The New York Times on Wednesday released the results of an eight-month investigation into its workplace culture and diversity — and announced a four-point plan to “transform our culture” to address shortcomings.
The study, headed by editors Amber Guild, Carolyn Ryan and Anand Venkatesan, found that Asian-American women on staff reported feeling “invisible” while Black and Latino staffers are underrepresented in leadership. “We cannot accept this,” they said.
In addition, Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger, CEO Meredith Kopit Levien and Executive Editor Dean Baquet promised “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.”
The study, based on conversations with more than 400 staffers across divisions, found that people of color were not only underrepresented at the paper but also subjected to unfair treatment. “We heard from many Asian-American women, for example, about feeling invisible and unseen — to the point of being regularly called by the name of a different colleague of the same race, something other people of color described as well,” the report said.
The Times committed to increasing 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. In addition, diversity and inclusion will be factored into employee assessment and compensation starting next year.
The paper also promised to rethink its business partnerships by exploring more projects with companies that have a more diverse ownership.
The report comes on the heels of internal drama surrounding the resignation of several high-profile staffers, as well as months-long conversations around “cancel culture” and the departure of other notable figures. Wednesday’s release notes that the study came “against the backdrop of a societal reckoning around race” last summer. The reckoning wasn’t only societal, but internal, too: In June, dozens of Times staff members protested an op-ed published by GOP Sen. Tom Cotton, writing on social media, “Running this puts Black @nytimes staff in danger” alongside a screenshot of the piece.
Cotton’s op-ed, titled “Send in the Troops,” calls for the U.S. military to be sent in and use an “overwhelming show of force to disperse, detain and ultimately deter lawbreakers” amid nationwide protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd. Editorial page editor James Bennet resigned shortly after the backlash — both internal and external — to the piece.