Inclusion among our workforce

As we announced our growth plans last year, which included hiring 50,000 employees over the next five years—we created company-wide DEI goals for the first time in our history and tied them to specific metrics in our executive long-term incentive plan to ensure accountability for progress.

These goals focus on three key areas related to talent:

1. Increasing demographically diverse representation;

2. Creating new pathways to United careers; and

3. Assessing and refining HR policies and practices.

These 2022 company-wide talent goals were key in embedding DEI into our growth plan at the enterprise level and building on the progress we’ve made since we began a new, transformative approach to DEI in 2020. Also key was setting strategic goals and programs through our DEI Council, “We Stand United,” and with leaders at the business-unit level. With collaboration at every level of the organization, we achieved our company-wide goals and made significant progress beyond the goals in each of these areas:

1. Increasing demographically diverse representation

We exceeded all three of our goals in these areas:



1: Include a diverse makeup of candidates in 90% of new hire interview slates for management and administrative roles

We identified women and people of color in leadership roles as areas of opportunity and introduced this measure to bring more demographic diversity into our candidate funnel for consideration.

2: Update 50% of job postings to appeal to a broader labor market and eliminate biased verbiage

We introduced a tool that checks for language that may be perceived as biased and/or may create feelings of exclusion in order to replace them with statements that are more inclusive and are expected to appeal to a broader audience of diverse job seekers.

3. Continue to meet United Aviate Academy diversity goal: 50% of enrolled students who are women and/or people of color

To attract diverse candidates, we partnered with diverse professional organizations to amplify the United Aviate Academy and, in partnership with JPMorgan Chase & Co., established a scholarship fund to provide more than $5 million in scholarships for prospective academy students.

Additional progress toward more diverse representation

We are building customized multi-year strategies for each functional area of our business in order to attract, develop and support diverse talent in the advancement of their careers at United. Our officers and HR teams monitor how hiring, promotion and attrition are impacting our progress using talent dashboards and develop ways to use that data to inform our strategies and programs.

Building on our commitment to increased transparency, we are sharing our US workforce demographic data for the third year in a row.

Measurable highlights from 2022 include:

1. Higher representation of women and underrepresented racial and ethnic groups

Our US workforce saw a 3% increase in representation of women and 6% increase in representation of underrepresented racial and ethnic groups when comparing December 2020 to December 2022.

2. New hires are improving diverse representation

Representation of women and traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic groups in our new hire management and administrative population is higher than in January 2022: 5% higher for women and 9% higher for people from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups.

3. Voluntary turnover remains low

In a time period known by many as “the Great Resignation” when many employers experienced layoffs and a spike in voluntary exits, we actually grew, bringing in almost 2,000 new management and administrative employees. Our team members are staying with us to build careers, as evidenced by our voluntary turnover rate of only 7%. We remain a destination for lifelong careers, with an average tenure of 16 years of service for United employees.

4. Progress has been made at senior levels

We made progress in our efforts to have our leadership reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. In 2022, almost half of all promotions at the Senior Professional and Senior Leader level were of those belonging to underrepresented racial and ethnic groups. Growing diversity in our leadership will continue to be an essential focus in 2023 and beyond.

Improving data

In disclosing the workforce statistics, we note that the data reflects metrics on gender, race and ethnicity because we have the most reliable data in these areas. We recognize that there are additional dimensions of diversity not reflected in our reporting, and we are working to expand the collection of demographics to these additional dimensions in years to come.

As a first step, we have continued our Self-ID Campaign, “Getting to Know You,” which was launched in 2021 and then relaunched in 2023. It’s a voluntary and confidential self-identification initiative that US-based employees can use to share additional dimensions of their identities to better inform our understanding of our diversity and drive inclusive employee experiences.

Our DEI commitment moving forward

  • For even greater transparency, we have committed to publishing our latest EEO-1 Report in 2023
  • As a signatory of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) 25by2025 Pledge for gender balance in aviation, United reports key diversity metrics, and we have committed to increase the number of women in senior positions and underrepresented areas by a minimum of 25% by 2025.

