By BENÉT J. WILSON
On October 1, 2014, BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith issued a manifesto that effectively threw down the gauntlet, releasing specific numbers (unlike other online media companies) on the makeup of BuzzFeed’s workforce by gender and race. “Diversity in BuzzFeed’s editorial operation isn’t a side project or special initiative. It’s core to how we operate and how we hire,” he wrote.
Smith also laid out what BuzzFeed was going to do to have a more diverse editorial team, and I wrote about that covered that here. BuzzFeed released its numbers this week and although they still don’t represent numbers of the U.S. population, they are up in every category year over year.
Highlights from the report, released by Founder and CEO Jonah Peretti via an employee email, included:
- Across BuzzFeed overall, we are less white than we were this time last year.
- Globally, we have more women managers than men: 52 percent of BuzzFeed managers are female, 48 percent male.
- Asian-Americans make up about 12 percent of the employees working on both editorial and branded content for BuzzFeed Motion Pictures.
- As a company, we are more female than we were a year ago — we now have more women than men working at BuzzFeed.
During its annual convention in August, the National Association of Black Journalists gave BuzzFeed its Best Practices Award. The company was lauded for its efforts of placing diversity at the forefront of its hiring practices.
“Diversity is an ongoing priority at BuzzFeed,” wrote Peretti in his email. “We care about diversity for moral reasons, but we also know a diverse staff is a competitive advantage that allows us to recruit from the broadest possible pool of talent and have team members with a wide range of experiences and perspectives.”