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In 2019, we declared our company's commitment to creating a more diverse and inclusive platform for communities working and traveling the world together. Since then, we've shared two updates on our DEI journey. Today marks the third installment of our commitment to keep the dialogue going, hold ourselves accountable, share our results and progress, and inspire others to do the same.
Our journey on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within the travel industry has been long and challenging, but we remain committed to the work required. We are incredibly proud that we are gradually building the more perfect world we always dreamed of, starting with ourselves. Today we are excited to share just some of the incredible progress we’ve made in 2021 so far on the diversity front, including growing the diversity of our participants with ages ranging from 25-62 years old, 48% people of color, and 11%+ identifying as LGBTQ+.
Below is a more extensive update on our journey so far and what we’re seeing in 2021.
THE DEI JOURNEY
COMPANY DEI-RELATED CHANGES IN 2021
Following our acquisition, we made key changes to our mission, product offerings, and marketing to continue to drive DEI goals.
First, we renewed our company mission to "be the most trusted community-based travel platform for remote working and learning globally" and our vision to "inspire connections, adventure, and growth in the most inspiring places on the planet." It was important for us to highlight trust, community, connections, and growth -- all values that are impossible to live by without a commitment to DEI.
Second, we made product changes to accommodate a more diverse range of distinct customer needs, lifestyle and budget preferences, and interests:
Third, we revamped all of our marketing and brand materials, website, and social media to reflect the diversity of the people and places we visit around the world. We made an internal commitment to audit all of our public-facing assets to showcase at least 50% people of color and a wider range of ages, nationalities, and voices. We also created a new page on our website to share more about what makes our Remote Year community (the “Remote Nation”) so diverse and unique, made our stance on DEI and violations of our Code of Conduct clear, and highlighted helpful content generated by our own Remote Year community for POCs who want to understand more about the Remote Year experience as an underrepresented minority.
Finally, we instituted KPIs and measurements in our marketing and sales processes to ensure we were tracking and holding ourselves accountable to our goals. For the first time ever, we introduced optional race and ethnicity questions in the application survey as well as program onboarding survey. This helped us finally get a gauge on if we were moving the needle with our DEI progress, in the early stages of program recruitment so we could make adjustments as needed.
In the last 2 months, we have launched a total of 11 community-based travel programs for 2021 with many more planned to release each month. Our first 3 programs launched to the public sold out, our other 8 programs are filling ahead of schedule, and we have added more programs to keep up with the demand. We are incredibly grateful to our current Remote Year community and the world for trusting us to safely deliver the life-changing experiences we have done for thousands of remote workers and learners. However, we are proudest of the huge strides we are making on diversity and representation and know there is still much more work to be done.
Across our participant population, we have climbed from 27% representation of people of color in 2018 to an astounding 48% in 2021. Notably, we have tripled our Black/African participants from 5% to 15% and more than doubled our Hispanic/Latino participants from 7% to 19%. Our Asian/Pacific Islander population continues to hold strong at 14%.
Across age, we are seeing a wide range of ages from 25 - 62 years old in 2021. The average age now has grown to 35 years old.
Across sexual orientation, we have 11% reporting that they are part of the LGBTQ+ community.
Across gender, we continue to have strong representation of women on our programs, at around 65%.
Total nationalities across the Remote Year Nation continue to number between 30-40 countries represented. COVID-19 has obviously made it challenging for many passports to move freely across the world, but our shorter 1-week Retreats and 1-month Work & Travel programs have now made the Remote Year experience accessible to even more passports and we expect our country representation to grow in 2021. For the first time, we are seeing nationals from Zimbabwe and Cambodia join our programs and hope to see many more new countries represented in our community.
THE ROAD AHEAD
This month, we will be launching our first new program almost one year exactly to the date we first suspended programs due to COVID. In our most challenging and tough times as a company last year, we never lost sight of the DEI commitments we made even when we didn't know how we would survive. Today, not only are we surviving, but we are thriving with a vibrant Remote Year community that is more diverse and representative than we have ever seen. We will be rolling out many initiatives later this year to continue to drive the following DEI priorities in 2021:
We are two years into this DEI journey, but we are fired up for the road still left ahead. We want to make a bold statement that we are not just going to continue to do our part to make the travel industry more diverse, representative, and inclusive, but rather that we are committed to being at the forefront and leading that change. Thanks to all of our community for continuing to be the inspiration and the fuel behind everything that we do. We look forward to continuing to share our journey with the world.
For more information or to share your feedback, please write us at email@example.com. Every message is read by our leadership team.