Working to Make Airbnb More Diverse and Inclusive
Airbnb promotes connection and belonging, and to achieve our mission, our company must reflect the diversity of our global community. A diverse and inclusive workforce is also central to our efforts to operate as a 21st Century company.
Earlier this year, we announced new commitments to increasing diversity at Airbnb, including our intention to set specific long-term recruitment and retention goals. We believe setting long-term commitments will help us drive sustained change. As of November 2020, underrepresented minority populations* represent 12 percent of our US-based employees and those who identify as women make up 46.9 percent of our employees globally. We are nowhere near satisfied with the status quo and have set two key goals for ourselves:
- By the end of 2025, 20% of our US employees will be underrepresented minorities.**
- By the end of 2025, at every level, 50% of our global employees who identify in the gender binary will be women.
Setting these long-term goals is part of our ongoing work to make Airbnb more diverse and inclusive. In 2017, we implemented our diverse candidate slate rule which requires women globally and underrepresented minorities in the US to be presented on candidate slates when we hire for open roles, and set internal diversity goals for the first time. We have expanded recruiting at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, schools with large Latinx populations and schools with large female populations in science and engineering. We’ve forged numerous partnerships with organizations working to maximize minority or gender equality in tech, including dev/color and BeVisible.
In May 2019, Melissa Thomas-Hunt joined Airbnb as our Global Head of Diversity and Belonging. As Former Vice Provost of Vanderbilt University, Melissa’s first effort at Airbnb was to initiate a company-wide diversity and belonging inventory of our internal processes and practices. Over the last few years, we have made progress in our efforts, but we know we have much more work to do.
Reaching our 2025 goals requires that we continue to improve our recruiting, hiring, promotion, and retention practices. We are committed to doing so. Each member of our executive team has developed their own Diversity & Belonging Plan for their organizations that outlines specific and time bound objectives. We will also take aggressive steps to improve the diversity of our pipelines and remove bias from our processes. For example, we have increased our inclusive practices training to help ensure hiring managers have tangible strategies to integrate diversity into their hiring practices.
While the pandemic has prompted worldwide travel changes that led Airbnb to drastically slow our hiring plans this year, we have continued working tirelessly to make Airbnb an environment in which people of all backgrounds, identities, and experiences feel respected, valued and able to contribute meaningfully. Some, but not all, of the steps we have taken this year include:
- Growing our diversity and belonging learning programs so everyone knows what they can do to create a workplace where everyone can belong, including launching redesigned Blocking Bias and Allyship training courses.
- Reinvigorating our sponsorship program, which develops a diverse array of talent through the power of relationships.
- Incorporating interview questions for all roles across Airbnb that are designed to understand the candidate’s commitment to advancing diversity and belonging.
- Continuing to expand our definitions of diversity to help us better represent, recognize and understand the array of experiences and identities of our employees. Our US and Canada-based employees now have the option to identify their gender identity and sexual orientation. For the first time outside the US, employees in Canada can identify their race or ethnicity.
- Joining The Valuable 500 and reaffirming our commitment to disability inclusion. In 2021, across our base of employees and on our platform, we will focus on deepening this commitment and dedicating resources to embracing disability inclusion and promoting accessibility.
We remain deeply committed to making Airbnb a place where people of all backgrounds, identities and experiences can succeed and thrive. We also know that representation affects the work we do, and that Airbnb is better when a diverse group of employees is creating the products that support the Airbnb platform and community. We will continue to refine and improve our policies and programs, and to work with industry experts and partners to inform our efforts.
*We define underrepresented populations in the U.S. as those who self-identify with one or more of the following races/ethnicities in Workday: American Indian or Alaska Native; Black or African American; Hispanic or Latinx; Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander.
**This goal is set for the United States. In many other countries, there are prohibitions on requesting and tracking data related to race or ethnicity.
Forward-Looking Statements and Disclaimer
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about: our long-term recruitment and retention goals; our commitment to and steps we plan to take to reach these goals; and continuing refinements and improvements to our policies and programs and work with industry experts and partners. You should not rely upon forward-looking statements as predictions of future events. We have based the forward-looking statements contained in this press release primarily on our current expectations, and we cannot guarantee that the future results, levels of activity, performance, or events and circumstances reflected in the forward-looking statements will be achieved or occur at all. The outcome of the events described in these forward-looking statements is subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors described in the section titled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in our prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on December 11, 2020 pursuant to Rule 424(b) under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and our other filings with the SEC, including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to: the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of actions to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic; our history of net losses and ability to achieve profitability; declining adjusted EBITDA and free cash flow; slowing revenue growth rate; any failure to retain existing hosts or add new hosts, or failure of hosts to provide high-quality stays and experiences; any failure to retain existing guests or add new guests; any further and continued decline or disruption in the travel and hospitality industries or economic downturn; our ability to compete successfully with our current or future competitors in a highly competitive business and industry; laws, regulations, and rules that affect the short-term rental and home sharing business; complex, evolving, and sometimes inconsistent and ambiguous laws and regulations that may adversely impact our business and operations; our substantial level of indebtedness; the concentration of voting control with those stockholders who held our capital stock prior to our initial public offering; and exposure to greater than anticipated income tax liabilities. New risks and uncertainties emerge from time to time, and it is not possible for us to predict all risks and uncertainties that could have an impact on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. The forward-looking statements made in this press release relate only to events as of the date on which the statements are made. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements made in this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect new information or the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by law.