'BuzzFeed' Reports Improvements In Diversity, Equity

BuzzFeed has increased its share of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) and female employees at the company from 2019 to 2020, according to a report sent to staff by BuzzFeedfounder-CEO, Jonah Peretti.

BuzzFeed’s U.S. employee population in 2020 is 57.5% White, 13.3% Asian, 9.9% Black, 8.9% Hispanic or Latinx, 5% Two or More and 0.5% Other groups. 

In short, 37.5% of BuzzFeed’s employees identify as a race/ethnicity other than White, compared to 34% in 2019.

Women make up 61.9% of the company, compared to 60.5% in 2019.

Peretti noted that BuzzFeed increased the representation of Black and Hispanic/Latinx employees from 2019, when they represented 7.7% and 7.5% of the company, respectively.



Over the past 12 months, 46.9% of BuzzFeed’s new hires self-identified as people of color, compared to 44.3% in 2019. 

“We will continue to make recruiting a focus in our diversity strategy,” Peretti wrote.

He added that Gray Scalable, a recruiting and HR consultancy company, did an “independent analysis of pay equality at BuzzFeed and found no pay disparities." 

However, the analysis did not look at "how people are leveled or whether all employees are at the right level for their job responsibilities.” 

“We will continue to evaluate and adjust levels,” Peretti said.

He also admitted that while there are BIPOC leaders and managers at BuzzFeed, there is more diversity at junior levels of the company. “We need to do more work to make sure we are diverse at every level of the organization, especially in more senior roles,” Peretti wrote.

The company will focus on leveling, hiring, and promotion equity in the coming months and years, he said.

“Building a company that supports diversity, inclusio, and belonging isn’t just a moral imperative, it is a business imperative. An inclusive culture with diversity at all levels of the organization is the only way we can build the leading media company for the most diverse generation in history,” Peretti wrote.

For comparison’s sake, The New York Times published its annual diversity report this summer, revealing staff has become increasingly diverse across gender, race, and ethnicity, but a large gap remains in representation at the leadership level.

At the end of 2019, women were 51% of the staff and held 49% of leadership positions, compared to 49% and 47% in 2018, respectively. People of color represented 32% of staff and 21% of the Times leadership.

White people make up 65% of all staff, and people of color make up 32%, compared to 68% and 30% in 2018. (Three percent declined to answer.) Across the company, 53% of new hires in 2019 identified as women and 43% identified as people of color. 

In a report based on 2019 data, digital media company Vice Media revealed staff is 50/50 male/female, and 62% White. Half of all new hires were White.

Few publishers had released data on the diversity of their staff until this year, when a reckoning in the media pushed them to commit to pay equity and better representation across departments and roles.

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