In 2023, we plan to focus on:

  • Ensuring that management and administrative new-hire interview slates reach 95% in order to include a diverse makeup of candidates
  • Continuing to meet our United Aviate Academy and Calibrate diversity goal of 50% of students who are women and/or people of color
  • Increasing representation of women at the manager level and above
  • Increasing representation of people of color at the manager level and above

2. Creating new pathways to United careers

We met our primary goal in this area



1: Launch apprenticeship program for Maintenance Technicians with a focus on underrepresented groups

Calibrate, our new in-house apprenticeship program, was launched in November 2022, supporting our ambitious goal of hiring 7,000 maintenance technicians by 2026

In-house apprenticeship program

Calibrate, our new in-house apprenticeship program, launched in November 2022. It will be a key strategic component in ensuring that we achieve our ambitious goal of hiring 7,000 maintenance technicians by 2026. We plan to train more than 1,000 new technicians by 2026, with a goal that at least half will be students who identify as women and/or people of color.

In the 36-month program, apprentices will gain the skills and knowledge they need to obtain their Airframe & Powerplant Certificate, including hands-on and classroom training and mentorship alongside United's experienced technicians.

Our first cohort was comprised of 80% people of color. The Calibrate program plans to expand to over a dozen locations in 2023 and will be open to United's global employee base and external candidates.

Additional progress on pathways to United careers

Skills-first hiring

Through our skills-first hiring approach, we are prioritizing a focus on the skills, capabilities and talent a candidate brings to the table rather than excluding talent for not having degree. In November 2022, we hosted our inaugural skills-first hiring event at our Chicago headquarters.

United is a member of OneTen, a coalition committed to creating one million family-sustaining careers for Black talent with opportunities for advancement over the next 10 years. Since joining OneTen, we have hired or promoted over 2,000 Black employees into family-sustaining jobs.

In 2022, our CEO Scott Kirby was named Chair of the Business Roundtable’s Education and Workforce Committee (BRT), which is leading employers across the country in advancing solutions like the Apprenticeship Accelerator program, which will help participating companies develop or scale registered apprenticeship programs to expand the pipeline of workers without a four-year college degree and support their development and advancement.

United Aviate Academy

In 2021, United became the only major US airline to own a flight school when we launched United Aviate Academy, which represents an important step towards training the next generation of talented, qualified and motivated aviators. The goal was to have 50% of each class be women and/or people of color.

In 2022, we welcomed 200 students to the Academy and celebrated the graduation of our inaugural class of pilots, that included 51 students – with nearly 80% being women or people of color.

The Academy partners with three Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs)—Delaware State, Hampton University and Elizabeth City State University—and with diverse professional organizations, including the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals, the Latino Pilots Association, the Professional Asian Pilots Association, Women in Aviation, Sisters of the Skies and the National Gay Pilots Association.

Year Up

We host two cohorts of interns each year with our talent partner Year Up, a nonprofit that empowers young, talented professionals to move into careers in a single year by providing technical and professional skills training for entry-level roles and connecting them with their first corporate work experience. This helps build skills and experiences that will empower them to reach their potential while giving hiring managers access to a motivated, diverse talent pipeline.

Last year, we set a goal that 80% of each cohort would be hired as United team members. We exceeded that goal in August 2022 with 100% of our cohort being hired into roles in various departments including Human Resources, Digital Technology, Revenue Management and Crew Scheduling.

We are Year Up’s largest partner in Chicago and have awarded more than $3 million in grants to the organization since we started working with them in 2018.

i.c. stars

We partnered with i.c. Stars, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to providing underrepresented individuals the opportunity to expand their horizons through technology internship programs, representing a new source of talent for Digital Technology.

Our Chief Information Officer Jason Birnbaum is a board member of the nonprofit, and for the first time, United is sponsoring a project for i.c.stars. In January 2023, our Digital Technology team—partnering directly with the Field Services team—kicked off the next cycle of i.c.stars interns, with 24 interns participating.

Our DEI commitment moving forward

We aim to increase talent from diverse backgrounds through our new digital technology program, Innovate.

Innovate in-depth

United launched Innovate to create a new digital technology talent pool from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds, with plans to identify, reskill and place more than 500 technology candidates in the next five years and a goal of 50% being women and/or people of color.

Finding tech talent with the right skills can be challenging when the “right skills” has historically translated to a college degree or a tech certification, particularly in markets where the proportion of college graduates does not reflect the diversity of the population. The Innovate program goes beyond traditional STEM training and hiring practices to challenge the boundaries of who is qualified and how one qualifies for a career in technology.

The program is designed to create a new talent pool from non-traditional backgrounds right in our own backyard. Local organizations like Year Up and i.c.stars work to develop leaders through a robust training program that ensures individuals gain the skills, experiences and support they need to build a strong foundation for a career in technology. Through partnerships with these organizations and others like P33, a nonprofit focused on driving inclusive growth in Chicago’s tech sector, United is uniquely positioned to help candidates build the skills they need and ensure they have a clear path to apply for a full-time position with us.

