Netflix Unveils 2021 Workforce Diversity Stats: Gains In Black Employees, Women Hold Over Half Of Global Leadership Roles

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Netflix said U.S. employees from “historically excluded racial backgrounds” made up 50.5% of its workforce in 2021, up from 46.8% in 2020, with the number of Black employees rising to 10.7% from 8.6% and Black leadership (director level or above) at 13.3% from 10.9%.

Employees who identified as Hispanic rose to 8.6% from 7.9%, with leadership positions about flat at 4.4% vs 4.3%.

Of the 22 members of its senior leadership team, ten are women and five are from one or more historically excluded ethnic and/or racial backgrounds, according to a blog post this morning by Verna Myers, the giant streamer’s VP of Inclusion Strategy.

Women represented more than half of Netflix’ global workforce in 2021 at 51.7% (including 51.1% in leadership, 37% in technical roles, 59.5% in creative and corporate roles). That compares, respectively, with 48.7% total in 2020 (47.8% in leadership, 34.6% in technical roles, 57.3% creative and corporate roles). The numbers are based on 10,000 global employees as of Dec., 2021 versus 8,000 as of Dec., 2020.

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Leadership is defined as a director, vice president or executive officer role.

The number of white employees dipped to 42.8% of the total in 2021 from 44.3% in 2020. At 54.3% in leadership vs 56.6%.

Asian employees were at 23.5%, up from 24%. with 16.2% in leadership vs 15.3% in 2020.

Middle Eastern/North African employees: 1.3% in 2021 vs 0.8% the year before. Flat at 0.3% in leadership.

Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander employees: Flat at 0.5% in 2021. At 1% vs 0.6% for leadership.

American Indian/Alaska Native employees were 0.3% in 2021, unchanged. Leadership was 0.1% from zero.

Employees who identified as two or more ethnicities were 5.6% in 2021 of the total, up from 4.8% in 2020. At 4.7% vs 4.2% in leadership.

Race and ethnicity data was based on 7,300 U.S. employees in 2021 and 6,300 U.S. employees in 2020. (Also, the percentages don’t add up to 100% because 6.7% of U.S. employees and 5.7% of leadership chose not to disclose race/ethnicity.)

Companies are increasingly starting to pull the veil off workforce diversity and reporting annual statistics amid a DEI push by Wall Street investors and broader focus on social justice in the nation and the industry — sparked in part by widespread protests after the murder of George Floyd in the summer of 2020. Progress is slow but at least can be tracked.

Last summer, the SEC approved a new Nasdaq requirement that public companies listed on the exchange have, or publicly disclose why they do not have, at least two diverse directors including at least one woman and one director who self-identifies as an underrepresented minority or as LGBTQ+.

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