DPDK’s 2021 diversity report

Written by Pim van Helten on 11, Jath 2022

2021 has been an eventful year for DPDK. A lot has happened - we’ve welcomed new team members, won awards, and started exciting new partnerships.

What has remained constant is our commitment to equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). We strive to be a more diverse agency and believe that we need to work harder on creating an inclusive culture. As an organization that values sincerity, we also need to be transparent about our progress.  

That’s why we released our first diversity report in 2020 highlighting three areas: ethnicity, age, and gender. While we've taken important steps since 2020, we believe that this is only the beginning of what we’re capable of as an agency. We’re looking forward to the opportunities the new year will bring.

As we welcome 2022, it’s time to look back and reflect on the past year. The report below shows our progress on EDI to date, looks at employee demographic data, and shares a snapshot of our key initiatives. 

The numbers

1. Representation by gender

We’re proud to say that there is a close to equal representation of men and women in the DPDK team. Compared to 2020, we see a 39% increase in the number of women taking up medior positions (55.6% compared to 40% last year). We also noticed a 9% spike in women holding senior positions, going from 50% in 2020 to 54.5% in 2021.  

On the other hand, there haven’t been any changes in our leadership team during the past year: it is still 100% male. 

2. Representation by ethnicity

Since 2020, DPDK has become more ethnically diverse. We welcomed new members from diverse backgrounds, and today we’re a team of over twenty nationalities. 

We’re aware that ethnicity as a category isn’t perfect and can be limiting. That’s why this year we decided to collect self-reported data. Each team member was asked how they identify. From the data collected, the charts below were created.  

The charts depict a 35.7% increase in multiracial team members (from 4.2% in 2020 to 5.7% in 2021) and an improvement in ethnic diversity across intern and junior positions. Meanwhile there has been a 11.1% decrease in diversity among medior positions, as we went from an 80% white employee base in 2020 to 88.9% in 2021. Similarly, we see a 3.9% increase in white senior members (from 87.5% in 2020 to 90.9% in 2021).

3. Representation by age

In 2020, there was an overrepresentation of Millennials and Gen Z. While this is still the case, we do see a higher percentage of older age groups: particularly the age group 36-45 which increased by 36.8% (from 12.5% in 2020 to 17.1% in 2021) and 46+ which increased 12.7% (from 6.3% in 2020 to 7.1% in 2021). 

Beyond the data

Numbers aside, since 2020 we’ve embarked upon various initiatives to ensure a more inclusive culture across our key focus areas. Here’s a summary of some key ones: 

People: We launched a hybrid work policy with unlimited vacation. This move aims to promote a healthier work-life balance and ensures our team gets the time off they need and deserve. We’re stoked to be one of the first digital agencies to offer unlimited paid time off. 

Culture: We formed a dedicated EDI committee to help improve and monitor our EDI efforts. The team is responsible for setting measures and seeking improvements in our culture to ensure that each DPDKer is valued, respected, and celebrated for who they are.

Design: We also set out to create an inclusive illustration design system that reflects who we are as an agency and the world we live in. The illustration style has a range of skin colors, hairstyles, and clothes and is constantly evolving and growing. 

Community: We offer special rates when working with non-profit organizations. This has led to some meaningful (and exciting!) projects like our work for Oxfam Novib and Last Chance for Animals. 

You can find a full overview of our commitments to each focus area here.

More to come

From the data above, it’s clear that while progress is being made, there is still room for improvement. Creating an inclusive culture is important for us at DPDK. We’re proud of how far we’ve come, and we look forward to making even more meaningful progress over the next year. We thank our fellow DPDKers for their efforts in 2021 to help build a culture that welcomes and values all walks of life. 

Pim van Helten