“We must change our culture”, the New York Times says and plans “sweeping” reforms after the diversity report’s findings.
The New York Times’ diversity report published last week paints a grim picture of the company’s workplace culture, depicting the “difficult environment” at the NYT – especially as experienced by people of color.
The report revealed that while the organization has made some progress in diversifying in recent years, it “is too often a difficult place to work for people of all backgrounds – particularly colleagues of color, and especially Black and Latino colleagues”. It said that many employees of color had gone through “unsettling and sometimes painful day-to-day workplace experiences” and noted that Black and Latino people were underrepresented in leadership roles.
The report, based on interviews with more than 400 Times employees over an 8-month period, also stated that Asian American women feel “invisible and unseen” and are often referred to using the name of other Asian women.
According to the NYT’s diversity report, despite increasingly diversifying the company through hiring, people of color – particularly women of color – remain significantly underrepresented in positions of leadership. “Black colleagues who are not in leadership positions leave the company at a higher rate than white colleagues,” the report said.
“For over a century and a half, The New York Times has succeeded in part by recognizing when it needed to change,” top executives wrote in a note to staff. “This is such a moment.” The executives said the actions prompted by the report “require the most substantial investment The Times has ever made in terms of time, money and energy – in advancing our culture.”
The plan of action includes a commitment to increasing the number of Black and Latino employees in leadership roles by 50% by 2025; establishing a new diversity, equity, and inclusion office in Human Resources, and launching an expansion of the journalism fellowship program.
The report concluded: “Diversity is not in tension with our journalistic mission: Instead, it helps us find the truth and more fully understand the world. Diversity is also not in tension with our commitment to independence: We will continue to cover the world without fear or favor and portray the world as it is, not as we wish it to be. Making the Times experience better for colleagues of color will make The Times better for everyone.