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In a series of recent admissions about companies’ diversity figures, Buzzfeed is the latest to announce that more can be done to improve the demographics of its workforce.
Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith released the figures in an email which was sent out to all the company’s editorial staff.
“As we enter another round of intense growth and hiring, I thought it was important to make clear our vision and to put out numbers that will help keep us accountable — to you, to our readers, and to others in our industry who care,” he said in the email which was published on Buzzfeed’s website.
While males constitute a slightly higher percentage than females across all of Buzzfeed’s departments (51.6% vs. 48.4%), the ratios switch in the editorial team, with 52.2% of the company’s global editorial team being women as opposed to 47.8%) being men.
In a bid to improve the company’s “ability to create a great, diverse newsroom”, Smith included a “rough and evolving guide” of five things editors should do when hiring.
“Almost everyone here plays some role in hiring, and so I’ve asked some editors to help come up with this statement of what we’re trying to build and why.”
The list included points such as understanding the beat or field managers are hiring in, insisting on a diverse pool of serious candidates and looking for opportunities to make hires that will increase the diversity of readers, among others.
“Our industry, like all industries, should be open to anyone prepared to join it, and our industry, like most industries, has historically been terrible at inclusivity,” Smith said.
“But it’s a mistake to look at diversity solely as an ethical imperative. In fact, diversity is an urgent and unending project for anyone who’s ambitious about journalism and entertainment on the internet.”
You can read the full email here.