Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at IDEO

IDEO is driven by the ambition to create positive impact in the world through design and creativity, and to help others do the same. Fostering a diverse community of talent and ensuring an equitable and inclusive workplace are essential to that ambition.

our commitment
2022 DE&I SUMMARY
2021 DE&I SUMMARY
2020 DE&I SUMMARY

Across our global organization, we are committed to making IDEO a place where everyone has equal access to opportunity and growth, where our differences are celebrated and cherished, and where those differences fuel our collective creativity.

An important measure of our progress will be the ongoing evolution in the diversity of our community. We will continue to share that information publicly, publishing summary data annually about demographic representation at IDEO.

December 2022

Demographic Data

This information is collected from our employees at the time of hiring, and the specific data collected varies from country to country.

Race/Ethnicity (U.S)

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Hover over segments to see the corresponding value

    American Indian or Alaska Native (0.2%)    Asian (20.4%)    Black or African American (6.7%)    Hispanic or Latinx (7.6%)    Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander (0.0%)    Two or More Races (4.5%)   White (60.6%)  Data values shown in legend are for 2022.

Level and Data Details

IDEO’s demographic data is self-reported by employees upon their employment at IDEO, as per U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines and as privacy laws recommend in other regions. The data limitations for gender identity (two options) and race/ethnicity (seven options) are a result of the EEO’s defined classifications.

  • The EEO-1 Report is a compliance survey mandated by the U.S. government. More details and a sample copy of the EEO-1 form are available here.

  • IDEO does not collect race/ethnicity data in countries outside the United States.

  • IDEO employment levels are categorized as follows:

    • Individual Contributors — Focus primarily on individual contributions to teams and/or departments.

    • Team Leads — Begin taking direct responsibility for others, often by leading projects or guiding other practitioners.

    • Directors — Hold leadership responsibilities across studio, location, and organizational levels. They help guide craft, manage client relationships, shape culture, and participate directly in people development.

    • Senior Leadership — Carries a broad range of responsibilities for nurturing individual development of designers, including career and salary decisions. They make decisions that affect the strategic direction of the business.

  • Percentages may not sum perfectly to 100 because of rounding.

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Gender

U.S. Data / Global Data

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    Women    Men    Non-Binary   * Internal data included to recognize those in our community who identify outside binary gender classifications.

Level and Data Details

IDEO’s demographic data is self-reported by employees upon their employment at IDEO, as per U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines and as privacy laws recommend in other regions. The data limitations for gender identity (two options) and race/ethnicity (seven options) are a result of the EEO’s defined classifications. 

  • The EEO-1 Report is a compliance survey mandated by the U.S. government. More details and a sample copy of the EEO-1 form are available here.

  • IDEO does not collect race/ethnicity data in countries outside the United States.

  • IDEO employment levels are categorized as follows:

    • Individual Contributors — Focus primarily on individual contributions to teams and/or departments.

    • Team Leads — Begin taking direct responsibility for others, often by leading projects or guiding other practitioners.

    • Directors — Hold leadership responsibilities across studio, location, and organizational levels. They help guide craft, manage client relationships, shape culture, and participate directly in people development.

    • Senior Leadership — Carries a broad range of responsibilities for nurturing individual development of designers, including career and salary decisions. They make decisions that affect the strategic direction of the business.

  • Percentages may not sum perfectly to 100 because of rounding.

Close

Race & Gender Intersection (U.S.)

filter by category

    Women    Men    Non-Binary   * Internal data included to recognize those in our community who identify outside binary gender classifications.

Data Details

IDEO’s demographic data is self-reported by employees upon their employment at IDEO, as per U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) guidelines and as privacy laws recommend in other regions. The data limitations for gender identity (two options) and race/ethnicity (seven options) are a result of the EEO’s defined classifications.

  • The EEO-1 Report is a compliance survey mandated by the U.S. government. More details and a sample copy of the EEO-1 form are available here.

  • IDEO does not collect race/ethnicity data in countries outside the United States.

  • To protect the privacy of individual employees, we chose not to share intersectional data divided by levels.

  • Percentages may not sum perfectly to 100 because of rounding.

Close

IDEO’s employment data, in accordance with government requirements, inaccurately presents gender as binary. We don’t agree with this presentation and want to publicly acknowledge that there are members of our community who identify outside a binary gender framework, including Agender, Androgynous, Bigender, Gender non-conforming, More than one, Questioning, and Two Spirit.

