Industry Snapshot: Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

November 10, 2021
Digital Equity Lab

Diversity is steadily increasing in the workplace, particularly in a time of a global pandemic and rapid social change. Organizations are re-examining old systems and processes and exploring new ways to accommodate the varied cultures and backgrounds of their employees. Companies are adapting to better uphold diversity principles. A first of its kind, our new Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice in Design certificate was created specifically with designers and creatives in mind, to equip them with ways to make the workplace a better and safer environment.

The American Council on Education finds that between 1997 and 2017, as the population of the United States increased, racial and ethnic diversity grew along with it. The educational attainment of people age 25 and older also rose, with Asians as the ethnic group with the highest levels of postsecondary education in 2017. With this diversity comes a greater need for professionals with EISJ skills.

What is EISJ?

EISJ stands for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice. Due to movements such as Black Lives Matter, this term has gained popularity. It is used by organizations and institutions to signify a commitment to equality in everything from operations to hiring. The New School has been on the forefront of higher education institutions championing EISJ efforts; University President Dwight McBride recently created a new Office of Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice.

But where do creative professionals such as graphic designers and artists fit in? Our new EISJ in Design certificate tailors these equality concepts for creative fields, to prepare designers to face inequalities in the workplace. Students develop an in-depth understanding of the dimensions of social justice and gain practical tools with which to advance equity, inclusion, and social justice in design projects and pursuits.

EISJ Design can mean anything from advocating for all-gender restrooms to pushing for diverse board members and decision makers. Many companies have implemented design initiatives such as creating Employee Resource Groups (otherwise known as affinity groups) to build morale, and tweaking their hiring questions to remove bias and screen for employees of all skills and backgrounds.

Sam Mejias, Associate Professor of Social Justice and Community Engagement and EISJ in Design certificate creator, asks, "How can we better understand our everyday encounters with issues of injustice in our fields of professional practice, and learn to think about design as a way to promote social justice? The Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice in Design certificate breaks down complex ideas and offers practical tools for building equitable futures."

Nationwide EISJ Trends

According to Linkedin, hiring a Diversity specialist is a top trend in Equity and Inclusion in 2021. In 2020, the median compensation for Diversity and Inclusion Managers in the United States was $57.67/hr. Additionally, between October 2020 and October 2021, according to the job market resource EMSI, the hard skill of Diversity and Inclusion is in high demand, with the percentage of total job postings 16% higher than the percentage of people with the skill.

Regional Breakdown

Top Cities Posting

According to EMSI, there have been 8,399 job postings for Diversity and Inclusion Managers from October 2020 to October 2021. The top cities posting jobs in this field are:

  • New York, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Washington, DC
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Seattle, WA
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Boston, MA
  • Pittsburgh, PA

Check out our new EISJ in Design certificate and the additional resources below to learn how you can use these tools to enhance your personal and professional life by supporting a safer, more equitable work environment.

Additional Resources

Projections of the Labor Force, 2016-2026

Meet America’s Best Employers For Diversity 2021

Breaking Down Barriers to Achieve Equity and Inclusion in Design

American Council on Education

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