Alaska Airlines’ DEI Journey: Progress and Ongoing Efforts

In February 2021, Alaska Airlines announced its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) objectives for 2025, aiming to create a more inclusive workplace environment. As of March 2023, the company’s initiatives focus on improving representation, elevating public leadership, and cultivating a culture of inclusion. With roughly 18 months remaining until the target year, Alaska Airlines acknowledges varying degrees of progress across different sectors and continues to identify new areas of focus to align with its objectives.


While the airline has witnessed marginal yet consistent improvements in racial diversity among its frontline staff, increasing by 0.1 percentage points year-over-year, leadership diversity has shown more significant growth with a 1.9 percentage point increase. Notably, the talent pipeline has expanded within supervisory and managerial roles, as well as among individual contributors poised for director-level positions or higher. Since 2021, BIPOC leadership at the director level or above has surged by 44%. Key actions to strengthen the diverse talent pipeline include analyzing and expanding effective pipeline programs, emphasizing leader accountability, refining Affirmative Action Plans (AAP) to address representation disparities, and enhancing mentorship and professional development opportunities.


To gauge employee engagement and inclusion, Alaska Airlines incorporates eight inclusion-focused questions in its employee surveys to generate an “Inclusion Index Score.” While this score has recently decreased from +7 to +4, the airline is implementing several initiatives to foster a sense of belonging. These initiatives include:


Employee Resource Groups (ERGs):

These groups provide a platform for employees to connect with colleagues from similar backgrounds and advocate for inclusivity.

Unconscious Bias Training:

To address implicit biases that can impact hiring, promotions, and other workplace decisions, Alaska Airlines provides unconscious bias training to employees at various levels.

Inclusive Leadership Development:

The airline invests in training and development programs that equip leaders with the skills to create and sustain inclusive environments.

Public Leadership

Alaska Airlines emphasizes the importance of education as a cornerstone of equity and actively supports educational endeavors through collaborations and sponsorships. This commitment includes:


Partnerships with Educational Institutions:

The airline collaborates with educational institutions to provide scholarships, mentorship opportunities, and career development programs for students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Community Engagement Programs:

Alaska Airlines participates in community engagement programs that support educational initiatives and promote access to opportunities for diverse communities.

As Alaska Airlines continues its journey towards 2025, it aims not only to meet but exceed its DEI goals, making substantial strides in creating an equitable workplace.

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