Increasing Investment in Diversity & Inclusion: Evidence From the Growing Job Market

Daniel Zhao

October 23, 2019

The last few years have seen a surge in awareness of workplace issues from the #MeToo movement to new gender pay gap disclosure requirements to high-profile reports of discrimination. Despite an increased focus on equality in the workplace, it's not yet clear if employees feel that meaningful progress is being made. For example, Glassdoor research earlier this year revealed that while the gender pay gap has narrowed slightly in recent years, it still persists. Similarly, in our research below, we find that employee reviews on Glassdoor mentioning diversity have taken a negative turn in recent years with workers growing increasingly pessimistic about the state of diversity at their companies.  In response to growing awareness and scrutiny, companies have begun publicly committing to and investing in diversity and inclusion, a relatively new term in the corporate lexicon. A large part of that commitment involves investing tangible resources and hiring experts to support diversity and inclusion efforts. This is a good signal of the depth of corporate investment, particularly because of how expensive it is to find, hire and retain specialized talent. In this analysis, we first set the stage by asking how employees feel about the state of diversity at their companies today. We then examine the state of the specialized job market for the diversity and inclusion field. How many jobs are available today and how much if at all have opportunities increased over the last year? What kind of workers are companies looking for? Which industries and types of employers are looking for talent today? Lastly, how are job seekers responding to this increasing demand? Glassdoor’s unique position as a jobs marketplace with millions of job postings and job seekers grants unique insights into how the diversity and inclusion job market is evolving.

Setting the Stage: How Do Employees Feel About the State of Diversity Efforts?

Using Glassdoor data, we can measure how employees feel about diversity at their companies by analyzing reviews where employees mention diversity or diversity-related issues as a "pro" or "con" at their company. Our analysis finds that employees are becoming less optimistic about diversity over time in the United States and the United Kingdom. Conversely, positive sentiment is increasing in Germany while remaining flat in France; notably, overall sentiment is higher in those countries than in the U.S. or UK. The chart below shows, of all reviews where diversity is mentioned, what percentage of those reviews are negative. In 2018, 32 percent of reviews in the U.S. spoke about diversity at their companies in the U.S. negatively, its worst value since the start of our data in 2008. Despite the #MeToo movement and increasing awareness, employees appear to be feeling more pessimistic about the state of diversity at their companies. Similarly, in the UK, 26 percent of reviews spoke about diversity at their company negatively, a slight decline from 2017 but still close to its highest value since 2011.  In Germany, there is a downward trend over the last few years ending with only 16 percent speaking negatively about diversity at their companies. In France, the trend is flat, but workers are the least pessimistic about diversity out of all four markets with only 12 percent speaking negatively about diversity at their companies. The inverse measure shows that the vast majority of workers speak positively about the state of diversity at their companies in Germany (84 percent) and France (88 percent). To address these worsening trends, employers have responded by increasing their investment in diversity and inclusion programs, specifically by hiring more trained and experienced employees specially dedicated to these initiatives.

Diversity and Inclusion Jobs are on the Rise

As of August 2019, there were 1,003 job openings on Glassdoor for diversity and inclusion jobs. The United States was the largest job market by far with 810 job openings, a very healthy 30 percent increase over the same period last year. While growth was slower in the U.S. than in other countries, the lower growth rate reflects the fact that the diversity and inclusion job market is already larger in the U.S. Overall, the healthy growth signals that employers are taking a serious look at investing in diversity and inclusion efforts. The United Kingdom had 70 diversity and inclusion job openings, fewer than the United States, but fairly proportional given the relative size of the countries' economies. The United Kingdom was also the country with the fastest growth, with the number of job openings in the field more than doubling year-over-year. Germany had 52 job openings with a strong annual growth rate of 79 percent. Similarly, France had 26 job openings, growing at 53 percent year-over-year. The number of job openings in Germany and France are disproportionately smaller relative to the size of their economies, perhaps due to less emphasis on formal corporate diversity and inclusion programs. Glassdoor survey data reveals that 47 percent of workers in Germany and 53 percent in France believe their companies are investing more in diversity and inclusion, compared to 64 percent in the United States and 61 percent in the United Kingdom. Despite the lower overall level, the growth in job openings in Germany and France does signal that more opportunities may be coming soon.

Table 1: Diversity and Inclusion Job Openings by Country

Country Job Openings YoY % Growth
United States 810 30%
United Kingdom 70 106%
Germany 52 79%
France 26 53%
Other 45 67%
Total 1,003 37%
In the U.S., the metro with the largest number of diversity and inclusion job openings is Washington, D.C. with 12 percent of total job openings. Even though high-profile scandals have occurred in tech and entertainment, San Francisco is only third with 7 percent of openings, and Los Angeles is sixth with 4 percent. The demand for diversity and inclusion professionals in D.C. is likely tied to the types of employers and industries in the region, which we explore more below.

