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Re: Updates to the Diversity-Certified Badge

Upwork Staff
Bianca B Upwork Staff Member Since: Feb 1, 2018
1 of 88

Have you heard about the new Diversity-Certified Badge? We announced them here in October. These badges empower our independent businesses who are Minority-owned (including Black-owned), Woman-owned, U.S. veteran-owned, Disability-owned, and LGBTQ+-owned to leverage their external certifications and help them win more of the work they love. 

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Supplier diversity is important to many businesses that value a diversity of perspectives and points of view. We are deeply committed to creating an inclusive future of economic opportunity on our platform. While we don’t ask our talent community for demographic information today, we have clients with diversity and inclusion initiatives that want to support underrepresented groups and actively seek out diverse talent to fill these goals through Upwork. These badges are a way for talent to show off their certifications and connect with clients. 


We’re hosting a webinar on March 25th at 11am PST to share more details about diversity certification and the process behind it. We are also releasing other educational content around diversity certification over the coming months, so let us know if there are specific topics you would like us to cover.


We encourage our talent in the US who have certifications to add it to their profile. You can do so by clicking the + icon in the “Diversity certification” section of your profile. First, we ask you to provide your business name, Diversity category. Then you’ll provide information on the certification provider, type, certification number, and expiration date. Once all the details are entered and saved, the information will go into manual review for Upwork to validate your certification. 


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Please note: There is a different section of the profile for entering skill-based certifications like AWS, Google AdWords, etc. This has been a point of confusion, so we wanted to clarify these separate areas. 


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By adding your diversity certification information and details, you will receive a badge displayed on your profile visible to Enterprise Suite clients in search both through a “Diversity-Certified” filter and on the search result tiles.


Upwork is currently working with certifying bodies in the United States. We plan to expand to Canada in the coming months. We are starting with the U.S. because the guidelines for diversity certifications are clearly defined for U.S. businesses and we are more familiar with them. 


Here’s a brief history lesson on how diversity certifications began: Supplier Diversity started in the U.S. in the 1960s as part of the American Civil Rights legislation when President John F. Kennedy amended a federal order to take affirmative action into consideration for federal contracting. As this movement continued to grow through the decades and expand into private corporate supplier diversity programs, other countries started to take notice.  Canada pushed their Employment Equity Act in 1986, and the UK implemented a similar statute in 2000 for local governments.


We recognize there are other international certifications, and diversity can be defined differently in every country. That said, we're actively pursuing outreach with third-party organizations to broaden our geographic reach. If you know of a certifying agency in your country, please share it with us so we can look into them.


For additional information, check out our Help center article. 


Active Member
Aleksandr S Member Since: Apr 6, 2019
2 of 88
Hi! What about immigrant-owned?
Thank you
Joanne Marie P Moderator Member Since: Nov 26, 2017
3 of 88

Hi Aleksandr,


Thanks for this question. We are looking at providing more resources on how to get certified, and we're also looking at creating networking opportunities within these communities. Our goal is to make sure we have a fair marketplace that is inclusive for all of our users. And we are deeply committed to furthering opportunities on Upwork, including taking steps to identify and reduce potential biases to unlock economic opportunities for diverse businesses on the platform.

Active Member
Michelle M Member Since: Aug 2, 2016
4 of 88

I can see this causing some freelancers to lose clients that they would have gotten otherwise without the badge.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
5 of 88

Michelle M wrote:

I can see this causing some freelancers to lose clients that they would have gotten otherwise without the badge.

Then they shoudn't apply for it.


Personally, I say good riddance to such clients.


[edited for clarity]

Active Member
Gregory M Member Since: Mar 4, 2020
6 of 88

I agree. Not everyone should be your client. Why would you want business form someone who would disrespect you in person or on the street because of any of this?

Active Member
Bonniejean A Member Since: Sep 5, 2015
7 of 88

In order to list this, I have to pay for a certification - that really isn't cool. I own my business and I am a woman.... I should be able to list that

Bonniejean A Hinde, MA (Sociology and Communication)
Active Member
Kathleen A Member Since: Feb 18, 2021
8 of 88
Imagine you spent your whole life losing on business because of your skin color or gender. It’s amazing what people will post publicly, attached to their name, while blaming diversity initiatives for their lack of business.
Active Member
Angie P Member Since: Nov 23, 2020
9 of 88

Hi Brad,

You may have missed the moderators response to your comment.  She explained you would need to go to one of those agencies and request your diversity certification directly from the agency who is the one that will ask for whatever information they need to certify you.  So this is a question you should ask whichever organization you want to identify with, not Upwork.  They are just basically transferring your "real world" certification to Upwork.


If you don't have it , then go get it. If you identify as bisexual go to the LGBT chamber of commerce and ask for their requirements... when you get certified tell Upwork and that's it, you get your badge.  


On a side note I qualify for at least 3 of those certifications and I haven't applied for any. So just because the resources are available doesn't mean business owners like myself have become certified outside of Upwork.


If you do quality work, then you shouldn't worry about this badge. As you know client's usually look for quality and experience.  

Active Member
Jyothi D Member Since: Feb 21, 2021
10 of 88

Thank you for your comment. I have personally come across so many job postings that specifically state "No Indians or Pakistanis" or "No Asians", which is so discriminatory. I understand that some clients want writers based in a certain country for reasons like ease of payment or tax concerns, but I don't think that sort of thing should extend to the outright exclusion of talented providers. I have found my footing here on Upwork over the years and I have made some great relationships with some wonderful clients, but it is so dispiriting to come on here and see discriminatory wording within job postings. For someone like me, a diversity badge is a welcome addition. It will allow me to connect with clients who will appreciate my talent, regardless of the color of my skin. Thank you Upwork!