The New Yorker, Ars Technica and Pitchfork Unions Statement on Conde Nast's Diversity & Inclusion Initiatives
The racial, economic, and gender diversity of each of our workplaces has long been a priority for our members. It was, and remains, one of the most important reasons we organized in the first place: to have a voice in the growth and evolution of our work, we need true equity and inclusion. And negotiating over NewsGuild Diversity and Hiring proposals at Conde Nast has been a long process, beginning in early 2019, when the New Yorker Union first presented its Diversity and Inclusion proposal to David Remnick's bargaining team and Conde Nast representatives.
We hoped that increasing the racial diversity of our workplaces would be an obvious shared goal, and in many instances this appears to be the case. However, we are disappointed that Conde Nast management, together with Ken Fisher, Puja Patel, and David Remnick, have continued to resist memorializing their professed good intentions in writing by signing tentative agreements. Instead, we have been told repeatedly that Roger Lynch, Stan Duncan, and other Conde executives have begun work on their own initiatives that will address our many concerns.
This, then, seems an opportune moment to outline the initiatives we have been demanding for over a year. Here is what we have proposed:
- HIRING: Commit to a goal that 50% of the applicants who make it beyond an initial interview, on an annual basis for all jobs, will be people from traditionally underrepresented groups. Applicants from traditionally underrepresented groups will be interviewed for each open unit position.
- DIVERSITY COMMITTEE: Establish joint Labor-Management Diversity Committees to address ongoing issues, with the company reporting quarterly to the Diversity Committee on efforts to increase diversity, and reporting twice a year on job applicant/hiring data.
- DATA: Conduct an annual survey of each office, in which employees can elect to self-report demographic data, to be analyzed and disseminated by the Diversity Committee. Publish employee diversity statistics, both for specific brands and for the company as a whole, on condenast.com.
- RETENTION AND RECRUITING: Commit to increasing opportunities for promotion for employees from underrepresented groups and actively recruit through organizations that advocate for underrepresented journalists and media workers.
- TRAINING: Provide annual mandatory anti-harassment training, which will include content on discrimination, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Provide adequate training and resources to hiring managers.
- IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE: Cover visa-related fees for sponsored employees.
- GENDER NEUTRALITY: Implement a system to accommodate employees' name and gender-identity changes. Whenever possible, provide gender-neutral restrooms.
We are eager to learn more about the diversity initiatives that Conde Nast is planning and to receive the company's formal agreement on the measures we've already proposed, which are essential to real change. The revelations of the past few months, including the recent events at Bon Appetit, make clear that much work is needed to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion at Conde. Our proposals have been crafted with care and consideration of our members' needs and hopes for the future of our offices, work communities, and careers. Policy change is a good first step, but memorializing these practices in our contracts, which are enforceable and mandate company accountability, makes our employers' stated commitment to progressive values real. We look forward to enshrining and implementing these values through our collective bargaining agreements.
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