What’s the latest on our DEI commitments?

Key Takeaways

  • Moving in the right direction: In nearly every goal category (Representation, Culture and Public Leadership), we have made upwards progress.
  • New data: Moving forward, we will publicly share our workforce profile for race/ethnicity, gender, veterans and disabilities.
  • This work takes time: Sometimes progress can seem slow. Transparently sharing data and updates periodically will help us check we’re moving in the right direction. We have a plan to reach our goals and continue to update that as we listen and learn from our employees, community partners and guests.

Last February, we announced our  2025 diversity, equity and inclusion goals and commitment to a more inclusive workforce. In April, we shared an update on what’s underway to meet our goals.

This work is core to our values and critical to our strategic growth plan, and we’re pleased to share we’re making progress. This work takes time, and sometimes progress can seem slow. Transparently sharing data and updates periodically will help us check we’re moving in the right direction. We have a plan to reach our goals and continue to update that as we listen and learn from you.

Here’s a recap of where we are today and where we’re headed.


We last reported 33% of our frontline and manager levels are racially diverse compared to 16% within leadership. We ended the year at 33% and 16.9%, respectively, and today, we’re at 34.3% and 17.5%, making a 0.6-point increase in leadership representation in just two months.

This data reinforces the need to be more intentional about the growth and development of our diverse employees to help prepare them for the next level, retain the talent we already have, and continue to focus on hiring diverse talent.

To build a diverse talent pipeline for hiring and promoting great talent, we are:

  • Enhancing our ability to identify diverse internal candidates for promotion by focusing on our talent in pipeline programs and talent discussions, intentionally creating development and promotion opportunities for those who complete leadership programs through McKinsey & Co. and Alaska’s Developing Emerging Leaders (DEL). Additionally, we’re ensuring the diversity of candidates of these programs to emerging leaders.
  • Identifying new organizations to partner with and expanding partnerships with organizations like AtWork!, supporting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and the Organization for Black Aerospace Professionals and Women in Aviation, to name a few.
  • Collaborating with Alaska Native Science and Engineering Program (ANSEP) leadership to develop an aviation program that complements existing curriculum for middle schoolers. Additional partnerships include a pilot pipeline partnership with the University of Alaska Anchorage, flight training and internships with Alaska EXCEL, and more.
  • Launching workshops with Business Resource Groups (BRG) to include tips for resume building, interviewing and more.
  • Broadening the We Fly mentorship program developed by the Women in Tech BRG to support frontline employees’ growth and development.

Progress so far:

  • Of our director and above new hires in 2021, 41% identify as Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC), an improvement since requiring 50% diverse candidate slates and interview panels for senior leadership roles.
  • A group of diverse Alaska Inflight leaders partnered with the recruiting team to host 14 flight attendant hiring events, resulting in 200 new hires scheduled for training in Q1 2022.
  • Increased BIPOC representation and diversity-certified recruiters on the Talent Acquisition team.
  • Completed a bias audit of flight attendant and Horizon pilot job descriptions.
  • Launched  to increase the diverse talent pipeline within our pilots.
  • Announced the appointment of Adrienne Lofton to the company’s board of directors, bringing the total number of independent directors to 12. With Lofton’s appointment, the AAG Board’s make-up of independent directors is now 42% female and 50% racially diverse. 

DEI metrics are part of our performance-based compensation for executive leaders. To set them up for success and bring attention and change, we are:

  • Ensuring consistent communication, engagement and accountability with leaders, including a monthly review of the DEI and People Dashboards to highlight current representation within divisions and consult on strategies to address the data.
  • Looking at the right data to affect change, such as promotions, candidate slate, turnover, and representation by organizational level.

Gender Diversity, Veteran and Disability Representation:

The new DEI Scorecard will include the above data to bring awareness to areas of improvement, and our DEI team will work with leaders across the company to address these goals. The scorecard will also look at performance by division to understand opportunity areas and progress relative to our goals.


In April, we reported our “Inclusion Index Score” increased by 9 points, based on a set of eight inclusion-related questions in our annual employee engagement survey (i.e., Alaska/Horizon values the importance of attracting and retaining a diverse workforce; I belong at Alaska/Horizon, etc.). We will have a new score to report in Q2 2022. To ensure Alaska and Horizon is a place in which everyone sees themselves, belongs, and can be their best, we are: 

  • Increasing the partnership between Business Resource Groups (BRG’s) and leaders to help achieve our goals.  
  • Creating and embedding DEI concepts and education across divisional learning programs (e.g., Inflight training).
  • Promoting and celebrating our diversity, interests and differences in partnership with BRGs (i.e., heritage months)
  • Educating and growing inclusive leaders across Alaska and Horizon.

Progress so far:

  • Conducted Sr. Leadership Safety circles for leaders to learn and practice having conversations about race and learn ways to better support their teams and BIPOC employees.
  • Launched an internal learning series to create awareness and build a culture where we seek to understand the experiences of those around us, including ACT Allyship training, Let’s Talk series and DEI Foundations Training.
  • Conducted station visits with SFO, PDX, SEA, SJC, LAX to meet with frontline employees about how they experience DEI at Alaska and understand station needs.
  • Hosted an all-employee DEI webcast to share what DEI means, our commitments and goals, and more.
  • Launched THRIVE, a new BRG to promote mental health and wellness.

Public Leadership

We believe education is the great equalizer and a critical component on the path to equity. Through career panels, events, philanthropic giving, and community partnerships, as of January 10, 2022, we’ve created career pathways for 11,090 young people. While the pandemic has changed how we engage young people, we continue to hold virtual events to support access to education through travel and reevaluate in-person activities when it is safe to do so. Other ways we’re supporting education include:

  • Partnering with Special Olympics to send Team Alaska’s largest delegation in program history to compete. The 29 athletes represent seven Alaska communities – Anchorage, the central Kenai Peninsula, Juneau, Ketchikan, Kodiak, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, and Tanana Valley.
  • Strengthening community partnerships via new initiatives and supporting student travel for annual events on the Our Commitment aircraft.
  • Advocacy in support of policies opening career pathways for people from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including a focus in DC on legislative work to enable equitable access to pilot careers.
  • Creating in-depth partnerships with high school districts with diverse student populations, including Central Kitsap (WA) and Hillsboro (OR). They will be our partners in kicking off our high school summer internship program.
  • Bringing Aviation Day back in Seattle and Portland, focusing on inspiring diverse young people for careers in aviation.

Progress so far:

  • Joined the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Partnership Challenge  to promote greater engagement and support between private companies and HBCUs.
  • Hosted student teams participating in STEM+Arts education programs (including iPitch) and career panels with the Museum of Flight Educators, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Washington State University’s Team Mentoring Program (TMP).
  • Invited students from the ANSEP program and San Francisco Unified School District to tour our ecoDemonstrator aircraft and talk with employees about aviation careers in Anchorage and SFO.
  • Supported over fifty nonprofits in 2021 whose grants focus on engaging young people around career pathways.