Community is one of our core values and serving you is central to who we are and why we matter.
To do this well, we strive to address issues impacting our region through many lenses, carefully considering the stories we choose, who we source, which voices we feature, and the many angles we pursue to reveal the truth. To do this at our best, requires committed team members that reflect the many diverse communities that we serve. Diversity enhances the relevance and substance of our work and is essential in fulfilling our mission to inspire a smarter world.
We are committed to building a team that represents a diversity of thought, experience and personal background. We view diversity as the characteristics and attributes that make each one of us unique. Along with race, gender, and physical ability, we believe that one’s ethnicity, national origin, nationality, religion, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identification, and age are other dimensions that strengthen us. More broadly, diversity includes geographic location, work experience, family status, socio-economic class, and political thought.
We enrich our community, our organization and ourselves when we celebrate and leverage the varied experiences and ideas that each individual brings. To achieve this, we will work together to create an inclusive and welcoming workplace that values all contributors.
Cascade Public Media has adopted a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan in order to improve our organization and our service to the community. This plan includes the following four objectives:
- Recruiting and retaining qualified, diverse team members and board directors that reflect, at a minimum, the statistical makeup of the population of the community we serve.
- Fostering a culture that encourages collaboration, flexibility and inclusion in order to enable all team members to contribute to their potential.
- Identifying and addressing systemic barriers to full inclusion.
- Providing programming and events that reflect the diversity of our community.
There are action steps, accountabilities, measures of success and deadlines attached to each of these objectives. We embrace the ongoing nature of this work and will continue to iterate on our plan to achieve a fully diverse, equitable and inclusive organization.
So, how are we doing? The charts below reflect our total workforce among gender and racial groups as compared to statistical data published by King County, which serves as the primary base from which many of our team members are drawn. These charts reflect the overall organization as well as groups reflecting the management and editorial teams.
Overall, Cascade Public Media’s workforce is 59% female and 40% male. Among race, 14% of our female team members are persons of color while 7% of our male team members are persons of color. Statistically, the King County population is approximately 50% female/male. In this regard, Cascade Public Media is doing well in gender representation.
We have work to do in recruiting team members of color across the organization. Our total workforce is just 21% persons of color against the King County population of 32%. This is most evident among Black, Asian and persons who identify as 2+ Races.
Similarly, Cascade Public Media’s management team is 25% persons of color, better than our employee base as a whole, but below the 32% statistical population of King County. Once again, we fall short most prominently among Black, Asian and persons identifying as 2+ Races. This is an important metric in that it shapes the future direction of the organization and its connection to the communities we serve.
Where our mission centric work is concerned, Cascade Public Media performs better than the county data. Approximately 40% of our newsroom team members are persons of color compared to 32% for the statistical population. This is important to monitor as this group shapes the news coverage we provide to our region and is most critical in ensuring that we reflect the stories that resonate with all members of our community.
The bottom line is that we have work to do. Our board has engaged a consulting firm to assist in training and development, and to craft a board-level strategy in alignment with the organization’s plan. In addition to our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan, we have an active Race & Equity Committee comprised of team members and leaders from throughout the organization whose objectives are to:
- To raise awareness about race/diversity issues in the workplace through a series of trainings, guest speakers, and other events.
- To examine our commitment to ensuring and maintaining a diverse workplace through both recruitment and retention.
- To engage with leadership at all levels to prioritize DEI as a company value.
- To be a catalyst that hosts internal discussions when national or world events bring issues to the surface and trigger conversations.
We welcome your input and thoughts; it is my hope that you will provide feedback and support us as we seek to strengthen our organization in service of the communities we serve.
Robert I. Dunlop
President & CEO, Cascade Public Media