Advice for Employers and Recruiters

Employers hired 35% more male students for internships than they should have

Steven Rothberg AvatarSteven Rothberg
May 17, 2021


Last year, more employers seemed to embrace more the hiring of diverse candidates than any other year in history. The improvement was welcome and long overdue but largely due to the local then national then international outrage created by George Floyd’s murder and the attempted cover-up of it by the Minneapolis Police Department.

Despite the embrace of diversity hiring by almost every employer with university relations or other early-careers talent acquisition programs, it appears that some employers have a long way to go. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) recently released its 2021 Internship & Co-op Survey. It reported that, on average, 62 percent of responding employers’ interns were white and 57.6 percent were male.

According to NACE, “Historical comparisons are not available, as this is the first time NACE has asked respondents to provide details about the composition of their internship cohort. Results, however, are consistent with data NACE gathered through its annual student survey, which found that marginalized groups were underrepresented in paid internships. Moreover, whereas nearly 58 percent of interns were men, men only comprise 43 percent of the four-year college-going population”

“This suggests a disconnect with employer priorities around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), as internship programs are a main source of entry-level talent,” continued NACE.

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