Table 2: Top Metro Areas for Diversity and Inclusion Job Openings in the U.S.

Rank Metro Job Openings % Share of Total
1 Washington, DC 93 12%
2 New York City, NY 84 10%
3 San Francisco, CA 61 7%
4 Boston, MA 54 7%
5 Seattle, WA 44 5%
6 Los Angeles, CA 35 4%
7 Chicago, IL 27 3%
8 Dallas-Fort Worth, TX 21 3%
9 Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 18 2%
10 Baltimore, MD 16 2%

What Roles are in Demand?

The most in-demand roles in diversity and inclusion today are those in senior positions, with Diversity and Inclusion Director being the top job title companies are hiring, accounting for 12 percent of total job openings in the U.S. The top 10 job titles in the U.S. also include other leadership roles like Diversity and Inclusion Manager and Chief Diversity Officer. The prevalence of Chief Diversity Officer job openings signals that companies are making a much more concerted effort to invest in diversity and inclusion by elevating the responsibility to senior leadership and the C-suite. Chief Diversity Officer roles in particular have more than doubled in the U.S. over the last year.

Table 3a: Top 10 Diversity and Inclusion Job Titles in the U.S.

Rank Job Title Job Openings % Share of Total
1 D&I Director 100 12%
2 D&I Program Manager 85 11%
3 D&I Manager 48 6%
4 D&I Specialist 37 5%
5 D&I Coordinator 36 4%
6 Chief Diversity Officer 30 4%
7 Diversity Recruiter 28 3%
8 D&I Consultant 24 3%
9 Dean of D&I 22 3%
10 Diversity Sourcer 21 3%
Other common roles include Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager (11 percent of job openings), Diversity and Inclusion Specialist (5 percent), and Diversity and Inclusion Coordinator (4 percent). These are frontline roles dedicated to running diversity and inclusion programs on a daily basis. Diversity Recruiter (3 percent) and Diversity Sourcer (3 percent) also were in the top 10 list, signaling that organizations are also targeting the pipeline problem and making sure their applicant pools are sufficiently diverse. In the United Kingdom, the most common job titles are similar with Diversity and Inclusion Manager at the top with 24 percent of openings in the UK.

Table 3b: Top 5 Job Titles in the UK

Rank Job Title Job Openings % Share of Total
1 D&I Manager 16 24%
2 D&I Lead 10 15%
3 D&I Officer 8 12%
4 Head of D&I 7 10%
5 D&I Coordinator 6 9%
While these top titles reflect dedicated diversity and inclusion functions and employees, they mask a rich variety of unique and interesting job titles. For example, some interesting but less common job openings related to diversity and inclusion that organizations are hiring for in the U.S. and UK include:
  • HR Data Analyst - building data reports to measure and monitor diversity and inclusion goals, analyzing HR data to understand opportunities for improvement
  • Investigator - investigating claims of discrimination and harassment, ensuring compliance with discrimination law
  • Entertainment Diversity Intern - assisting in sourcing diverse talent for the entertainment industry, collating data and analyzing industry trends
  • Supplier Diversity Specialist - identifying, engaging and retaining underrepresented business owners in the supply chain
  • Staff Therapist, specializing in Diversity and Inclusion - providing counseling and therapy specialized for underrepresented groups, organizing outreach and workshops for diverse communities
  • Admissions Director for Diversity and Inclusion - designing, executing and evaluating outreach and recruitment initiatives for underrepresented candidates

Strong Demand for Leaders in D&I

Organizations are making a strong commitment by making diversity and inclusion a responsibility for senior executives and ensuring that the topic is visible at higher levels. There are 32 job openings for C-suite level openings in the U.S., or 4 percent of total job openings. More broadly speaking, 33 percent of job openings are for senior managers and above, signaling that employers are looking for experienced leaders who can build and elevate an important and sensitive function.

Table 4a: Diversity and Inclusion Job Openings by Seniority Level in the U.S.

Seniority Level Job Openings % Share
C-Suite 32 4%
Senior Director to VP 41 5%
Director 108 13%
Senior Manager to Assoc Director 90 11%
Manager 121 15%
Entry-Level to Experienced 398 49%
Intern / Apprentice / Co-op 21 3%
In the United Kingdom, the trend is similar with 34 percent of job openings at the senior manager level and above.

