2021 report shows The Oklahoman has become more diverse this year
As a news organization, we exist to serve our community. To succeed at that goal, it’s important we reflect that community while offering an inclusive, diverse workplace where employees are valued and feel empowered to tell the story of our diverse and multicultural state.
Since the first diversity report we issued last year, our newsroom is more reflective of that community.
A year ago, over 80% of our employees identified as white. This year, that number has fallen to 73.6% as we’ve hired new reporters and staff. As a comparison, the counties in our coverage area are over 64% white, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey.
Nearly 10% of our community are Black, compared with only 5.7% of our newsroom. This increased slightly since last year.
The share of Native American and Hispanic/Latino persons on staff have grown since last year. In 2021, 9.4% of our staff are Native American compared to 5.4% in 2020.
The number of Hispanic or Latino newsroom employees grew from 5.4% to 7.5%, but that figure falls short of the 13% of our community who identify as such.
We currently have no Asian representation in our newsroom despite more than 3% of people in our surrounding area identifying as Asian. Nearly 4% of the newsroom identify with two or more races.
Males are disproportionately represented in The Oklahoman newsroom, although we’ve made significant gains over the past year. The percentage of Oklahoman newsroom employees who are women rose from about 30% last year to 37.7% this year, showing we have more work to be more representative of our community, which is split nearly equally.
A look at The Oklahoman leadership team shows a gender split closer to 50/50, and is one of the more ethnically diverse leadership teams in the USA TODAY Network. Among managers and editors, The Oklahoman is nearly 70% white, 7.7% Black, 7.7% Hispanic/Latino and over 15% Native American.
These numbers show areas where our organization can grow, to bring our overall newsroom diversity closer in line with our community as a whole. We are committed to this growth.
As part of our commitment, each year we are publishing the makeup of our newsroom staff. This is a commitment being carried out across the USA TODAY Network, and similar statistical information will be published in the more than 260 local publications across the company.
This information, as of July 13, 2021, includes the gender and racial makeup of our news workforce and our coverage area, as well as for managers within our newsroom.
The American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau asks two separate questions, one about Hispanic origin and one about race, allowing individuals to self-select from multiple options. However, to compare with internal Gannett employee information that asks individuals to mark only one option, we used the following categories: Hispanic or Latino (for ACS, regardless of any other race selected), white (not Hispanic or Latino), Black or African American (not Hispanic or Latino), Asian (not Hispanic or Latino), American Indian or Alaska Native (not Hispanic or Latino), Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander (not Hispanic or Latino), or two or more races (not Hispanic or Latino). Gannett also allows an individual to not disclose their race or ethnicity.