Readers, Partners, Staff: Our Apology and Commitment to Change

On behalf of the leadership of Digital Trends Media Group

To our readers, to our partners, and most importantly, to each of the bright and important current and former members of our team: we are sorry.

With credit due to the brave voices of employees past and present, we have an increased awareness of the workplace experience of our BIPOC, women, LGBTQ and other minority employees.  We are deeply and truly sorry for publicly supporting inclusive change when we had not done nearly enough to foster it inside of our walls; for dimming and failing critical voices including women and people of color among our staff; for perpetuating “bro culture”; for not creating a sufficiently safe and trusted space for employees to issue important complaints that are needed for us to move forward individually and collectively to create a culture we’re proud of.  We acknowledge that our apology today is too late and does not right these wrongs. We understand that only by our action going forward can we rebuild the trust that has been lost.

We are especially regretful that the long overdue acknowledgement of these cracks in our foundation has tarnished the work of the extremely dedicated members of our team. We’re also regretful that we’ve lost important voices among our ranks because of this culture, including women and people of color, who were not made to feel included or heard at Digital Trends.

As part of a long path forward toward creating a better, more fair and equitable Digital Trends, we commit to these seven initiatives:

  1.     Commitment to Representational Diversity in our Workforce

We believe representational diversity on our staff is paramount to building a culture of safety and inclusion. We commit to a diversity-focused staffing plan in order to create a workforce that is demographically reflective of our society at large, including senior and leadership positions. The plan will be shared publicly and with all employees June 19, 2020.

  1.     Continually Ensure Fair and Equitable Pay

We commit to audit and correct for pay disparity to ensure that BIPOC, Women and other Minorities are compensated fairly and equitably with oversight from a 3rd party. A full report will be shared publicly and with all employees June 19, 2020.

  1.     Prioritization of Coverage of and Stories Affecting BIPOC, Women and other Minorities

Our audience is vast which provides Digital Trends with the opportunity and obligation to amplify underrepresented voices. We commit to a policy of prioritization for technology related stories involving BIPOC, Women, LGBTQ and other minorities. This begins now, and our formal  policy will be shared publicly and with all employees June 19, 2020.

  1.     Zero Tolerance for Racism, Sexism, or Discrimination based on Minority Status, Intimidation, Bullying and Retaliation

Any reported acts of racism, sexism, or discrimination based on LGBTQ or other minority status, as well as intimidation, bullying, and retaliation, will not go unchecked. We commit to immediate documentation and investigation with oversight and guidance on corrective action from a neutral 3rd party. Our policy will be shared publicly and with all employees June 19, 2020.

  1.     Mandatory and Continuous Diversity, Inclusion and Sensitivity Training at All Levels of the Organization

We commit to provide and require continuous diversity, inclusion and sensitivity training for all employees at all levels of the organization. Any mockery or refusal to participate in this training will not be tolerated and will result in corrective action. The initial schedule of training will be shared publicly and with all employees July 1, 2020 in order to provide management and employees time to vet providers.

  1.     Transparency

We commit to sharing progress towards creating a more fair, diverse and inclusive version of Digital Trends to employees and the public in our weekly newsletter and quarterly publication of measurable performance indicators that offer clarity and transparency. The first newsletter to include progress updates will be issued June 16, 2020. Quarterly progress updates will begin June 19, 2020.

  1.     Commitment to Minority Representation on our Board of Directors

We commit to identify an addition to our board of directors that offers representation for BIPOC, Women and other Minorities. We expect to make an  announcement on this within ninety days.

These initiatives are the first steps in an ongoing pursuit of diversity, equity and inclusion. More important than our apology is a commitment to achieving these goals and continuing difficult conversations to move our culture forward.  We are committed to the future based on lessons from the past as we make Digital Trends a place we are all proud of.