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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: The Progress We’ve Made

On June 16, 2020 I published a letter to the community outlining our firm commitment to supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion — and ten specific actions that we would take as a company to do so.

In the three months since the letter, our DE&I Core Team—made up of a diverse set of representatives from each of our departments—has spent countless hours engaged in discussion, planning, and execution of the goals we set.

Today, I want to share an update on the progress we’ve made.

Goal #1

“Juneteenth, or June 19th, will now be an annual Day of Action for all employees. Our offices will be closed and we’ll coordinate groups to protest, contact local elected officials, support petition drives, donate, and more.”

On June 19th, employees participated in our first annual Day of Action by organizing groups to attend local protests in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles; volunteering at phone banks to contact local elected officials and register citizens to vote; and donating time and money to various organizations supporting the movement across the country. We’re excited to continue giving our time and support, not only on Juneteenth but throughout the year.

Goal #2

“We are committing to filling 50 percent of all incoming management and leadership roles with underrepresented groups, including Black people, women, and other minorities.”

In the last 90 days, we’ve made 10 hires across management and leadership positions. 50 percent of those hires have been filled by people from underrepresented groups. Additionally, 62 percent of promotions between July and September were deserving people from underrepresented groups.

Goal #3

“Within the next 30 days, all employees will begin the first phase of an extensive Ally Training curriculum. New employees will be required to complete the training within 90 days of starting at”

As we began to explore a curriculum, we realized that we wanted to go above and beyond with our training to ensure that we’re diving deep into relevant conversations and not just scratching the surface. This took more time than anticipated, but we’ve now finalized our three-part curriculum and instructors, and are planning for a Q4 rollout across the company.

Goal #4

“Within the next 90 days, we’ll launch a mentorship program for K-12 students from underrepresented groups interested in media and tech. We will also continue to work with local organizations that support underrepresented groups to provide resources and training for students.”

Members of the D&I Core Team are working with a number of organizations to understand the needs of underrepresented K-12 students and develop a program that appropriately addresses them. This is also taking a bit longer than anticipated, but we’re excited to foster these relationships and help build a more diverse industry by providing education and opportunities for students.

Goal #5

“We are re-examining and expanding our unconscious bias training right now. Part of this includes an additional session for managers, explicitly related to equity in employee development.”

In August, our managers went through a revised unconscious bias training program focused on performance reviews and employee development. This course will also become a part of our Ally Training Program and be required for managers and available for those interested in management roles in the future.

Goal #6

“We are committed to learning and active reflection. To help provide context and a foundation for ongoing anti-racism conversations, every employee will be receiving one of the following books (purchased from a Black-owned local bookstore). We will continue structured discussions around them.”

  • White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

All employees have received a copy of one of these books from a Black-owned bookstore. We’ve created virtual discussion spaces for them and will continue to hold structured conversations and add to our readings.

Goal #7

“As part of our commitment to developing the diverse talent pipeline that we want to see in the industry, every employee has a personal development fund that can be used toward workshops, courses, conferences, and anything else that contributes to both their professional and personal growth. We will be surfacing even more opportunities for our employees to take advantage of.”

This is a longstanding and ongoing commitment we’ve made to our employees, and our promotion rate is an encouraging reinforcement of that commitment. We’ll continue to surface more opportunities for learning and development to help with professional and personal growth.

Goal #8

“We will continue to host internal and external Diversity & Inclusion programming that facilitates meaningful conversations and actions.”

We’ve held several internal programming events in the last few months to facilitate these conversations (including several outlined above) and will continue to do so. In October, we’re hosting an internal conversation around allyship in the workplace and a discussion around Hispanic Heritage Month. We’re also launching our Pride campaign to celebrate LGBT+ History Month.

Goal #9

“We have started a full-company All-Hands meeting dedicated to Diversity & Inclusion and created a Slack channel that all employees are added to by default. These forums are a space for employees to receive updates on goals and ongoing initiatives, as well as to participate in an exchange of ideas and actions.”

The D&I Core Team hosted our first Diversity & Inclusion All-Hands in June and has provided smaller updates in our bi-weekly company All-Hands. Our next one is taking place on October 1st where we’ll cover updates on goals and initiatives, upcoming events, and personnel reporting.

Goal #10

“We are proactively encouraging all of our employees to take time off to do whatever is important to them as individuals—whether it’s to protest, vote, volunteer, learn, or recharge.”

Many of our employees have taken time off in the last few months to take action or recharge. We’re continuing to encourage everyone to take advantage of our unlimited PTO policy to take care of themselves, their families, and their communities.

As I mentioned in my letter on June 16th, this work has to be ongoing. Just because we’ve met several of our goals and are close on others doesn’t mean that we’re stopping here. I’m committed to continuing to work with our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Core Team to further our mission to build a culture across the media and tech industries where people of diverse backgrounds, identities, expressions, and abilities have equal opportunity to create.


Emery Wells

Emery Wells

Emery Wells is the Co-Founder & VP, Digital Products,