Beginning last year, to complement the ongoing work toward nurturing a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ) at our organization, Grist’s CEO and the internal staff DEIJ working group committed to releasing annual figures on staff demographics. We also made a number of public commitments to tangible DEIJ priorities at Grist. We’re pleased to report back on those commitments below.
Commitment: Increase representation of people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous staff, across Grist in management, our programs, and in all other organizational departments. We’re specifically focused on increasing representation of PoC on our Board and the proportion of BIPoC writers and editors on our editorial team.
- Staff representation: We made some important gains in our representation as a staff over the past year. Our Black and Indigenous representation doubled, with an increase on our Editorial team, in addition to other parts of Grist. Our Latinx representation with the organization declined slightly from 19.5% to 18%. Across the full team, Grist is now 44% People of Color, compared with 41%, at the time of our past survey.
- Board representation: At the start of 2021, Grist’s 15-member Board was 40% women and 33% PoC. At the close of 2021, Grist’s Board is now 56% women and 50% PoC. We tripled Black representation on the Board and added Grist’s first Indigenous Board member. We also grew our millennial and non-coastal geographic representation on our Board.
Commitment: We will continue to analyze our pay practices by gender and race, and we will take immediate action to eliminate any pay gaps we find.
Updates: Once again, we assessed our pay practices at Grist in our FY22 budgeting cycle. We did not find any pay disparities on the basis of gender. We have not yet completed a race-based compensation assessment because we currently do not tie confidential racial identity with salary. We are exploring ways to make this possible in 2022.
Commitment: We will explore ways to make our compensation practices more transparent internally and externally.
- We are confident that by mid-2022, we will have a full Compensation Roll-Out with job families for all-staff to share our newest tools, salary ranges and salary structure. In 2021, Grist invested a significant amount of time to explore and assess employee compensation to ensure that we were at or above market-rate salaries and benefits. We analyzed peer organizations, both nonprofit and for-profit, and developed a new compensation philosophy and compensation bands across the organization. These will ensure that equal work is receiving equal pay regardless of protected classes or geography and will increase transparency internally.
- Our annual salary planning process in the fall utilized these changes and resulted in 95% of eligible employees receiving a merit, market, and/or promotion increase which placed everyone into the current market salary range for their position based on national data. Over the past five years, from FY17 to FY22, median compensation at Grist increased by 40% while the team has increased in size by 2.5x.
Commitment: We will work to expand mental health and paid leave benefits during our annual budgeting process in September 2021. We are continually looking at ways to make our benefits more responsive to the diverse needs of our team.
- We made a sizable change in our health benefits to provide 100% coverage of premiums for staff and 85% coverage for dependents. We’ve now formalized a sabbatical program and added Juneteenth and Indigenous Peoples Day as holidays.
- We piloted an office closure in between December 25th, 2021 and January 1st, 2022 to support overall staff wellbeing and mental health. This pilot received positive feedback.
- We adopted a $30 per month WiFi stipend, $400 per person annual transportation benefit, and an expanded travel and expense policy to support remote work.
- We introduced a new, additional Employee Assistance Program with expanded mental health benefits, we introduced voluntary life insurance, and we reduced the 401k waiting period from six-months to first of the month following hire date (matching the waiting period for all other benefits).
Grist made significant investments in this area in FY21 and we continue to increase these resources and benefits in FY22. These are very material impacts that came from a collaborative approach, and resulted from material investments by the organization in our collective wellbeing as a team.
Commitment: We are committed to having diverse finalist pools when adding staff to the team. We are committed to reducing the time and burden we place on applicants during the hiring process. And we will provide compensation to finalists who produce work for us during the final stage of an interview process, including presentations and editorial tests.
- We are working to update the recruiting process to reduce unconscious bias, including through the use of tools like SmartRecruiter, consistent interview questions, and a debriefing process that focuses on the job qualifications.
- We are now compensating final applicants who are requested to create original work as part of the final stages of our recruiting process.
Commitment: We will continue to invest in professional development and advancement opportunities for staff.
Updates: We are working to implement continued investments in professional development and advancement opportunities for staff. In our most recent cycle, we awarded more internal promotions than we’ve ever made in the past.
Commitment: We are committed to continuing to publish data on staff demographics on an annual basis.
Updates: The survey was administered in Fall 2021, and the results appear on this page! We’re pleased to share these updates publicly.
Grist’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee
Grist’s Leadership Team