Alaska Air Group commits to a more inclusive workforce by 2025

Photo by Ingrid Barrentine.

What we believe.

At Alaska, we believe every person deserves respect regardless of race, ethnicity, capability, age, gender or sexual orientation; we believe that aviation can enable opportunity; and we’re committed to advancing equity in all forms, with an initial focus on racial equity. While we have more work to advance diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) for our company and industry, today, we are setting specific and measurable goals to deliver on our commitments to racial equity.

“Alaska’s values — own safety, do the right thing and be kind-hearted — are the foundation of who we are and what drives us to be the airline people love. Diversity, equity and inclusion are about valuing each person’s uniqueness and life experiences so the world can see, learn and benefit from diverse perspectives. Our success depends on it.” — Ben Minicucci, Alaska Airlines President and incoming CEO

Our commitments.

Alaska stands against hate, intolerance and racism of any kind. Our guests should always feel welcome on board and our employees deserve to feel safe and a sense of belonging when they come to work. This means racism and discrimination have no place on our airplanes or in our workplace. We commit to keeping all of our environments safe for everyone. We will ensure this by creating a workplace where we continue to improve and learn, and we will hold ourselves accountable by measuring and reporting our progress.

Our Goals.

Representation: By 2025, the racial diversity of our leadership will reflect the diversity of our frontline employees. Today we have 30%+ racial diversity within our frontline and manager levels compared to 16% racial diversity within our leadership levels. Our greatest opportunity is to increase the diversity of our leadership levels to reflect the diversity of our broader employee population.

We will increase racial diversity at all levels to at least 30% by:

  • Updating our recruiting strategies to diversify our talent pool.
  • Supporting the education pipeline that enables career pathways for diverse talent within aviation.
  • Creating leadership development and sponsorship programs that help us attract and retain more diverse talent.

Culture: By 2025, we will increase our company’s “Inclusion Index Score” in our employee engagement survey by 10 points, reflecting our commitment to cultivate a truly inclusive culture where everyone feels like they belong. Our work will involve our Business Resource Groups, who play a critical role in helping our leaders to better support our people. Through DEI training, we will create awareness, educate and reinforce policies that support equity and inclusion.

Public Leadership: By 2025, we will help create career pathways for at least 175,000 young people. We will do this by supporting programs like UNCF, which empowers and enables opportunity through a lens of racial equity. Our employees have also asked us to lean into our values through public leadership. We will use our voice and platforms humbly, knowing that we continue to learn and grow in partnership with community-based organizations dedicated to education and racial equity.

“These goals represent the next step in our journey to be a better company. We still have a ways to go, but we are committed to doing the work, being transparent about our progress, listening to feedback and holding ourselves accountable,” says Minicucci.

What success looks like.

We remain committed to being transparent and open about our progress throughout this journey. Below are some examples of how we’ll know if we’re heading in the right direction:

  • All of our employees feel like they belong and can do their best work.
  • Our leadership team reflects the diversity of our frontline workgroups and the communities we serve.
  • Leaders are visible champions and role models of inclusive leadership.
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion are systematically integrated into our business processes and culture.
  • We maintain a zero-tolerance stance for harassment or discrimination of any kind in our workplace.
  • We will continue to strive for a safe space culture where employees feel empowered to have open and critical dialogue with their peers and leaders — creating a culture where we seek to understand.
  • The diverse communities we serve are actively supported, engaged and advocated for.
    The sky’s the limit.

We recognize the lengthy runway we have in front of us. We are on a journey to be better — for our guests, employees and communities we serve. We are committed to continuing this critical conversation, changing how we’ve always done things and sharing our progress to drive meaningful change inside and outside of our company.

Making progress.

  • Completed six employee listening sessions designed to learn about our employees’ real experiences and challenges to inform our path forward.
  • Conducted Courageous Conversations with employees and leaders throughout the organization where we learned about racism, how to discuss racism and how to take action against racism.
  • Enhanced our zero tolerance policy and training.
  • Launched racial equity training for all employees.
  • Embedded Diversity, Equity and Inclusion into our new Talent Acquisition system. This included completing a bias audit of work processes.
  • Require 50% diverse candidate slates and interview panels for senior leadership roles.
  • Updated our succession planning and talent review approach and processes to reduce bias and support Diversity, Equity and Inclusion practices.
  • Joined the Washington Employers for Racial Equity coalition.
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