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New York Times diversity

New York Times: women make up the majority of both leaders and staff

The New York Times have shared an update of their plan to transform their workplace culture, including diversity data for the full 2020 year, which show that women make up now the majority of both leadership and total workforce.

In February 2021, NYT had released the results of an eight-month investigation into its workplace diversity, and announced a plan to transform a culture that makes the company an “unwelcoming place for many people,” according to its authors.

The study had found that Asian-American women on staff reported feeling “invisible” while Black and Latino staffers are underrepresented in leadership. NYT publisher A.G. Sulzberger, CEO Meredith Kopit Levien and Executive Editor Dean Baquet promised then “a bold plan for building a more diverse, equitable and inclusive New York Times – one that reflects our unchanging mission, our growing business ambitions and our aspirations for the kind of company we intend to be.”

“This plan represents the most substantial investment The Times has ever made in advancing our culture, one comparable in many ways to the major transformations we’ve made to our journalism and business,” Sulzberger, Levien and Baquet said.

The company has recently shared an update of this plan, including the fourth annual report on the composition of its staff, which looks at the full 2020 year. While The Times had released much of this data in February, they now provide additional detail.

Women represented 52% of company overall and 52% of leadership, marking the first year in which women made up a majority of the leadership ranks.

Composition of NYT’s Workforce

Updated data for 2020 show that there has been progress regarding female representation, both in total workforce (52%) and leadership roles (52%). In fact, it is the first year in which women made up a majority of NYT’s leadership ranks.

However, representation of people of colour remains low, at 33% of total workforce, up nearly only 2% from 2019, and at 23% of leadership, up 2%.

The Times has committed to increasing the percentage of Black and Latino employees in leadership roles by 50% by the end of 2025 and to create a diversity, equity and inclusion office in its human resources department.

“We have much more work we intend to do. But we are confident that these are important steps to making The New York Times a more diverse, equitable and inclusive company — and an even better journalistic organization and business,” A.G. Sulzberger, Meredith Kopit Levien and Dean Baquet say in their note.

The New York Times

Progress on the Plan to Create a Culture that Works for All

The plan NYT published in February laid out commitments across four areas of focus:

  • Transforming culture to create an environment where we all can do their best work.
  • Elevating how the company leads and manages people.
  • Strengthening systems and practices for developing people, and for supporting work to make NYT more diverse, equitable and inclusive.
  • Ensuring coverage benefits from the judgment of a more diverse and inclusive newsroom.

NYT now shares some updates on three of those commitments.

Defining and articulating behaviors: Over the course of several months, a group of people across many departments and levels shaped a set of behaviors defining the company’s mission and values. They distilled NYT’s six values – independence, integrity, curiosity, respect, collaboration and excellence – into observable behaviors at an individual level.

The behaviors tackle three parts of the February plan: first, outlining clear expectations for effective people leadership; second, setting clear expectations and norms for all employees; and third, tying diversity, equity and inclusion to our values.

The company says that these behaviors, which we will roll out to employees, will help NYT across the entire experience of working – from recruiting to development to offboarding.

Ensuring fairness and clarity in processes for handling conduct violations: NYT examined its processes for how it handles complaints about conduct in the workplace to ensure they are strong, fair, consistent and widely understood. This work considered questions about how NYT conducts investigations in different departments; how it might prevent inappropriate behavior from recurring; and how the company could make the process more transparent.

Rolling out interview training: NYT announced in February that they would provide interview training for every hiring manager and interviewer at The Times. “Our training covers behavioral interviewing techniques, best practices for asking questions, how to provide evidence-based feedback and how to effectively participate in a debrief. We have already trained two thirds of eligible business side employees. By September, we will complete training for the business side and begin rolling out this training to the newsroom.”

The New York Times

The Times has committed to increasing the percentage of Black and Latino employees in leadership roles by 50% by the end of 2025.

Initiatives for More Diverse Newsroom and Editorial Processes

The company also announced that, recently, the newsroom began work on a set of initiatives to make its culture and editorial processes more diverse, equitable and inclusive. The changes include the creation of a new Culture & Careers Department, which will play a central role in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion priorities newsroom-wide. The department will include more than a dozen new roles and will be paired with new career development programs.

The newsroom’s plan also outlines new approaches to editorial practices to foster greater collaboration and inclusiveness in all aspects of the journalistic culture.

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