Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)
Southwest Airlines® recognizes, respects, and values differences. By fostering a Culture that embraces and utilizes unique skills, talents, and backgrounds, we create competitive advantages in Teamwork and innovation that contribute to our overall success.
The Vision of DEI at Southwest® is to cultivate a diverse and inclusive environment where all our People can thrive. Our focus is to fuel ongoing momentum to operationalize DEI in our processes and practices to achieve systemic and sustainable change.
Every. Single. One. Of. Us.
At Southwest Airlines, our Heart represents our identity. It’s more than the symbol of our brand. It’s who we are. We’re a Company of People. People representing diversity of culture, background, experiences, and viewpoints. Each of our Employees bring their own talents, creativity, and individuality. And together, we make Southwest the incredible Company it is. Our People are the Heart of Southwest Airlines.
Inclusion has always been at the Heart of Southwest. Our Company was founded on the principle of putting People first, and we’ve never wavered from that commitment. That means all People. We’re committed to being a place where Employees feel welcomed and encouraged to bring their whole selves to work without fear of hate, racism, discrimination, harassment, intolerance, disrespect, or injustice. We understand that in order for every Employee at Southwest to thrive, we must foster an environment of impartiality, fairness, representation, and balance.
DEI Commitment and Goals
Our commitment to DEI is reflected in the practices and Teams that turn that commitment to innovation and positive change, including diversity among Leadership, management, committees, and the Board of Directors; evolving our hiring and development practices; and creating robust community partnerships. In 2020, we set the following goals:
- Hiring & Development Practices: Evolving hiring and development practices to support diversity goals, including posting all new, open Leadership positions (Supervisor to Vice President) and requiring diverse Candidate slates for each role.
- Senior Leadership Diversity: Measuring progress in increasing diversity in Senior Leadership (as compared to July 2020)
- Senior Management Committee Diversity: Doubling the percentage of racial diversity and increasing gender diversity in our Senior Management Committee by 2025 (as compared to July 2020).
- Community Partners: Engaging a breadth of community partners to leverage relationships in sourcing talent for our candidate pipelines.
Joining us in this effort, the Southwest Airlines Board of Directors committed to increase diverse representation on the Board by 2025 (as compared to 2020).
Initiatives to fulfill our goals are driven by the DEI Department, which also has established a cross-functional Executive Steering Committee, and working Team. Our latest updates on progress for these goals can be found in the Southwest Airlines One Report.
Recognizing Culture, Heritage, and Pride as a Company
We are proud to recognize our Cultural, Heritage, and Pride months throughout the year. This includes nationally observed holidays and months of celebration that honor our Employee demographics and the diverse communities we serve. These celebrations include, but aren’t limited to:
- February: Black History Month
- March: Women’s History Month
- May: Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month
- June: LGBTQ Pride Month
- September/October: Hispanic Heritage Month
- October: National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- November: Veterans Day
See it in action: watch our Cultural, Heritage, & Pride stories on YouTube.
We’re proud to be recognized for our efforts and initiatives in the DEI space. These accolades help confirm and celebrate our commitment to a diverse workforce.
- Named to America’s Greatest Workplaces for Women 2023 by Newsweek
- Named to America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity 2023 by Newsweek
- Best Companies to Work for Latinos 2023 by Latino Leaders Magazine
- 2022 Best Places to Work for LGBTQ+ Equality, Human Rights Campaign Corporate Equality Index
- 2022 Forbes Best Places for Diversity in America
- 2022 Best Places to Work: Disability Inclusion, The Disability Equality Index®
- 2022 Best Companies for Latinos to Work, Latino Leaders Magazine
- 2022 Best Airline, Readers Voice Awards
- 2022 Military Friendly Company, The Military Friendly® Company Survey
- 2022 Military Friendly Brand, The Military Friendly® Company Survey
- 2022 Military Friendly Employer—Bronze, The Military Friendly® Company Survey
- 2022 Military Friendly Supplier Diversity Program, The Military Friendly® Company Survey
- 2022 Military Friendly Spouse Employer, The Military Friendly® Company Survey
- 2021 Best Places to Work: Disability Inclusion, The Disability Equality Index®
- 2021 Accelerating Women to Corporate Boards, 50/50 Women on Boards
We’ve supported diverse communities for many years, contributing to community programs tailored to accelerate social and economic advancement. The Southwest Airlines Community Outreach Team drives Southwest’s Citizenship efforts by cultivating more than 400 community relationships to generate impact across our diverse communities. We leverage employment partners when sourcing diverse talent. Some of our longstanding partners include:
Black/African American Community Partners
- 100 Black Men, Inc.
- United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
- Foundation for Educational Development, Inc.
- Houston Area Urban League
- Tuskegee Next Foundation
Hispanic/Latino Community Partners
- Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
- Hispanic Heritage Foundation
- Latino Leaders Magazine
- Latin American Educational Foundation
- Chicanos Por La Causa
- United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
- Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute
Asian American & Pacific Islander Community Partners
- Center for Asian American United for Self-Empowerment (CAUSE)
- Achieving through Choice in Education (ACE) Foundation
- Asian & Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) Scholars
- The Center for Asian Pacific American Women
- Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs Association
- Leadership Education for Asian Pacific Inc.
LGBTQ+ Community Partners
- National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- Equality California Institute
- ONE Community Foundation
- The Montrose Center
- San Francisco LGBT Community Center
- North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce
Individuals with Disabilities Community Partners
- AccesSurf Hawaii
- Challenge Aspen
- San Diego Center for Children
- Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports
Women Community Partners
- Arizona Foundation for Women Inc.
- Texas Women's Foundation
- National Association of Women Business Owners
- Women Impacting Public Policy
- Women's Foundation of California
- Girl Scouts San Diego
Military Community Partners
- A Million Thanks
- Honor Flight Network
- Help Heal Veterans
- Team Rubicon
- PTSD Foundation of America
- National Veteran Owned Business Association
- Organization of Black Aerospace Professionals
- Professional Asian Pilots Association
- National Gay Pilots Association
- Women in Aviation International
- Latino Pilots Association
- Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) First
- Hiring our Heroes
- Women in Cyber Security
Southwest Airlines Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Report
We realize Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion is an ongoing journey – a journey that requires vulnerability, transparency, and courageous conversations. Our DEI Report is a part of that journey. This annual report outlines our commitment to transparency and inclusion by outlining our priorities and path forward.Read the 2022 DEI report
In the same way we recognize that a diverse Employee base generates strength, we know our Suppliers are an integral part of our success. Supplier Diversity enables Southwest to extend opportunities to qualified diverse Suppliers who in turn can help us fulfill our operational needs and satisfy the expectations of our Shareholders and Customers, as well as meet competitive business challenges. Supplier Diversity is comprised of two programs: Small Business Program and Diverse Owned Business Program.
The Southwest Airlines One Report
Explore our annual corporate social responsibility report, the Southwest Airlines One Report. This integrated Citizenship report covers significant social, economic, and environmental stories, as well as data tables, and reporting frameworks, all through the lens of corporate Citizenship. Our disclosures have been prepared in reference to the following standards: the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) framework, the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).