Table 4b: Diversity and Inclusion Job Openings by Seniority Level in the UK

Seniority Level Job Openings % Share
C-Suite 0 0%
Senior Director to VP 9 13%
Director 3 4%
Senior Manager to Assoc Director 12 17%
Manager 16 23%
Entry-Level to Experienced 27 39%
Intern / Apprentice / Co-op 2 3%
It's also interesting to note that while many of these jobs are within HR or recruiting, some are tied to other business functions such as Legal and Compliance, PR and Communications, and Corporate Social Responsibility. A company's choices in how they organize their diversity and inclusion teams and where to place them in the org chart likely has an impact on their level of exposure and business priorities. Based on the focus on hiring for senior roles highlighted above, our data suggests that organizations are taking their diversity and inclusion investments increasingly seriously.

Public Services Sector has Largest Demand for Diversity and Inclusion

Large public service-based industries like education, health care and government have the most demand for diversity and inclusion employees. In the U.S., Education & Schools has 202 job openings, or a quarter of all job openings. These jobs include everything from deans of student life to admissions counselors, and are generally designed to ensure that increasingly diverse student bodies feel included on campus. In the U.S., Banking & Financial Services and Health Care & Hospitals come in at rank 2 and 3 with 8 percent of job openings each. Both of these industries are dominated by large employers with large workforces that have the ability to invest in diversity and inclusion. Three different technology industries are in the top 10 list, including Internet & Tech (5 percent), Computer Software & Hardware (4 percent) and Information Technology (2 percent). Combined, these three industries have 96 job openings (12 percent), which if combined would rank second highest. Given the increasing scrutiny of the male-dominated tech industry and multiple high-profile sexual harassment and discrimination scandals, the demand for diversity and inclusion workers is no surprise. Media & Publishing and Arts & Entertainment, on the other hand, don't breach the top 10. Together, the two industries have only 21 job openings. Despite the #MeToo movement's start in the entertainment industry, our data suggests a slow ramp-up in investment in these industries.

Table 5a: Top 10 Industries in the U.S.

Rank Industry Job Openings % Share
1 Education & Schools 202 25%
2 Banking & Financial Services 63 8%
3 Health Care & Hospitals 61 8%
4 Government 52 6%
5 Internet & Tech 40 5%
6 Computer Software & Hardware 36 4%
7 Accounting & Legal 34 4%
8 Nonprofit 28 3%
9 Recruiting & Staffing 24 3%
10 Information Technology 20 2%
In the United Kingdom, the story is similar. The top industries hiring for diversity and inclusion talent are primarily public sector industries like Government, Education & Schools, Health Care & Hospitals and Nonprofit. One exception is Banking & Financial Services at #2 with 13 percent of job openings in the UK. This drive by the finance industry to increase its diversity and inclusion hiring is likely driven by London’s status as a major international financial hub and the industry coming under increasing scrutiny with new gender pay gap disclosure requirements. In addition, increasing public pressure and new analysis from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) looking at an ethnicity pay gap may be spurring businesses to increase their investment in diversity and inclusion before new potential reporting requirements on ethnicity pay gaps are introduced.

Table 5b: Top 5 Industries in the UK

Rank Industry Job Openings % Share
1 Government 12 17%
2 Banking & Financial Services 9 13%
4 Education & Schools 8 11%
5 Health Care & Hospitals 4 6%
5 Nonprofit 4 6%
Public sector industries such as Government, Education & Schools and Health Care & Hospitals lead the hiring for diversity and inclusion talent in Germany. One exception is Manufacturing at #2 with 13 percent of job openings. This is not surprising due to the sheer size of this core industry in Germany. However, it may also indicate extra effort from the traditionally male-dominated manufacturing sector in Germany to take diversity and inclusion more seriously. Considering the historically low unemployment rate in Germany and labor scarcity, it is necessary for businesses to address a wider set of candidates beyond traditional target groups. The Entgelttransparenzgesetz (effective since 2017) gives employees in companies with more than 200 employees the right to know how their salary compares with co-workers. This, combined with the relatively slow progress in closing the gender pay gap, may also be spurring German businesses to increase their investment in diversity and inclusion.

Table 5c: Top 10 Industries in Germany

Rank Industry Job Openings % Share
1 Education & Schools 9 17%
2 Manufacturing 7 13%
3 Government 5 10%
4 Accounting & Legal 4 8%
5 Health Care & Hospitals 3 6%
While large public service-based industries like Education and Government lead diversity and inclusion hiring in the U.S, UK and Germany, the story is slightly different in France. The Manufacturing industry makes it to the #1 position, with almost a third ( 31%) of the diversity and inclusion job openings in France. Manufacturing is among the largest industries in France, recognized notably for its automobile and aerospace manufacturers that are traditionally male-dominated. The fact that this sector is leading diversity and inclusion hiring could indicate that change may be afoot within large French businesses. This follows findings in Glassdoor’s study Progress on the Gender Pay Gap: 2019 which revealed that France is the country with the smallest gender pay gap.

