Top Trends

As an advisor to the world’s most innovative, people-driven companies, Sequoia has unique foresight into where total rewards strategies are going. Here are the trends we’re tracking to shed light on how companies of all sizes are investing in their people.

Data Animation

Compensation Trends by Department

Looking at wage growth rates can serve as a barometer for the hiring needs of people-driven companies. While companies continue to place a premium on engineering roles, they are also investing heavily in leadership and HR positions to navigate the challenges of the global pandemic while staying ahead in today’s competitive and dynamic talent market.

Workplace Diversity

Demographics by Department

Even when filtered through various lenses of company size, location, and focus, the 2021 demographic makeup of departments stays remarkably the same. When comparing gender in specific departments, engineering, leadership, and sales skew male while HR, people, talent, and marketing skew female. When comparing ethnicity, nearly half or more of the workforce across all departments are made up of Whites/Caucasians, followed by those of Asian descent.

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Workplace Diversity

Share of Workforce vs. Share of Pay

While diversity, equity, and inclusion remained a high-visibility topic in 2021, companies are still reporting a gap when it comes to offering women and people of color a level of pay that aligns with their level of representation in the workforce. Tech companies and those based in California are more closely matching share of pay to share of workforce, but only for certain roles.

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People of Color
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

DEI Goals

As DEI metrics provide a means to help companies inform their people strategies, they are increasingly employing a range of tactics to meet their DEI goals. In particular, the use of diversity recruiting resources and sponsorship of employee affinity groups has grown by the greatest margins between 2019 and 2021.

Remote Work

The New Workplace

As we approach the two-year mark of a global pandemic, it’s clear that the way people work, and where they work, has changed possibly forever. The data below gives more insight into employees working from home (WFH) and from locations other than where they started at the beginning of the pandemic. For a deeper and broader look, see The New Workplace Employer Report sponsored by ABC7 News and Sequoia.

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WFH Prevalence
Home States
Worker Migration

Turnover Rates

Across industries and locations, companies are seeing turnover rates of 20% on average, likely fueled by the stresses of the pandemic. In response, companies are seeking to address employee burnout through better access to behavioral health and wellbeing benefits (as shown in Popular Benefits).

Popular Benefits

Behavioral Health Vendors

To address the wellness needs of a more distributed workforce, 2021 saw significant adoption of app-based services for employees to access a variety of behavioral health resources. 

Popular Benefits

Employee Wellbeing Offerings

Companies continue to offer and prioritize a wide variety of wellbeing benefits to support their increasingly distributed workforces. Among those offerings seeing the largest adoption increases are supports for parents and resources for emotional wellbeing.

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Offerings Popularity
Offerings Rank


Insights from this report represent data collected from Sequoia’s 2021 Employee Experience Surveys, anonymized information and trends from our Sequoia database, and Dataforest surveys.

Learn more about our data sources and methodology →