2022 Survey of Diversity & Inclusion Among International Educators
Diversity Abroad is pleased to announce the findings from the 2022 Survey of Diversity & Inclusion Among International Educators. This survey is the first to collect seminal information about the demographics of the diverse individuals who comprise the field of international education and global learning. Now in its fifth iteration, the results of the 2022 survey continue to serve as a source for practitioners, scholars, and others interested in better understanding diversity and inclusion in the profession of international education and cultural exchange.
With expanded questions on sense of belonging in the workplace and new questions on workplace satisfaction, the results from the 2022 survey offer several key insights for international education leaders, aspiring international educators, and those working in global education. Notably, the data suggest the field remains relatively homogenous with a third (29.9%) of respondents identifying as being from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic populations. Similar to past years, women represent the largest percentage in the respondent pool at 73.6% of the respondents. Professionals in the field are not particularly optimistic about the possibility for advancement in a career in international education, particularly at their own institution, citing low compensation and lack of transparency in the promotion process as possible factors for this.
On a more positive note, respondents overwhelmingly agreed or strongly agreed that they had support (75.8%) and flexibility (82.9%) from their employer, pointing to positive steps toward more inclusive work environments. While most respondents were mostly positive about their productivity, respondents were less positive about how their workload affected their motivation and mental health at work.
2022 survey garnered responses from 428 professionals working in international education and cultural exchange around the world, a 13% decrease from the 2021 survey. The 2022 response pool is roughly the same as the inaugural 2018 survey.
The field of international education and cultural exchange continues to recover from the significant impact caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic. Many institutions and global learning providers have not yet resumed operations to pre-pandemic levels, including previous levels of staffing. Moreover, high staff transition within and outside of the field has resulted in an increase in new professionals to the field as well as an exodus of professionals and practitioners seeking opportunities in other sectors and industries. The impact of the pandemic continues to affect and will likely continue to have long-term implications for the field of international education.
In addition to the direct effects of the pandemic, other factors have affected individuals’ interest or ability to respond to the survey. Zoom and online fatigue have influenced people’s engagement in nearly every aspect of their work, including responding to non-essential or non-immediate requests, such as taking a survey. Additionally, other organizations within the industry have expanded efforts to capture demographic information that may influence individuals willingness to participate in multiple surveys. Finally, those who became unemployed or employed in a new position (remaining in the field) may have lost access to prior email addresses or other direct contacts to Diversity Abroad. Direct correspondence is the primary way in which individuals hear about and subsequently respond to the survey.
The results from the survey show that 64.0% (69.0% in 2021) of the survey respondents identified as White and 29.9% (27.6% in 2021) identified as being from historically underrepresented racial/ethnic populations. In 2019 approximately 35% of respondents identified as being from a historically underrepresented racial/ethnic population.Similar to past years, women represent the largest percentage in the respondent pool at 73.6% of the respondents, while 23.8% self-identified as male and 1.2% self-identified as non-binary/third gender. Of the 428 participants that provided responses related to sexual orientation, the majority identified as heterosexual or straight (73.1%). Millennials (1980–2000) made up the largest proportion of respondents at 62.0%, followed by those identifying as Generation X (1965–1979) at 26.8%. More than three-quarters of the respondent pool indicated they had studied abroad (76.6%).
While the majority of respondents reported not having a disability, this proportion increased from 64.5% in 2021 to 72.8% in 2022. There was a decrease in the proportion of respondents who reported managing mental health conditions, from 13.2% (2021) to 7.8% in 2022. In 2020, the proportion of respondents who reported managing mental health conditions was 9.4%, which may have been influenced by the impact the pandemic had on overall mental health and wellbeing. The 2021 survey included a new option to select “I prefer not to say,” and approximately 3% of respondents selected this option.
On the question of current salary, there was an increase in the proportion of responses at salary levels greater than $50,000. Notably, the proportion of respondents reporting earning less than $40,000 decreased by 6.3% This may be a reflection of fewer participants from other salary ranges or other compensation trends in the field that have yet to be explored, such as the elimination of lower salary positions, increased compensation for new positions, cost of living increases or more movement among professionals at these salary ranges.
The 2022 survey included a series of questions related to individuals’ satisfaction with and enthusiasm for their work. Seven new questions were added that asked about perceptions of workload, productivity, engagement, and impact on mental health.
Respondents were asked three questions related to their employer’s contributions to creating a flexible work environment, and respondents overwhelmingly agreed or strongly agreed that they had the support (75.8%) and flexibility (82.9%) from their employer. While most respondents were mostly positive about their productivity, respondents were less positive about how their workload affected their motivation and mental health at work.
While respondents report concerns in several areas, they tend to have a high level of enthusiasm for their current positions, with 21% of respondents reporting a 10 out of 10 for enthusiasm for their role.