyone to do their best work, they need to have a sense of belonging.” 

Glassdoor: How have you taken advantage of the new features within the Employer Center?

Facebook: The new branding features in the Employer Center especially the Diversity Programs & Initiatives section allow us to be transparent to job seekers by amplifying critical diversity initiatives like our “50 in 5” goal: by 2024, at least 50% of our workforce will be underrepresented people. In doing this, we aim to double the number of women employees globally and double the number of Black and Hispanic employees in the U.S.

Glassdoor: What kind of reaction have you gotten internally from sharing your D&I resources, hiring goals and Demographic data?

Facebook: We are dedicated to inclusive hiring practices to increase diversity in 2021 and beyond. Internal reactions on Glassdoor’s new D&I resources have been positive and show that Glassdoor is committed to helping candidates see how companies are prioritizing diversity from both the employer and employee perspectives. The new D&I ratings on Glassdoor will act as an external sentiment data point that measures perception of Facebook as an inclusive employer. We’re keen to understand how our new Glassdoor D&I rating trends over time and how it compares to our own internal D&I survey results.

Glassdoor: What are your top three pro tips?


  1. Encourage employees to leave D&I reviews so your Enhanced Profile on Glassdoor includes both the company’s commitment to D&I, as well as the voices of your employees to validate the commitment. Amplify how your leadership is designing for inclusion and allyship from the top down, whether through changes in hiring practices, professional development programs, promoting employee resource groups and/or via training curriculum (e.g., how to manage bias in the workplace).
  2. Share current demographics of your organization and future representation goals with metrics. Committing to becoming a more diverse employee population is a movement, not a moment. Be transparent about where you are today and where you hope to be a few years from now.
  3. Share Glassdoor D&I ratings data with other internal teams such as human resources, recruiting operations, internal insights, people analytics, employee engagement, D&I advisory councils, task forces and hiring managers so they understand the themes and trends. Consider including D&I ratings in your own internal quarterly or annual employee pulse surveys, then compare internal vs. external trends over time.

“Committing to becoming a more diverse employee population is a movement, not a moment.” 

– Facebook

Help build a more equitable workplace today

Show candidates your initiatives and goals that advocate for a diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace with a new section on your profile dedicated to D&I. Update Now.


  1. Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, McKinsey, May 19, 2020
  2. Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, McKinsey, May 19, 2020
  3. Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, McKinsey, May 19, 2020
  4. Diversity Wins: How Inclusion Matters, McKinsey, May 19, 2020
  5. Global Diversity & Inclusion Survey, ongoing by pwc. 
  6. Diversity & Inclusion Workplace Survey, September 2020.
  7. Diversity & Inclusion Workplace Survey, September 2020.
  8. Diversity & Inclusion Workplace Survey, September 2020.
  9. These numbers are rounded up or down, which is why the total in this case does not equal 100%
  10. Leadership at Glassdoor is defined as employees in a Director role or higher.
  11. Comscore, Unique Visitors, April 2020. Job seeker cross-visit rate set at 3X non-job seeker rate
  12. Diversity Now: How Companies and Workers Are Bringing Nationwide Social Justice Protests to the Workplace, July 2020
  13. Glassdoor/Harris Poll, August 2020, U.S.
  14. Glassdoor/Harris Poll, August 2020, U.S.