At Grist, we are committed to building a culture that is rooted in equity. We believe that cultivating belonging allows our employees to bring their whole selves, thereby creating a space where they are empowered to create work they are proud of. In 2021, we launched our first report that outlined key focus areas to build upon our commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice. 

These commitments included:

  • Representation and diversity: increasing representation of people of color, particularly Black and Indigenous staff, across Grist management, our programs, and in all other organizational departments
  • Compensation and benefits: analyzing our pay practices to eliminate pay gaps, prioritizing pay transparency, and expanding mental health and paid leave benefits
  • Hiring practices: ensuring diverse finalist pools, minimizing the burden of applicants during the hiring process, professional development, and career advancement opportunities
  • Data and transparency: publishing staff demographics on an annual basis

While we originally hoped to publish these diversity reports on an annual basis, we paused these efforts during a period of transition. In 2022, Grist sought new leadership, as former CEO Brady Piñero Walkinshaw moved on from the organization after nearly five years at the helm. Concurrently, Grist’s interim management team voluntarily recognized the new Grist Union one week after the union formally asked for recognition, creating a fortuitous opportunity to negotiate and codify many of the commitments set forth by the DEIJ committee. Through a largely amicable negotiation process, our collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, was ratified in the summer of 2023. 

Here are some ways in which the collective bargaining agreement addresses our DEIJ commitments:

Grist is committed to compensating employees fairly. The CBA includes wage minimums for bargaining unit positions. As part of our compensation philosophy, Gristers will be paid near or above the median of market standards. Employees receive an annual increase based on where they are situated on the wage scale, with those on the lower end of the wage scale receiving the highest percentage increase. Additionally, every employee has the ability to influence their pay through our annual performance review process.

All Gristers have access to top-notch benefits, including generous paid leave programs. Grist offers 15 holidays, five floating holidays, three summer days, and a birthday holiday. Our extended-leave programs have been expanded to include 17 weeks of paid parental leave and medical and family leave; generous bereavement leave that limits the need for staffers to use vacation time when mourning a loved one; and abortion leave tailored to the new reality in the U.S., post the Dobbs Supreme Court decision. 

We are committed to increasing diversity. To ensure diverse candidate pools, we are increasing our presence at journalism affinity conferences to network and recruit. We have also implemented Greenhouse Applicant Tracking, which gives us better tools to track demographics and inform how we can increase our reach to journalists of color. Additionally, we compensate candidates who perform work as part of their hiring process. 

Grist’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Committee, Grist’s Leadership Team


In 2023, 81 percent of full-time staffers and board members filled out the survey. And in 2022, 71 percent responded. Here are the highlights.

A bar chart showing Grist staff by race and ethnicity from 2019-2023.

Staff representation: While representation fluctuated in 2022 and 2023, our full team has become more diverse: White staffers now make up 53 percent of the team, compared to 74 percent in 2021. More than 40 percent of our staff identify as a sexual orientation other than straight, and nearly a quarter of our staff come from a working class or low-income background. Across the full team, 49 percent of Gristers identify as BIPOC, compared with 41 percent in 2020.

A graphic with circles showing the race/ethnicity of the Grist board from 2021-2023.

Board representation: More than half of Grist’s 15-member board is comprised of individuals who identify as BIPOC, and women make up 55 percent. At least a fifth of board members are the children of immigrants, and two members are immigrants. We increased Black representation on the board from 21 percent in 2021 to 27 percent in 2023.

A bar chart showing race/ethnicity by Grist department.
A bar chart showing Grist staff by gender.
A bar chart showing the Grist board by gender.
A bar chart showing ability status among Grist staff.
A bar chart showing religions among Grist staff.
A bar chart showing how Grist staff describe their sexual orientation.
A bar chart showing how Grist staff describe their socioeconomic background while growing up.