Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI)

Southwest Airlines® recognizes, respects, and values differences. By fostering a Culture that embraces and utilizes our diversity, we create competitive, yet equitable, advantages in Teamwork and innovation that contribute to our overall success.

The vision of DEI at Southwest is to cultivate a diverse and inclusive experience for all our People to 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.

We’re committed to listening to our People—Employees and Customers—and doing our part to drive meaningful change, both inside and outside the Company. We’re also dedicated to working alongside our diverse suppliers and community partners to champion DEI in the communities we serve. Like many other companies, we’re on a journey and we recognize that there is always more we can do to make our work environment even better, even more accepting. We’re committed to enhancing our DEI efforts with a particular focus in the areas of talent, Culture and Values, brand and reputation, and communication. In order to reach our goals and aspirations, we must allow for vulnerability, engage in courageous conversations, and listen to our Employees, Customers, and Communities.

Grounded in The Southwest Way, it takes every single one of us to build diverse, equitable, and inclusive experiences. We must embrace and live out our Values, every day, in every way.

We each succeed when we bring our best selves to work. We succeed when we embrace civility and treat each other with respect and Hospitality. Southwest succeeds when we stay agile and focused on being excellent in all we do. It takes every single one of us.

DEI Commitment

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 making all leadership positions available for eligible Employees to apply.
  • Senior Leadership Diversity: Measuring progress in increasing diversity in Senior Leadership.
  • Senior Management Committee Diversity: Doubling the percentage of racial diversity and increasing gender diversity in Senior Management Committee by 2025.
  • Community Partners: Engaging a breadth of community partners to leverage relationships in sourcing diverse talent.

Joining us in this effort, the Southwest Airlines Board of Directors committed to increase diverse representation of the Board by 2025.

Initiatives to fulfill our commitments are driven by a DEI Department, who also have established a cross-functional Executive Steering Committee, and working Team.

Recognizing Heritage 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.

DEI Awards

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.

DEI Partnerships

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 also have employment partnerships we leverage when sourcing diverse talent. Some of our longstanding partners include:

Black/African American Community Partners

  • 100 Black Men, Inc.
  • National Urban League
  • United Negro College Fund (UNCF)
  • Foundation for Educational Development, Inc.
  • New American Leaders, Inc.
  • National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation, Inc.

Hispanic/Latino Community Partners

  • Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU)
  • Latino Leaders Magazine
  • Hispanic Heritage Foundation
  • Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)
  • Latino Leaders Network
  • Latin American Educational Foundation

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 Pacifics

LGBTQ+ Community Partners

  • National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
  • Equality California Institute
  • ONE Community
  • The Montrose Center
  • SF LGBT Center
  • North Texas LGBT Chamber of Commerce

Individuals with Disabilities Community Partners

  • Disability:IN
  • AccesSurf
  • Challenge Aspen
  • San Diego Center for Children
  • Canine Companions for Independence
  • Steamboat Adaptive Recreational Sports

Women Community Partners

  • Arizona Foundation for Women
  • 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
  • Arnold Air Society & Silver Wings
  • Help Heal Veterans
  • Team Rubicon
  • PTSD Foundation of America

Employment Partners

  • 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
  • COOP
  • 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

Supplier Diversity

In the same way we recognize that a diverse Employee base generates strength, we know our Suppliers are an integral part of our success. Our Supplier Diversity Program has been designed to enable us to extend opportunities to qualified diverse suppliers who, in turn, can help fulfill operational needs, satisfy the expectations of our Shareholders and Customers, and meet competitive business challenges. Supplier Diversity is comprised of two programs: Small Business Program and Diverse Owned Business Program.

Read more on Supplier Information

Read more on Supplier Diversity

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 are informed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) and the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB), and aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).