2021 Update on Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at BuzzFeed, Inc.

    As part of our continued focus on diversity, inclusion and belonging at BuzzFeed, Inc. I shared this information with our employees.

    Hi all,

    Today I’m sharing our 2021 Diversity Report, which for the first time includes Complex Networks and HuffPost.

    Since 2014, we have shared BuzzFeed’s annual Diversity Report to transparently share diversity data across our organization. Through widespread, concerted efforts we’ve been able to make our organization more racially diverse (50.62% white in 2021; down from 74.8% white in 2014). Sharing this data allows us to note our progress, while holding ourselves accountable around areas that require additional focus.

    An important note about this year’s study – compared to last year, we saw a 114.5% increase in US employees who did not input their data in Workday (from 4.98% in 2020 to 10.68% in 2021). As a result, the data in the report represents 89.32% of our workforce. Complex Networks and HuffPost only joined BuzzFeed, Inc. last year, and this may be the first time those employees are submitting this type of personal data. (The diversity data is as of January 9, 2022.)

    We also once again partnered with Gray Scalable, an independent consulting firm, to conduct a pay equity analysis and have included those results in this report. (The pay equity data is from August 2021.)

    Here are the headlines from the 2021 Diversity and Pay Equity Report:

    1. The US employee population is more ethnically diverse in 2021 than last year. The population is 50.62% White, 12.66% Asian, 12.51% Black, 7.68% Latino/a/x or Hispanic, 5.05% Two or More Races, and 0.80% Other Groups (which includes American Indian or Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander).

    2. Gray Scalable’s independent pay equity analysis of BuzzFeed, Inc. employee compensation (US) found no evidence of pay inequality. This means that regardless of ethnicity or gender, employees of the same level, location, and job title get paid equitably.

    3. For the first time, we are able to report race/ethnicity information for the UK (London), our largest international office. The UK employee population is 43.18% White, 7.95% Asian, 9.09% Black, and 11.36% Two or More Races. The remaining 28.41% are undeclared. Due to the small population size and/or low data completion rates in our other offices, we cannot provide race/ethnicity data at this time.

    4. We continue to be a majority-female company. 58.77% of employees globally identify as female (more gender and gender identity data below).

    5. The percentage of global employees who identify as LGBTQ+ increased since last year. Today, 12.67%% of global employees identify as LGBTQ+, up from 9.50% in 2020.

    I want to recognize all of the hard work done by so many to set goals, make change, and improve Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DI&B) across our organization. DI&B continues to be a critical priority and we are committed to ensuring our culture fosters racial and gender equality. I also want to thank and celebrate the teams that contributed to our progress -- we made great strides this year thanks in large part to the DI&B council, our ERGS, BIPOC employees, allies, and Dionna Scales.

    Looking ahead, we see a clear need for progress in four key areas --

    1. Advancement & Internal Development: we have to focus on developing and promoting BIPOC employees to support career growth and close the leadership gap
    2. Inclusion: we need to make sure all employees feel safe bringing their authentic selves to work every day.

    3. We will take all that we’ve learned and leverage it to bring additional support to diversity, inclusion and belonging initiatives at HuffPost and Complex Networks in the months ahead.

    4. Recruiting: we have to continue to build inclusive recruiting and networking practices that equitably advance BIPOC talent

    See below for the full data and analysis.



    • The data in the 2021 Diversity Report is based on all staff employees in Workday as of January 9, 2022. The “Undeclared” group includes both employees who did not self-report and employees who selected “Decline to Self-Identify.” Of this group, the majority did not self-report. Due to rounding, values may not always sum to 100%.

    • In addition to collecting gender data in a “male/female/undeclared” format, as required by many governments, BuzzFeed, Inc. encourages employees to also complete an additional gender identity field, using an expanded list of options including cisgender, transgender, non-binary, and more. Due to participation rates and sample sizes, the former is used for this report, unless otherwise indicated.

    • The US Government requires race/ethnicity data to be collected in a way that many feel is outdated, such as considering people of Middle Eastern and North African descent as “White” in US Census data. BuzzFeed, Inc. also encourages employees to complete an additional expanded race/ethnicity survey -- while we do yet not use that data for reporting, we want to thank and acknowledge the employees who completed that data and have additionally identified as African, Caribbean, East Asian, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, and Native American.


