The Urban Institute began to more proactively address diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in 2013, including by examining where we were as an institution. An internal assessment of our workplace culture and an independent analysis of our research products revealed in part that Urban remains a predominately white organization, particularly among leadership and senior supervisory positions; that women, LGBTQ+ people, and staff of color—most of whom are early in their careers—do not feel always valued or treated with respect; and that some of our research products inadvertently contained common stereotypes or assumptions about Black people, Latinx people, people experiencing poverty, and other groups.
Informed by these insights, Urban adopted our first Diversity and Inclusion Roadmap (PDF) in 2016 and made DEI a formal institutional priority. This roadmap provided clear goals and mechanisms for holding ourselves accountable to our DEI-related actions and outcomes. Urban is now in the process of developing our next roadmap, which details how Urban will implement and measure progress on activities outlined in our Race and Equity Framework.
DEI at Urban from 2015-2021
The data below show Urban’s progress toward diversifying the gender and racial and ethnic composition of our leadership, research staff, and “all staff,” which includes communications, facility and office services, human resources, and technology and data science experts, among others.
We have made some advancement toward our vision of a more diverse workplace, but the work continues.