Table 5d: Top 5 Industries in France

Rank Industry Job Openings % Share
1 Manufacturing 8 31%
2 Government 4 15%
3 Banking & Financial Services 2 8%
3 Construction 2 8%
3 Energy & Utilities 2 8%

Largest Employers Are Hiring the Most

Two-thirds of job openings in diversity and inclusion are at employers with more than 1,000 employees. Larger employers are often subject to more public and regulatory scrutiny and also have more resources available to invest in dedicated diversity and inclusion teams. Bigger companies also have larger workforces to manage, where it may be beneficial to have dedicated resources available to employees to address any concerns that arise. Conversely, smaller companies may not have the budget to hire dedicated diversity and inclusion talent, and these responsibilities may therefore be folded into generalist roles. For example, at smaller companies, there may not be a dedicated opening for a diversity recruiter, but diversity may still be a core goal that the recruiting team is evaluated against. Smaller companies may also not feel as much pressure to offer diversity and inclusion resources when there are fewer employees and even measuring diversity meaningfully may not be possible. However, companies that procrastinate on investing in diversity do so at their own peril. Small companies risk getting caught in "diversity debt", where they feel investing in diversity can be done later, resulting in a lack of diversity getting baked in as the company grows. This debt compounds as companies get larger, and it becomes harder and harder to reset their culture. In general, the distribution of job openings across different employer sizes is largely similar between the countries we analyzed in our dataset, though Germany and France have slightly more job openings in the largest employers with over 5,000 employees while the U.S. and UK have slightly more openings in the smallest employers with fewer than 200 employees.

Table 6: Share of Diversity of Inclusion Job Openings by Employer Size

Employer Size United States United Kingdom Germany France
5000+ 44% 36% 56% 77%
1001-5000 22% 29% 12% 8%
501-1000 7% 9% 10% 0%
201-500 10% 10% 8% 0%
51-200 7% 9% 0% 9%
<51 5% 4% 0% 0%

Diversity and Inclusion Talent is Listening

The increase in job openings in the diversity and inclusion field is drawing in job seekers interested in working in the space. In the United States, the number of searches for diversity and inclusion jobs in August 2019 increased by 35 percent compared to the same period last year. Notably, the number of job openings increased by only 30 percent. Additionally, there were 1.4 job seekers per job opening, indicating that there are currently more job seekers interested in the field than there are jobs available, a good sign for employers looking for talent. The story is similar in the United Kingdom where search interest increased by 19 percent. While the increase in search interest did not keep up with the rapid increase in job openings in the United Kingdom, there are still 1.6 job seekers per job opening in the diversity and inclusion space, signaling the high level of job seeker interest.

Table 7: Job Seeker Interest in Diversity and Inclusion by Country

Country YoY % Growth in Search Interest Job Seekers Per Job Opening
United States 35% 1.4
United Kingdom 19% 1.6


With the increased attention to diversity in the workplace over the last few years, companies are putting their money where their mouths are by ramping up hiring for dedicated diversity and inclusion workers. Many of these openings are for managers and leaders with greater ability to raise issues up the management chain. While the best ways to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace are not set in stone, the increase in investment, effort and people working towards these goals is an encouraging sign for the future. However, there is still room for improvement. Some industries, like Media and Entertainment have been slow to increase their investment despite heightened scrutiny. Smaller employers too may have fewer resources to hire dedicated diversity and inclusion experts. Both of these groups, however, risk being left behind as the market and job seekers evolve and a higher premium is placed on welcoming and inclusive workplaces. The prospect of additional diversity reporting requirements and increasing public scrutiny put pressure on businesses of all sizes to put money and people behind their commitment to diversity and inclusion.


Our analysis is based on a large sample of online job postings, employee reviews and search logs on Glassdoor current through August 2019.  To measure the number of job openings, we performed a text search of Glassdoor’s real-time job openings database for any job posting with a job title containing English keywords related to diversity & inclusion. We also searched for equivalent terms in German, French, Spanish and Portuguese. Job titles and seniority levels were grouped into a smaller set of Glassdoor-defined canonical titles and levels using a proprietary machine learning model. To determine job seeker interest, we counted any searches conducted using the same D&I-related keywords. Job openings and search data are smoothed using a 4-week trailing average to reduce the effects of week-to-week volatility. To measure employee sentiment around diversity, we counted reviews that mention diversity keywords positively or negatively and report the annual share of reviews that speak about diversity positively. We designate a review as speaking positively about diversity if diversity is mentioned in the "pro" section. We report data only for full years for which we have above a minimum number of reviews. 

Newsletter Signup

Sign up to receive updates from the Economic Research Team.