Monday, October 6, 2014

Silicon Valley Gets a Stern Lecture About Diversity From a Mostly White and Mostly Male NY Times Editorial Board

Meet the mostly white and mostly male New York Times Editorial Board:

Mark Perry writes:
Here’s a slightly edited version of the October 4 New York Times staff editorial “Silicon Valley’s The New York Times’s Diversity Problem“:

After years of playing down the problem, technology companies like Google,Facebook and Apple The New York Times now says they’re it’s serious about improving the gender and ethnic diversity of their work forces and corporate its editorial boards. Recent data from those companies and others like them about the composition of the NY Times editorial board confirm what everyone has long known: Most of their employees contributors are white and Asian most aremen. As the graphic above demonstrates, men on the NY Times editorial board outnumber women by almost 2-to-1 (12 men vs. 7 women), and blacks (5.3%) and Hispanics (5.3%) are significantly under-represented on the board relative to their shares of the US population (13% and 17% respectively for blacks and Hispanics).    
Tech Publishing companies like the New York Times should care about these numbers. Many studies show that companies publishers with gender, politicaland ethnic diversity on their editorial boards tend to be more creative and more profitable, because varied perspectives help them design products and serviceswrite editorials that appeal to a diverse, worldwide audience.
There are approaches that could help:
  • Top technology companies The New York Times hires a lot of graduates from elite universities like Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Brown, Chicago, Columbia, NYU and the University of California, Berkeley for its editorial board (see graphic above). Their Its recruitment efforts should include a broader array of colleges…
  • Companies The New York Times should open up the initial interviewing process for its editorial board. The National Football League, for example, has the Rooney Rule, which requires teams to interview at least one minority candidate for every head coach or general manager opening, and this rule should be implemented at the New York Times.
  • Creating a welcoming culture, which is often easier said than done, would helpthese companies The New York Times retain employees board memberswho get in the door. The under-representation of women and minorities on the current New York Times editorial board might not be creating a sufficiently “welcoming culture.” 
There is a lot that the education system and the government need to do to get more women and minorities interested in science and technology journalism. But the technology newspaper industry (including the New York Times editorial board) can start tackling its diversity problem right now.

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