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Brookings Workforce Demographics

In 2016, as Brookings marked its centenary year, we committed to inclusion and diversity as a strategic goal for our Institution’s future. As a step in this process, we will now publish our workforce demographic data on an annual basis. 

As set forth in our policy statement on inclusion and diversity, diversity is defined as all of the characteristics and attributes that make each one of us unique. Diversity has many dimensions, including, but not limited to, race, gender, physical ability, ethnicity, national origin, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, and age. As a starting place, Brookings is capturing and reporting on race, ethnicity, and gender, which we gather as part of our affirmative-action requirements.

The source of this data is based on the affirmative action questionnaire completed by all 444 Brookings full-time employees, as of July 1, 2018. The categories for race and gender are determined by the federal government for workforce reporting.* The categories used for generation identification have been defined by Pew Research Center. This data does not include personnel in our overseas centers, nor does it include our nonresident scholars, as they are not employees. As our inclusion and diversity efforts evolve, we plan to capture and report on additional data.

*Brookings is required to report the race and gender for all employees. Thus, in compliance with federal EEO requirements, employees who opt out are visually identified. We intend to fine-tune our systems in the future to include those who opt out of identification in our workforce data.

Please note that the pie charts below are interactive. To see the percentages represented by each “slice,” hover the cursor over the “slice.”











View data on the demographics of the Brookings Board of Trustees.


What are we doing to improve?

Diversity in our workforce: Research tells us that diversifying the composition of our workforce will make our work more relevant, creative, and compelling and we are committed to making that happen. In addition to publishing this data Brookings is:

  • Convening an Inclusion and Diversity Committee with representation from across the Institution charged with creating a strategic implementation plan.
  • Launching the David M. Rubenstein Fellows Program, designed to attract a diverse, next-generation cohort of outstanding scholars to each of our research programs.
  • Cultivating relationships with diverse colleges, fellowship programs and associations in order to attract diverse applicant pools for research positions.
  • Examining more ways we can influence the pipeline of future employees by encouraging the pursuit of Ph.D.s in disciplines with the fewest number of women and people of color.

Inclusion of our staff and community: A diverse workforce is only one part of building a truly inclusive community; our ongoing work will also be to ensure that each individual is heard, appreciated, and empowered to fully participate in Brookings. While we aim to be inclusive in all our activities, we have paid special attention to:

  • Undertaking our first-ever staff engagement survey, and working at multiple levels to make Brookings a more welcoming workplace for everyone.
  • Opening our doors to local high school students for a day of career shadowing and mentoring during our annual Career Day program.
  • Finding ways to encourage diverse conversations in public policy, such as our colleague Susan Hennessey’s recently launched website Sourcelist, which helps connect and promote qualified, diverse technology policy experts.
  • Providing training opportunities for unconscious bias, and managing bias in employee supervision and evaluation.
  • Working to eliminate all-male panels on our stages, and improve the gender and racial diversity of our invited speakers.

We are confident that this path will make us a smarter and stronger think tank that will produce better and more effective policy solutions for our country and the world. In taking these and other steps, we hope to forge ahead and encourage our peer organizations everywhere to join in.

Read a literature review by our Inclusion and Diversity Committee on the case for diversity at Brookings.

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