OLD Media Moves

Bloomberg Industry union calls for better diversity and inclusion efforts

June 1, 2020

Posted by Chris Roush

Bloomberg Law reporter Fatima Hussein sent the following email to Guild members who work at Bloomberg Industry Group:

Dear Colleagues,

As the calls to end systemic racism against Black Americans ring louder and louder throughout the country, we are glad to see Bloomberg Industry Group’s CEO condemn police brutality and call out the importance of recognizing diversity and inclusion.

We ask our company executives to be introspective about how they can use their power to end potentially racist practices within our own company. These are just a few examples of tangible inequities that exist at INDG that have not been addressed:

1) Hiring decisions: Is the company being fair and equitable to Black workers when it interviews for positions, are these frequently lower level positions and are employees being paid less? The union knows the answer to many of these questions. Our most recent pay study shows Black workers are paid on average $10,000 less than their non-Black counterparts. The company also does not have a single Black or African American executive, which may be remedied by enforcing a Rooney Rule for the interviewing process as well as providing unconscious bias training to all workers.

2) Editorial decisions: Are the company’s journalists being trained to avoid, ignore or reframe certain voices in news stories because disenfranchised black and brown workers “aren’t subscribers?” How do we think this affects our larger view and coverage of Black and non-white issues and how Black and non-white journalists are treated? An examination of editorial policies may be helpful in eliminating race-based biases in not just reporting but how workers are managed.

3) The Creation of a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer: When you look at a company’s organizational chart it tells you a lot about their priorities. We lack a chief diversity and inclusion officer, and it shows. People may often be passed over for opportunities based on intrinsic biases and this newly created role is a first step in building a truly equitable workplace.

4) Vendor Diversity & Inclusion: We feel the company needs to systemically review all of its contracts and vendors to ensure that they are diverse and inclusive. We should look at sourcing from minority-owned businesses, rely on professional services from organizations that have a record of pay equity and racial equality.

5) Educational and Training Opportunities: We have informally been told how training opportunities as it relates to data science, technical skills, programming, and other highly prized training and educational opportunities have been selectively given out to a chosen few. Having these skillsets can often mean the difference between securing that next promotion or not. The company needs to provide these training opportunities broadly, and not selected based on a manager’s whim.

6) The Creation of a Joint Labor Management Committee on Diversity and Inclusion: The above issues are a starting point, to truly address these issues within our company we feel a joint labor management committee would help address these and other issues and provide accountability. The Guild is ready and willing to work with management to build an equitable work environment.

In Solidarity,

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