Cosmo can do bet ter— here’s our action plan
the longoverdue national outcry to end racial injustice has resonated deeply with us here at
Cosmo. We realize that our brand has been part of the problem, and we are determined to take immediate steps to help become part of the solution.
Many of our editors, especially our editors of color, have been leading the way on these efforts already, and all our teams— print, digital, video, social, Snapchat, and TikTok—are dedicated to holding ourselves collectively accountable to the principles laid out below.
• We will prioritize the hiring of more Black and POC editors, writers, designers, animators, and video staffers. Currently,
Cosmo’s staff is 29% BIPOC, 10% undisclosed, and 61% white; Cosmo’s leadership is 21% BIPOC. We want more team members of color, period—and especially more in leadership positions. We will create an internal inclusion committee of voluntary staffers who will help audit our candidate pool to ensure we’re recruiting as diverse and inclusive a staff as possible.
• We will expand our focus from celebrating BIPOC on our covers to making sure we’re doing the same behind the scenes. Since our relaunch in March 2019, 58% of our cover stars have been BIPOC, but our pool of cover writers and photographers has lagged behind: 39% of our writers have been BIPOC, and 22% of our photographers have been BIPOC. This is the baseline from which we will grow.
• We will ensure that the visual components of our content, the creators of our content, and the voices featured in our content, across all platforms, reflect the diverse and inclusive world we want to live in. At least 50% of our images, of our creators, and of our voices will reflect diverse inclusion— not just of race but of gender identity, sexual orientation, body type, and ability—and our inclusion committee will conduct regular audits and share their findings with our team to ensure we’re delivering against our goal.
• We will feature Black- and peopleof-color-owned businesses in every single shopping story we publish across all platforms.
• And we will develop a specific style guide to inform our writing about race, racism, and racial issues, as well as appropriative language, to ensure we’re all writing with proper sensitivity and rigor.
This is critically important work and will be a core part of
Cosmo’s mission—a mission that we will uphold every day from here on out.
JESSICA PELS AND THE EDITORS OF COSMO