MDRC Organizational Structure and the Demographic Composition of the Staff and Board

MDRC had 289 staff at the end of 2021. About three-quarters of MDRC's staff lived in the New York metropolitan area and worked out of our New York City office. Six percent of MDRC staff were in our Oakland office, and the remaining 24 percent of employees were associated with our offices in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, or worked remotely out of their homes around the country. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, all MDRC staff worked remotely in 2021.

Sixty-four percent of MDRC’s staff had research, policy, and practice roles, which means that they worked on or directly supported our research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects. Twenty-four percent of MDRC’s staff performed administrative roles—such as finance, human resources, information services, and legal—or communications and development roles. Finally, 13 percent of staff were part of our senior management team, and they worked across departments. Senior management as of December 2021 included our president, vice presidents, directors, deputy directors, general counsel, chief information officer, chief communications officer, interim deputy chief financial officer, and other unit leaders.

As researchers who use rigorous methods to learn about policies and programs, we know that measurement is fundamental to diagnosing problems and tracking change. We also know that widely disseminating findings holds organizations accountable for refining and achieving their goals. Thus, we believe that to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at MDRC, we should treat it as we would treat the problems we address in our research. This means careful measurement and transparency to promote accountability.

To that end, below we provide an overview of MDRC’s staff demographic characteristics, as of December 31, 2021. First, we provide context about our staff — specifically, how many of us work here, where we live, and the roles we play in the organization. Then we share our gender and race composition—two important measures of staff diversity, but by no means the only measures we care about. These statistics show that our staff are diverse in both gender and race, but we recognize that we still have significant room for improvement, and the section that follows provides a glimpse of what we are doing to get there. These statistics focus on diversity because it is easier to measure than equity or inclusion, but we hold each value in equal regard, and the activities outlined in the final section demonstrate some of our efforts to strengthen each of these mutually reinforcing values.

Gender and Race/Ethnicity Composition

The charts below show MDRC’s gender and racial/ethnic composition as of December 2021, which can be compared to data from December 2018, 2019 and, 2020.[1] In 2021, approximately two-thirds of MDRC's staff identified as female and one-half of the staff identified as White, and the composition varied by the types of roles staff held. There was more gender, racial, and ethnic diversity among MDRC’s administration, communications, and development staff than among our research and senior management staff. In 2019, for the first time, we collected demographic data from the 16 members of the MDRC Board of Directors. As of the end of 2021, 80 percent of the MDRC Board members identified as White, 13 percent as Black, and 7 percent as Hispanic/Latinx, and 40 percent identified as female.

Race and Ethnicity

Gender

White

Black

Asian

Hispanic

Other

Female

Overall

Senior management

Research, policy, and practice staff

Administration, communications, and development staff

Board

NOTE: MDRC employees are asked to voluntarily select one of the following options when identifying their race and ethnicity: White, Black or African American, Asian, Hispanic or Latino, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, American Indian or Alaska Native, Two or More Races, or Choose Not to Disclose. The “other” category includes American Indian or Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Two or More Races, and Choose Not to Disclose.

Current staff provided their gender based on categorizations that have since evolved. MDRC has updated its information collection efforts to reflect the gender identity spectrum. MDRC employees now have the ability to voluntarily identify their gender as: Female, Male, Non-Binary, or Choose Not to Disclose.

[1] Applicants provide information on their gender, race, and ethnicity when they are hired to work at MDRC. Responding to this request is voluntary, and all current staff members have chosen to provide this information.

Next: Efforts to Strengthen Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion