Diversity at Redfin in 2021

Diversity at Redfin in 2021


Each spring, Redfin reports on the diversity of our employees in the prior year, and the results from our initiatives to make Redfin a better place for employees of all colors and creeds. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing throughout the year, and the socio-economic trend known as “The Great Resignation,” we saw volatility in employee hiring and retention. Despite those pressures, we increased the percentage of employees who are people of color1 from 34% to 37%. Note that results throughout this post are rounded to the nearest whole number. 

Racial and Ethnic Diversity at Redfin

% POC % Black % Latino % Asian
2019 2020 2021 2019 2020 2021 2019 2020 2021 2019 2020 2021
Field 28% 31% 35% 8% 9% 10% 10% 11% 12% 6% 6% 7%
Business 29% 32% 39% 5% 6% 11% 3% 6% 7% 15% 15% 16%
Tech 54% 55% 62% 3% 5% 5% 3% 5% 4% 42% 40% 47%
Redfin 31% 34% 37% 8% 9% 10% 9% 10% 11% 10% 10% 12%
NAR 19% 20% 23% 5% 6% 7% 9% 10% 9% 4% 5% 6%
Census 40% 42% No Data 12% 12% No Data 18% 19% No Data 6% 6% No Data

Due to shifts in department categorization and employee self-identification reporting, the results reported here for 2019 and 2020 may differ slightly from those reported in prior blog posts. The table does not include 2021 U.S. Census data, which won’t be  available until later this year.  

Growing Redfin, Increasing Diversity

In 2021, we grew our total employee headcount by 37%. Compared to 2020, our overall population of people of color increased over three points to 37%. In the field, we increased from 31% to 35%, which is above the National Association of Realtors (NAR) industry average of 23%. Both our business operations and tech departments had a seven-point increase to 39% and 62%, respectively. When looking at the populations where we have had the lowest representation, our Black and Latino employee populations had small increases of close to one-percentage point.   

Slating Works Better Than Not Slating

In 2021, we required the slate of candidates interviewing for many roles to include at least one diverse candidate. We don’t hire or decline to hire based on a candidate’s race, gender, or other legally protected class. We use slating as a mechanism to give us the time to attract candidates who are underrepresented in the market2

So, did it work? Our answer is somewhat. We know that we make more diverse hires when we slate roles than when we don’t slate. Last year across Redfin, we interviewed a person of color for approximately 40% of all individual contributor roles and for over 75% of our management roles. We increased our diverse hiring rate for each of these groups, but we can’t fully attribute the increase to slating. 

Increasing Our Applicant Rate

We invested in new candidate-sourcing tools that increased our diverse applicant rate by 15% for individual contributor tech roles. We extended our partnerships with organizations like ColorStack and the Society of Hispanic engineers to increase brand awareness, resulting in a 50% increase in our applicant rate for Black and Latino candidates. We will expand our partnerships to include groups like LeadDev and Grace Hopper Seminar to engage more experienced engineers as well as host diversity-centric events to showcase Redfin.

Untapped, Unconventional Tech Hiring

Our intern and recent-college graduate programs are a training ground for future top performers and Redfin leaders. We made diversity hiring prominent in how we attracted people of color to our programs, using our career site and social media profiles to tell the story of diversity at Redfin. Our current cohort is 45% women and 45% underrepresented people.

Recruiting Teams Reflect the Diversity of the Market

The size of our recruiting teams grew by 75% in 2021. As we grew, we increased the number of people of color on our headquarters-recruiting team from 22% to 50%. While our field-recruiting representation decreased seven points for people of color, representation remains strong at 44%. 

More Managers of Color

While we continue to have year-over-year increases in people of color in management roles, we are flat for Latino managers. At our most senior levels of director and above, the number of people of color increased from 14% to 22%. Senior leaders who are Black or Latino had a smaller increase of just under two points. Increasing diversity among our senior leaders will help us make better decisions and build diverse teams. In 2022, our goal is to increase the share of Redfin senior leaders who identify as Black, Latino, Pacific Islander, or Native American from 9% to 12%. We will invest in additional recruiting capacity to build diverse networks and launch a program to help our mid-level managers develop the skills to advance. 