Data Observations

The key observations for 2022 are: 

IDEO still needs more Black, Indigenous, and Latinx employees at all levels, especially at the director and senior leadership levels. 39 percent of IDEO's workforce in the U.S., where the largest proportion of our employees is based, identifies as people of color (37 percent in 2021, 32 percent in 2020). Of note are these details: 

  • The composition of the U.S. community is less than 7 percent Black (5 percent in 2021, less than 3 percent in 2020), less than 8 percent Hispanic/Latinx (less than 7 percent in 2021, 5 percent in 2020), and less than 1% Indigenous (no change from 2021 and 2020). 

  • The proportion of people of color in director roles is 32 percent, an increase from 28 percent in 2021 and 21 percent in 2020, but the proportion of people of color in senior leadership positions at 14 percent is a decrease from 15 percent in 2021 (8 percent in 2020). 

Put together, it means we must continue to bring more people of color into IDEO at all levels, particularly into leadership roles, and work to establish and accelerate more consistent progress overall.

Globally, women represent 60 percent of our workforce (57 percent in 2021, 56 percent in 2020). Over the last three years, we’ve made consistent progress to bring more women into leadership roles (42 percent in 2022, 37 percent in 2021, 28 percent in 2020) but the proportion is still measurably smaller than our base representation. We will continue to bring more women into leadership roles and retain women leaders transitioning into enterprise leadership.

It is important to note that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) reporting does not include non-binary gender representation. This makes our gender data incomplete. This limitation however does not compromise our efforts to make IDEO a safe and welcoming place for people of all genders to pursue their career aspirations.

Actions

In 2022, we continued working to ensure that our efforts to build an inclusive and equitable culture can result in lasting change. 

We organize our work to build a diverse team and inclusive culture at IDEO into four key initiatives:

  1. Ensure that all of us learn to adopt mindsets and behaviors that support inclusion.

  2. Build internal systems that promote broad representation and equitable access to opportunity and information.

  3. Support the authentic integration of inclusive, responsible, and ethical design practices into our core capabilities.

  4. Expand access to design for communities that are underrepresented or excluded from it.

These initiatives, built from our stated commitments in 2020, encompass efforts from teams in every region across IDEO, including:

Ongoing Programs and Resources

  • DE&I leadership groups in each geography in which we operate

  • Investment in Employee Resource Groups as formal structures for identity groups to foster community and connect with global leadership

  • Coaching support for people of color at IDEO for self-directed needs

  • An internal community-led collective to evolve our design practice and put inclusivity and equity at its core and bring in external experts/guest speakers to advance our thinking

  • Mandatory interview training for all involved in hiring to promote consistency and decrease bias during interviews

  • Systems to support anonymous feedback and reporting

  • Equal access to learning resources that include modules on DE&I fundamentals

  • Design workshops for youth in London, San Francisco, and Tokyo, including communities that have had less access to the design industry

  • A fellowship program to expand opportunity in design through a paid, full-time employment experience at IDEO, designed specifically for BIPOC individuals (in partnership with RepresentED)

New Initiatives in 2022

  • A six-month leadership development program for BIPOC employees at all levels

  • A new Employee Resource Group for employees with disabilities 

  • Salary band transparency for external job postings (launched December 2022)

  • Donation of $500,000 worth of design services annually for two years through five IDEO staffed projects to three external organizations working on racial Justice.

  • An internal resourcing tool to drive discretionary spending toward BIPOC and women-owned businesses 

  • New trainings for leaders with positional and representational power to build capacity as accomplices for underrepresented communities as well as to support DE&I transformation programs internally

  • A training program to equip leaders to meet the unique needs of visa-holding employees, designed by Horizon, our Employee Resource Group for immigrants and visa holders 

  • An internal publication to bring clarity and tangibility to best practices for inclusive leadership for other forms of leadership beyond people management 

  • New performance management standards for senior leaders that emphasize inclusive leadership and 360 feedback

  • Custom-designed icons to highlight allyship for LGBTQAI+ community in Japan and local maps of accessible and LGBTQAI+ friendly establishments

There continues to be much work ahead and we are committed to the journey. In 2023, we will advance our four key initiatives with particular focus on programs that support and enable: inclusive leadership; widespread trust and psychological safety; effective allyship and accompliceship; a strong network of Employee Resource Groups; and the growth and retention of people from historically marginalized communities.

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