LinkedIn Updates Its Plans to Take On Racial Inequality

Internally, the professional network is focused on diversity, inclusion, retention and development

Free LinkedIn Learning paths on diversity, inclusion, belonging and allyship will continue to be provided Getty Images
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LinkedIn outlined the steps it is taking to fight racial inequity and remove the systemic barriers to economic opportunity.
Chief marketing and communications officer Melissa Selcher said in a blog post, “As an organization deeply rooted in our vision to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce, we have a responsibility to use our platform and resources to intentionally address the systemic barriers to economic opportunity. Systemic racism is one of the most pernicious barriers that afflicts our global society, and we’ve seen that reality made especially salient in the era of Covid-19. For example, in the U.S., the rate of unemployment for Black people is more than 35% higher than the white unemployment rate according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data. And the numbers are rising—more than 3.3 million Black Americans were unemployed in May, compared with 1.2 million in January. In addition to pre-existing disparities in access to healthcare, Black professionals are also disproportionately employed as the essential workers in the economy today. And while we recognize that words and voices matter, we know our actions will speak louder.”
Selcher said that within the company, LinkedIn will build an anti-racist culture, hire and grow employees from underrepresented groups and invest in a diverse and inclusive environment.
She added that within the past year, the company focused on diverse candidate slates and increased hires of Black employees, including in leadership roles up to the executive leadership team.
And the professional network expanded retention and development efforts, including new investments in onboarding and mentorship.
In the company’s new fiscal year, it plans to double down on building a people manager population with inclusive leadership, as well as a companywide learning curriculum and accountability framework.
On LinkedIn’s products and platform, systemic inequality and unfair bias will be addressed directly. Selcher said LinkedIn open-sourced its code and methodology to enable other organizations to reduce inequality.
The professional network will continue to scale skill assessments for job seekers, giving candidates from all backgrounds the opportunity to compete on a level playing field.
Free LinkedIn Learning paths on diversity, inclusion, belonging and allyship will continue to be provided, and Black voices will be amplified in the professional network’s feed, LinkedIn Live and its editorial newsletters.
Finally, LinkedIn will partner with the 50 million organizations on its platform to commit to equity, providing resources, support and inspiration.
Selcher pointed to the inspiriting stories it sees from companies on its platform every day, saying that its products are only as good as the people who use them to build better outcomes.
She concluded, “The Black Lives Matter movement has laid bare just how far we collectively have to go, but from this, a renewed resolve has emerged. For our employees, our members, our customers and the millions of people for whom we have not yet—but will one day—create transformational economic opportunity equitably, we say, ‘Black Lives Matter.’”


david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.