At the heart of the Innovate program are custom learning paths that will help enhance candidates' hard and soft skills. While standard technology certifications can range from $10,000-$15,000, the Innovate program will enable participants to avoid that cost and earn a family-sustaining salary. Participants will build their skills working with our local community partners and on projects at United, obtaining technology training in real-world scenarios with the support of mentors and leaders. We expect to welcome our first Innovate class in April 2023.

3. Assessing and refining HR policies and practices

We met all three goals in this area:



1: Continue to monitor and maintain progress on pay equity

We have achieved near-perfect pay equity for employees of all genders and races performing comparable work across our US management roles. We continue our commitment to annual reviews to maintain pay equity.

2: Review pay and benefit plans; add programs to reach more equitable outcomes

After studying our healthcare utilization trends, we have implemented changes addressing barriers to care impacting underrepresented groups. We have also launched a new cancer care service through partnerships with leading research institutions.

3. Measure inclusivity via pulse surveys to establish baseline metrics; introduce Inclusion question in Performance Evaluations

All surveys now include a question on Inclusion. We have re-imagined performance management to address bias by developing a rating system that recognizes individual contributions, developed leader guides for better performance discussions and broadened access to development plans.

Additional progress on HR policies and practices

DEI Learning

We are upskilling our staff on and maintaining diverse and inclusive teams by embedding DEI in our Global Learning approach and through customized programs, including:

  • Inclusion @ Work: This online course is a three-module series designed to build an understanding of the different perspectives and skills required to ensure that customers and employees feel welcome, valued, respected and heard. Required for Managers and above.
  • Respect @ Work: A facilitated experiential session building understanding of how respect, cultural awareness and psychological safety impact behavior and connect our values to actions that will build and promote DEI both internally and externally.
  • Hiring a High-Performance Workforce: This manager training helps ensure that leaders understand the importance of factoring diversity in to hiring decisions and aligns recruiters and hiring managers as business partners in applying strategies and best practices to find and attract talent.


We have modernized appearance standards for uniformed customer-facing United employees to permit greater freedom of expression and to be less gender-specific and more flexible and inclusive.

We have also launched REAL (Recognize, Explore, Act, Learn) Conversations, a series of virtual events and publications on DEI topics that help us grow as one United team. While it can be tough to know when and how to have sensitive conversations on these topics, it's an essential step in allowing us to move forward as a company and create the kind of culture where we can all feel at home.

Listening strategy

To further improve our approach, we have introduced a survey program at key career milestones, check-ins for new hires and exit surveys for all employees leaving the company, in addition to our performance check-in surveys, DEI surveys and engagement surveys.

We have also added an annual review of DEI metrics with our engagement scores to understand where we may need to have better action planning to support a diverse and inclusive workforce.

The new listening session toolkit launched in 2021 enables leaders to hear from their teams by providing a safe and open space for them to share their ideas and concerns and have a greater voice in solutions and outcomes.

Talent planning

We have developed a new tool to facilitate talent reviews that pulls together employee data and shows leaders what each employee’s career journey has been along with their career aspirations and goals. The tool also supports better conversations about diversity and talent development, increasing equity in talent review conversations and supporting DEI goals for our high-potential programs so we can develop pipelines of diverse leaders.

Talent development programs

We have a range of programs supporting talent development with a focus on enhancing our inclusive culture and diverse representation in leadership. These include:


LEAD is a leadership development program designed to prepare high-potential Managers and Senior Managers for future leadership roles, strengthen their business acumen, expand strategic and innovative thinking, learn to better lead their teams and enhance their executive presence.


Rise is a program designed to prepare high-potential Directors from across United to better lead teams, think more innovatively, strengthen business acumen and enhance executive presence.


Ascend is a development program for Airport Operations customer service representatives and ramp service employees to prepare a diverse pipeline for supervisor roles. There were 180 graduates in 2022, 35% of whom have already been promoted to supervisor.

McKinsey Connected Leaders Academy

200 team members from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups attended these programs in 2022, which equip future leaders with a peer network that will help them achieve their aspirations and assist them in developing new capabilities, mindsets and behaviors for growth. These programs are implemented in identity-based communities and provide a unique lens on leadership from the perspective of diverse leaders.

