LinkedIn’s 2016 Workforce Diversity

October 18, 2016

LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. To accomplish it, we believe it’s critical to build diverse teams that are a reflection of our members. However, that isn’t enough. We are committed to creating a work environment where employees not only feel included, they also feel like they belong. Without that feeling of belonging, to truly be your unique self, a company cannot unleash the magic of a diverse team. That is the goal.

But to understand the journey - numbers still matter. With that said, representation as of June 2016 is as follows: at LinkedIn, women account for 42% of overall employees and 35% of leadership - a 5% improvement since 2015 and a 10% improvement since 2014. Three percent of our employees are Black and 5% are Latino. We will continue to strive to do better.

In 2016, we conducted a survey of our US employees to give them the opportunity to self-identify across several key measures of diversity such as gender and ethnicity. Data from this survey is included in this report. This survey also gave our employees the ability to anonymously disclose if they identify as having a disability. This has allowed us, for the first time, to gain a better understanding of the 3% of our US employees that have a disability and recognize that people with disabilities are too often invisible members of the workforce. We are working to make life at LinkedIn more accessible for this employee group through small steps such as adding closed captioning to our regular company all hands meetings. We are also sharing stories so that others can become better advocates for people with disabilities; be it physical, intellectual or learning differences. We are holding ourselves accountable to increase our own representation to better reflect the available talent pool of people with disabilities.

The full set of data can be found here.

For additional information, please refer to our EEO-1.

There are three primary tenets we’re laser focused on to create a diverse and inclusive environment where everyone feels they belong: Hire, Develop, and Retain.


In order to manifest our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, we must ensure we democratize access to opportunity for literally everyone. Our Talent Acquisition goal is to build a robust, diverse and inclusive applicant pool and create the conditions internally to get them through an unbiased process. In May 2016, our recruiting team introduced a modified Rooney Rule with the goal of having a diverse candidate slate for every role we are hiring for. We've moved away from traditional/elite college recruiting to broaden the set of schools we recruit future talent from and recently introduced AccelerateU, a new regionalized approach to college recruiting which allows us to reach a more diverse set of talent.

We have also deepened our partnerships with key organizations including Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT), YearUp, LeanIn, Anita Borg and expanded engagement at the federal level on this issue with the Small Business Administration. These partners are helping drive change not only within LinkedIn but also within the industry overall. For example, our collaboration with our external partners and our internal Business Leadership Program leaders has resulted in a 40% increase in underrepresented minority hiring in our Global Sales Organization overall. These efforts are beginning to drive impact. So far in 2016, 5% of our overall new hires are Black and 6% are Latino.


In 2015 we introduced unconscious bias training to help employees recognize and manage biases and their impact while promoting diversity, inclusion and belonging across the organization. It started with our people managers (20% of which had completed the training within the first 48 hours) and our recruiting team. We’ve expanded this training to include all employees and are now highlighting breaking bias training bytes in every decision point that impacts an employee-promotions, salary changes etc.  

Functional employee-led programs within our global sales (GSO), product and engineering and operations teams, have made a real impact.  With key learnings from these initiatives in mind, in July we introduced the LinkedIn Engagement and Development program (LEAD), designed to attract, engage and develop top Black and Latino talent at LinkedIn. In working with partners across the organization, LEAD has helped to increase the overall hiring representation of Black and Latino employees in our GSO organization by 6 percentage points.


We believe that to truly drive change we need to foster an environment where once here, everyone feels they belong and can be their authentic self at LinkedIn. Every stage of the employee experience matters. We measure belonging in the candidate interview process and in employee engagement surveys. We are listening. We found that sharing moments of belonging is a key driver to engagement and intent to stay at LinkedIn.

The data in this report is from July 2015-June 2016 to allow for year over year comparisons, excluding the tech employee data as we made a change to how we classify some roles. As of June 2016, we had 9,601 full-time employees. These numbers reflect both a work in progress, and one part of a broader story. As a company, LinkedIn is thinking more about diversity as it relates to our employees, as well as the current landscape across members and industries. A recent piece of research from the LinkedIn Economic Graph team found that in the last year, women accounted for nearly 43% of new hires -- up from about 39% in 2008. In 2016, about 30% of new hires in leadership were women -- up from nearly 28% in 2008. This suggests that while progress is being made, there is still room for improvement.

We will continue to work together to increase the diversity and inclusiveness of our workforce while doubling down on creating more moments of belonging and authentic human connections for our diverse employees. Our employee resource groups (ERGs) continue to play a key role in helping bring this to life. We believe strongly that a sense of belonging is the key to unlocking the full potential of our employees and get closer to successfully achieving our collective vision.

Due to an error in an internal system, Ethnicity portion of our Employee Diversity Report included some inaccurate data. We have updated these numbers to provide an accurate view of our workforce diversity.