Racial and Ethnic Diversity Among Redfin Managers

%POC %Black %Latino %Asian
2019 2020 2021 2019 2020 2021 2019 2020 2021 2019 2020 2021
Field 21% 25% 24% 7% 7% 7% 7% 9% 8% 4% 4% 4%
Business 17% 20% 26% 2% 4% 8% 0% 1% 2% 11% 12% 15%
Tech 37% 38% 46% 2% 3% 2% 2% 2% 4% 29% 28% 35%
Redfin 22% 26% 28% 5% 6% 7% 5% 6% 6% 9% 9% 10%

Managers Make the Difference

Many times the person who makes the biggest difference in someone’s professional development and advancement is their manager. We need to do more to develop our managers to manage across differences and create an equitable experience for all employees. In 2022, we will overhaul manager development to include even more focus on creating an inclusive culture, managing personal biases, and creating space for authentic conversations.  

Redfin is 59% Women, 51% at Management Levels

Outside of tech, women make up well over half of Redfin. In tech, our representation held flat at 37% which compares well to technical staff at Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, where approximately 26% of tech employees are women. Women in management increased slightly overall. Our percentage of women managers in tech increased by eight points to 33%, followed by a four-point increase for women managers in business operations. While hiring played a role, promotions from individual contributor to manager roles in our product team drove the results. The product team adopted a practice of managers asking individual contributors about their interest in developing into a manager and socializing management opportunities. Our engineering teams pioneered this practice at Redfin a couple of years ago. It has helped start conversations with employees about the development needed to progress and has positively impacted the movement of people of color and/or women into managerial roles.  

Representation of Women at Redfin

All Employees Manager
2019 2020 2021 2019 2020 2021
Field 60% 63% 61% 51% 55% 54%
Business 56% 57% 59% 52% 49% 53%
Tech 34% 37% 37% 26% 25% 33%
Redfin 57% 60% 59% 48% 50% 51%
NAR 67% 64% 65%

Attrition is 5% Higher for People of Color

The attrition for people of color is 5% higher than that of white employees. Through pulse and interviews, we know that people of color believe that their opportunities to advance are limited compared to their coworkers. Our data doesn’t show a difference in the time it takes for people of color to be promoted compared to white employees. That said, we can do more to build trust by increasing transparency into the criteria for promotion and a person’s pay. We are building career ladders for our field roles to be clear on what it takes to move to the next level. We extended pay transparency to our HR, marketing, and analytics teams last year and will continue to expand to the remaining headquarter teams in 2022.

Accelerating Agent Careers

Increasing the diversity of our agents helps us break down cultural or language barriers to connect with and serve customers of color whom we haven’t in the past. We piloted a Redfin Agent Career Accelerator program last year to expand our hiring pipeline by recruiting, training, and developing unlicensed candidates into buyers’ agents. The program has allowed us to reach a wider pool of candidates, with 2021 hires being nearly 60% people of color and 40% Black, Latino, American Indian, or Pacific Islander. In 2022, we will explore awarding need-based scholarships to 50% of these new hires. 

Competitive Agent Pay Helps Us Stand Apart

We have also made changes to new agent pay and improved our bonus policies. We know that it’s hard for many people to get into real estate. Our hope is that these bonuses make Redfin a good option for more people and help us reach our goal of making Redfin as diverse as the customers we serve.

1 People of color include individuals who self-identify as Asian, two or more races, American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

2 Underrepresented people include individuals who self-identify as American Indian or Alaska Native, Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

Beverly McGowen

Beverly McGowen

Beverly McGowen is the VP of Talent and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Prior to joining Redfin in 2021, she led talent and DEI programs at Amazon across various businesses such as Advertising, Prime Video, and Operations. Previous to that, Beverly spent over three years at Neiman Marcus Group and over 10 years at PepsiCo, building talent programs to create and sustain an engaging employee experience.

Email Beverly

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