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Inclusion, Diversity, and Engagement


As innovators, we’re always seeking out firsts, and I’m excited to introduce our 2020 Inclusion, Diversity, and Engagement report — the first of its kind for us. It marks an important step in creating a more transparent and accountable workplace for the years to come.

So why now? Well, of course, we’re proud of the amazing work that so many have done at Akamai. And we want to celebrate the meaningful strides we’ve taken toward becoming a more inclusive and diverse organization. But crucially, in a time where each employee deserves to be heard, recognized, and supported more than ever, we believe transparency is key in bringing about real-world change. We know that we have further to go, and we believe that we can continue to do better, together.

At Akamai, we see inclusion, diversity, and engagement as essential to our learning and our quality of professional life. In my short time here, I’ve already witnessed the commitment, compassion, and brilliance of our people. Our values guide everything we do, and nowhere is that more evident than in the sincere and consistent measures we take to support inclusion, diversity, and engagement. I look forward to many more reports, with many more successes.

Khalil Smith
Vice President
Inclusion, Diversity, and Engagement

Context for the report

All data as of December 31, 2020, unless otherwise indicated.
Only our U.S. regions capture race and ethnicity.
Number of employees:

  • Global workforce totals 8,368, representing 88 different nationalities

  • U.S. workforce totals 3,478 employees

  • APJ workforce totals 2,635 employees 

  • LATAM workforce totals 479 employees 

  • EMEA workforce totals 1,688 employees

Gender Representation at Akamai

Our 2020 data shows modest gains since 2019, with women representing 26.2% of our global workforce. This represents a 1.6% increase over 2019.


In 2020, 29.1% of all new hires were women. While this is encouraging to see, it is a noted 2.4% decrease from 2019.


When it comes to role-specific data, women hold about 20% of all leadership positions and technical roles.


Pay Equity

As a signatory to the White House Equal Pay Pledge, Akamai believes in fair and equitable pay for all of our employees. We remain committed to monitoring our pay practices regularly and making adjustments, as necessary, to deliver on this pledge.

Our pay equity analyses are conducted with the assistance of a nationally recognized outside consultant and cover gender globally and race and gender in the United States.

Once again, the analysis found no patterns of disparity. To address a small number of anomalous discrepancies, which impacted both male and female employees, we made adjustments to the compensation of the affected individuals in 2020. We are scheduled to conduct another analysis in 2021.

Racial and Ethnic Diversity within Akamai

Racial and ethnic minority communities have also seen progress, with 54.6% of U.S. new hires from traditionally underrepresented communities.


[Note for graph] Only U.S. regions capture race and ethnicity in their workforce.

• Asian employees, which include more than a dozen different ethnic groups, represent 29.4% of our U.S. workforce, an increase of 0.2% compared to 2019; they are 31.7% of individual contributors, 25.0% of managers, and 12.0% VP+

• Hispanic and Latino employees represent 5.7% of our U.S. workforce, up 0.4% since 2019; they are 6.4% of individual contributors, 4.0% of managers, and 3.7% VP+

• Black or African American employees represent 3.4% of our U.S. workforce, up 0.1% since 2019; they represent 3.7% of individual contributors, 2.9% of managers, and 2.8% of VP+


Our commitments to addressing racial equality

Akamai opposes racism and racial bias in all its forms and is committed to providing an inclusive, fair, and respectful environment for both our customers and our employees. Below are just a few examples of the work we’ve undertaken to demonstrate our commitment to significant and sustained progress.

In response to the urgent need to achieve greater racial justice, in 2020 Akamai’s Board of Directors approved an additional US$20 million contribution to the Akamai Foundation. These funds will be used to support initiatives designed and focused on diversifying talent in the technology industry.

Akamai joined and underwrote The Massachusetts Technology Leadership Council ("MassTLC") Tech Compact for Social Justice. As one of the 62 Massachusetts technology company signatories, our participation reinforces a commitment to make change toward racial equality. Companies sign on to honor at least 3 of 12 measurable initiatives.

We participate in or sponsor professional development and recruiting forums across a variety of incredible partners, such as the Massachusetts Conference for Women, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Hispanic Engineers, and Hack.Diversity. 

We offer the Akamai Technical Academy, a technical training program primarily for individuals from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds (gender, ethnicity, age, veteran status) who are interested in pursuing a technical career path, but may not be formally educated in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. The program consists of Akamai-specific classroom training, after which participants are placed in a variety of contract roles across our organization with the potential to become full-time employees. 

We train hiring managers to draft inclusive job descriptions intended to broaden the pool of eligible applicants. By removing potentially limiting eligibility criteria, we are able to focus on the critical skills and experiences key to joining and being successful at Akamai.

We have joined other technology industry leaders in removing biased, oppressive, and racially insensitive terminology across our portfolio.

We recognize that any one of these priorities by itself is not enough to significantly change the availability of, and experience for, traditionally underrepresented groups. However, together, and with a focus on our underlying and unifying strategy of inclusion, diversity, and engagement, these initiatives, programs, and partnerships are a strong step in the direction of progress.