Enterprise Career Development

We have introduced a six-part enterprise career development initiative designed to empower all employees to own their career growth. Each part features executive leaders sharing vulnerable and transparent stories about their career paths. Leaders also hold on-site and live-streamed sessions, allowing employees the opportunity to ask career questions.


We deepened our relationships withHBCUs and began building relationships at Hispanic Serving Institutions.

Last year, our President Brett Hart was appointed to President Joe Biden’s Board of Advisors on HBCUs with the goal of increasing the capacity of HBCUs to provide the highest-quality education to their students and to continue serving as engines of opportunity. Through our 2022 fall campus recruitment programming, we engaged over 4,000 HBCU students while increasing our customer and employer brand presence, elevating the awareness of early career and internship opportunities and expanding support at our Aviate HBCU partners and affiliate schools. We also engaged our employee-run Business Resource Groups (BRGs) heavily throughout campus recruitment. (See BRG section below.)

Strategic partnerships

We continued to partner with organizations like Women Who Code, Black Women in Science and Engineering, the Association of Latino Professionals For America (ALPFA), the Hispanic Alliance for Career Enhancement (HACE), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the National Black MBA (NBMBA), the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE), Grace Hopper, the Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals (OBAP), the Professional Asian Pilots Association (PAPA), the Latino Pilots Association (LPA), the National Gay Pilots Association (NGPA) and Sisters of the Skies (SOS).

Second Chance Hiring: United is an active member in two communities of practice whose member companies are committed to expanding employment opportunities and upward mobility for people with criminal records: he Second Chance Business Coalition, a national organization, and the Fair Chance Hiring Cohort, founded by the Corporate Coalition of Chicago. We are also enhancing our hiring practices to address barriers for those with a criminal record.

Our DEI commitment moving forward

  • Leadership Academy: Our Leadership Academy will offer a series of United online leadership credentials that employees can earn, display and share to grow their careers and demonstrate leadership aptitude. To earn a digital credential, employees will complete a series of online courses, participate in in-person events and benefit from leadership experiences along the way using TakeOff learning.
  • DEI Academy: Deepening our commitment with active and ongoing engagement in fostering Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive spaces, employees and leaders will actively participate in the DEI Academy to facilitate reflection and strengthen the awareness and skills necessary for fostering an inclusive team and work environment. As a result of participant learning, we anticipateincreased innovation among teams and enhanced progress on our DEI journey.

Employee-run Business Resource Groups

Employee-run Business Resource Groups (BRGs) are key partners in our employee engagement and recruiting strategies. They offer our employees firsthand involvement in building partnerships and solutions. In 2022, our eight BRGs reached 44 chapters and approximately 27,000 employee memberships worldwide.

These BRGs, each sponsored by a member of our Executive team, have worked to build cultural awareness and allyship for the various communities they represent: Black, LGBTQ+, multi-cultural andmulti-generational individuals, people with disabilities, veterans, women and working parents and caregivers. These communities deliver key DEI and business outcomes in recruiting and advancing top talent, consulting on th customer experience and deepening community relationships:



Through BEACON, we have engaged HBCUs for various campus recruitment programming while increasing our customer and employer brand presence and elevating the awareness of early career and internship opportunities at United.



Thanks to leadership from EQUAL, we were the first airline to offer non-binary gender booking options, we have become a Stonewall inductee, and we are a leader in companies recognizing same-sex partner benefits. This BRG also aided in the launch of our revised uniform and appearance standards for customer-facing employees to better permit freedom of gender expression.



UNITE has activated its broadly ranging ethnic and racial membership base to inform many key DEI strategies for the company, including sharing insights that inspired the We Stand United DEI council, forging local community relationships, supporting employee career development and helping us launch our new BRG for Black employees.



Our Gen Trend BRG helped develop our remote work policies based on employee feedback long before the pandemic began,. This BRG also led a semi-annual internal consultancy program, which provided actionable recommendations for addressing the gap between our sustainability initiatives and customer perceptions.


Parents and caregivers

Together with Kinnect, our newest BRG, we are working to shape the business and culture of United to be more family-friendly in how we care for our families in every aspect of life, including travel.


People with disabilities

Our inflight entertainment is now more accessible than ever to people with visual impairments thanks to our Bridge BRG’s consulting and testing support from its membership group.



In collaboration with our United4Veterans BRG, we removed a uniform requirement from our pre-boarding announcements to ensure that military service members feel comfortable to come as they are when they fly with us.



Our uIMPACT BRG helped enhance our parental leave policy to provide more support to working parents and helped us launch our new parents and caregivers BRG as a support community.