International Women’s Day 2019 — How Companies Are Embracing the Diversity Conversation on LinkedIn

March 8, 2019

International Women's Day

International Women’s Day is a celebration of the societal, political, cultural, and economical accomplishments of women around the globe. This day was honored for the first time in 1911 in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, marking today as the 108th International Women’s Day! 

This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter, which reflects the ongoing endeavors to forge a more balanced, diverse, and equal world. Last year saw diversity movements reach an unprecedented scale; #MeToo resonating and igniting conversations around the world, the U.S. electing the most diverse Congress in its history, and New York enacting a required paid leave law are only a couple examples.  

Balance, diversity, and equality are crucial to LinkedIn’s vision of creating economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. We’ve created tools that empower companies to recruit and hire diverse talent, with gender only being a facet of the larger conversation of diversity. That’s why on IWD 2019, we aimed to leverage LinkedIn’s data to understand how companies are connecting with individuals to recognize the importance of diversity in the workforce.  

The diversity conversation is growing on LinkedIn among companies

LinkedIn’s network spans over 610 million professionals in over 200 countries and territories across the globe. These professionals work at the over 30 million companies that are represented on LinkedIn. That means every day millions of posts, videos and articles course through the LinkedIn feed, generating tens of thousands of comments every hour — and tens of millions more shares and likes.  

Diversity in the workforce has proven to be a focus for companies, likely amplified due to the scale of some recent social and political movements over the course of the year. In 2018, we saw almost 230,000 posts around diversity in the workforce from over 70,000 companies across a large range of industries. That’s a 52% increase in the volume of posts on workforce diversity and a 43% increase in companies posting from 2017.  That’s a lot of conversations happening!

Top 5 Posts around Diversity in the Workforce in 2018

  1. TED Conferences – Posted a video about the importance of age diversity at work and what baby boomers and millennials can learn from each other
  2. United Nations – Posted a quote from their UN Secretary António Guterres on Peace Day around doing your part for diversity, inclusion, and peace across the globe
  3. Harvard Business Review – Posted an article about diversity research conducted on the venture capital world and proved that a diverse workforce improves a company’s financial performance
  4. Google – Posted a blog post that unveiled their interactive doodle in honor of International Women’s Day 2018, which celebrates the voices of 12 female artists. 
  5. Nestle – Posted an article by their Global HR Head that celebrates and embraces cultural differences as a driver for stronger and more enriching teams.

Companies are connecting and engaging with more members

Not only are companies stepping up to provide thought leadership around diversity in the workforce, members are also increasingly involved in the conversations. The 230,000 company posts in 2018 generated over 4.1 million engagements and reached over 72 million members. That’s an almost 40% increase from engagements in 2017, showing that members take this topic seriously and are looking to educate themselves.  

Industries with the largest increase in engagements from 2017 on Diversity in the Workforce posts:

  1. Entertainment
  2. Nonprofit
  3. Design
  4. Retail
  5. Legal

LinkedIn members had been actively involved in the conversations around current events related to diversity in 2018, leading to large increases in engagement across some of the industries that had the most press around the topic. In particular, the largest increase in engagements was seen from companies in the entertainment industry, which saw huge strides in diversity in the past year with the releases of movies that had culturally and racially diverse casts and the #TimesUp movement. However, members recognize that there are still more opportunities for progress and are engaging in the conversations to push it forward.   

Is your company joining the Diversity conversation this International Women’s Day? 

Last year saw people and companies rallying behind movements in diversity, giving them momentum to propel us into a more diversity conscious 2019. Social media has been a medium for the world to share their experiences, express their opinions, and call for action on progress. Join the conversations happening on LinkedIn so we can charge forward in creating a more balanced and equal future. 

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Definitions and sources:

  1. ”Diversity in the Workplace” posts defined as any company post that contained the words: diversity, workplace diversity, diversity at work, gender diversity, gender equality, representation in the workplace
  2. Engagements defined as likes, comments, and shares
  3. Top Company Posts about diversity in the workplace are ranked by engagements
  4. Top Industries ranked by the largest percentage increase in engagements from 2017 to 2018