Diversity and Inclusion Learning

Akamai’s mission is to provide a work environment and culture where all employees feel that they can contribute and perform to the best of their abilities. Commitment to diversity and inclusion makes us a better company, a better global competitor, and a better corporate citizen. We offer various training curriculums to support our employees and help them build cross-cultural competence and align to Akamai’s Diversity and Inclusion Goals. This includes Appreciating Differences — an interactive, classroom-based workshop to understand how differences can impact behaviors in the workplace.

This also includes the Grow Program, an innovative program designed to help employees transform the way they think, innovate, and work together. Aimed at fostering an even more diverse, collaborative, innovative, and high-performing team culture, the program consists of four modules:

  • GROW — The Neuroscience of Growth Mindset: designed to help managers and individual contributors be more flexible, positive, and engaged

  • INCLUDE — The Neuroscience of Smarter Teams: designed to promote more creative, connected, and collaborative teams

  • DECIDE — The Neuroscience of Breaking Bias: designed to help everyone in the organization to make more informed, effective, and confident decisions

  • VOICE — The Neuroscience of Speaking Up: designed to decrease the perceived threat of speaking up and receiving feedback 

Giving Intentionally

At Akamai, we believe everyone is responsible for strong communities and sustainable change — including corporations. We embrace the opportunity to maximize our positive impact as a global corporate citizen by investing in charitable organizations, volunteering in our communities, and making ethical decisions related to our impact on the environment. 

Through the Akamai Foundation and community events, we continue to invest in organizations that align with our ID&E strategy, shape our future workforce, and create meaningful change. In 2020, we channeled the compassion, generosity, and inclusive community spirit of our company and employees, building on Akamai’s core value of Giving Back. In addition to the highlights below, you can read more about the Akamai Foundation in its 2020 Annual Report.

  • The Akamai Foundation’s Global STEM Education Grant Program gifted approximately US$1 million to charitable organizations to create opportunities for the next generation of technology innovators, supporting STEM education in underserved communities, with a focus on the pursuit of excellence in mathematics in grades K-12
  • The Akamai Foundation also committed US$1.1 million to global COVID-19 response efforts, including emergency relief grants in 21 diverse communities, spanning 16 countries where Akamai employees live and work

Local Efforts Across the Globe

Employees and community partners have the opportunity to connect during Danny Lewin Community Care Days (named in honor of our co-founder), to inspire year-round volunteer projects mentoring underserved and underrepresented students. Partners include strategic organizations such as Girls Who Code, Suit Up, and Rocket Girls. In addition to the work of the Akamai Foundation, we are constantly looking to support the communities we work in around the world.

Employee Resource Groups

Akamai’s employee resource groups (ERGs) are forums of connection for Akamai employees to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. ERGs create an environment for employees to connect, develop, learn, educate, provide support, and contribute to Akamai’s culture. With robust programs, events, and initiatives, Akamai ERGs have become an increasingly important part of our global diversity and inclusion efforts over the past five years. They provide leadership support to Akamai in the areas of diversity awareness, professional development of members, and recruitment and outreach efforts, including:

  • In collaboration with the Akamai Foundation, 20 global nonprofits were awarded a total of US$110,000 in social impact grants

  • Through the Racial Equality and Social Justice matching gift campaign, the Akamai Foundation offered public matching to 12 nonprofits selected by our ERGs; recipients included Black Mental Health Alliance and Equal Justice Initiative, and gifts were doubled for a total of US$60,000 in charitable donations

In 2020, we had over 1,200 members representing our 11 ERGs, contributing to the enrichment of the Akamai experience for employees.


Akamai Employee Resource Group logos (left to right): East Circle, India Diversity & Inclusion, IndUS Diversity
Akamai Employee Resource Group logos (left to right): In Reach, Military Veterans, Ohana
Akamai Employee Resource Group logos (left to right): out@akamai, parents@akamai, women's forum
Akamai Employee Resource Group logos (left to right): Women's Forum APJ, Women's Forum EMEA

Our COVID-19 response

The COVID-19 pandemic amplified differences in our lived experiences, and we knew we needed to support not just our customers, but our employees and their families. We implemented a framework of Stabilize, Adapt, and Emerge to help provide structure in a time of constant change. We provided robust access to health and wellness programs globally, with a clear focus on keeping our employees safe. We built and delivered new training programs to promote health and safety and provided additional guidance and support for managing remote workforces. 

To support our workforce, we introduced new collaboration tools and techniques and instituted a productivity reimbursement program to assist all employees with purchasing equipment to better enable remote work. We expanded our wellness programs to offer courses on, among other things, caregiving during the pandemic and vaccine information; provided employees with licenses to a digital health platform; and developed manager guidance on enabling flexible work arrangements. We also provided four paid wellness days in 2020 to allow additional paid time off for employees, specifically to encourage mental and physical health. In addition to support for full- and part-time employees, we guaranteed sick pay for contractors we retain. 

We have a rigorous process for assessing whether any office can reopen (and remain open) based on local government regulations, local health trends, and business needs. With progress being made every day, we are slowly allowing employees back into offices, where it is allowed and we believe it to be safe. 

Our employee health and safety is always top of mind, as is creating a productive, enriching, and engaging employee experience, no matter where an Akamai employee works.