Katharine Zaleski's Blog

LinkedIn Diversity Report Omits Photos of Black People

Don't just say you're going to feature underrepresented minorities, actually do it !

LinkedIn Diversity Report Omits Photos of Black People

I sat down this afternoon to read LinkedIn's newly released 2017 Diversity Talent Report. Midway through, after seeing a number of fascinating stats LinkedIn had gleaned from its massive database, I started to notice a glaring omission. For a report about diversity, there were no photos of black people. To gut check myself, I sent the report to my team at PowerToFly and they confirmed what I wasn't seeing. They also pointed out that Asian, White and Southeast Asian women seemed to be the predominant faces in the photos LinkedIn picked.

LinkedIn clearly took the time to choose diverse subjects for its images - they just didn't take enough time to check if they were leaving out American's largest racial minority - African Americans. The omission is particularly strange if you consider the great advice LinkedIn includes in the report around building inclusive environments where everyone can feel they belong. One of the action points LinkedIn suggests is to:

Highlight diverse models of successful leadership. Show women there is more than one route to the top. Point to role models and discuss how she can build on her own strengths, skills, and priorities.

This action item is rooted in research that shows how much women, especially in STEM, want to know how people who look like them are succeeding at a company.


The overall lesson here is follow LinkedIn's advice when building out content and diversity initiatives for your company - the report is a recommended read. But learn from their mistake - don't just say you're going to feature underrepresented minorities, actually do it!

So you don't have to go through the entire report, I've added all the images below.









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