    Race & Ethnicity Data (US)

    In 2021, 38.70% of BuzzFeed, Inc. employees (US) identified as something other than our most common race/ethnicity (50.62% White). This is up slightly from 37.5% in 2020.

    Below is the race/ethnicity data separated by the divisions: Administrative Group (HR, Legal, Finance, Accounting, Communications), Business Organization, BuzzFeed Content (Editorial, Video, Tasty), Tech, BuzzFeed News, HuffPost, and Complex Networks.

    New Hires

    • 45.51% of all new hires identify as a race/ethnicity other than white: meaning Asian, Black, Latinx, Two or More Races or Other Groups. 38.1% of new hires identify as white.

    • Note: 16.4% of new hires remain undeclared, which is almost 6 percentage points higher than the undeclared population for BuzzFeed, Inc.

    • (“New hires” does not include HuffPost or Complex Networks employees who joined BuzzFeed, Inc. in an acquisition.)


    • BuzzFeed, Inc. rewards high-performing employees with promotion opportunities, most often during our year-end review process. To ensure equity, we evaluated the 2021 promotion rates and compared them against overall BuzzFeed, Inc. representation.

    • Note: promotion data uses a specific methodology. Our employees typically need to be at the company one full year before being eligible for a promotion, therefore we excluded new hires from this data. Here, we compared overall BuzzFeed representation from the 2020 Diversity Report to all promotions in the year following that report.


    • We have under-representation of BIPOC employees within senior leadership. Though BIPOC employees are being promoted at rates proportionate to their representation in the company, we must close the gap and increase the representation of people of color at higher levels.

    UK Data Overall

    • We are excited to share race/ethnicity data for the UK office for the first time. It’s important to think about our DI&B work globally, and this helps us to better understand our UK workforce.

    • Our other international offices are either too small to share or have incomplete data sets, but we will continually monitor the data next year, and hope to learn from our International teams the best way we can help them use this data, and include them more broadly in our DI&B work.

      • 43.18% White, 7.95% Asian, 9.09% Black, and 11.36% Two or More Races.

      • with 28.4% Undeclared/Unknown

    Gender Data (Global)
    • BuzzFeed continues to be a majority-female company. 58.77% of BuzzFeeders identify as female. Those who identify as female include:

      • 53.74% of all people managers

      • 52.22% of company leaders (Sr. Director and higher)

      • 68.55% of new hires

      • 39.66% of our Tech org

      • 63.38% of promotions over the past 12 months

    Gender Identity Data (Global)

    Out of the employees who completed our more inclusive Gender Identity section in Workday, 1.97% identify as a gender identity beyond the male/female binary.

    Sexual Orientation Data (Global)

    In 2021, 17.79% of BuzzFeed, Inc. employees identify as LGBTQ+ which is almost double the year prior (up from 9.50% in 2020).

    Age Data (Global)

    BuzzFeed, Inc. has become more diverse with respect to age in 2021. Our largest age group is 44.32% of the company and ranges from age 31-40. The remaining 55.68% of the company is split between all age groups, including underrepresented groups ages 18-21 and 60+.


    Our DI&B work relies on an interconnected series of opportunities -- from our communications to our actions, from hiring to internal advancement. Building a more equitable organization means we must continually refine our approach to hiring, training, career development, and education to support our mission of Diversity Inclusion & Belonging.

    1. Recruitment & Hiring

    Our recruiting team continues to prioritize diversity to ensure BIPOC talent and candidates from underrepresented groups are actively recruited.

    The team is focused on:

    • Partnering with diversity-focused organizations to source talent from diverse backgrounds

    • Hosting panel events with these organizations to offer BIPOC candidates insight into our roles and culture, followed by 1:1 informational interviews with senior leaders. These events have directly resulted in successful full-time hires

    • Inviting leaders across BuzzFeed, Inc. to participate in recruiting & networking events

    • Attending conferences like NABJ, NAHJ, ColorComm, and more to network with a larger pool of talent

    • Educating all team members in the hiring process on how to overcome their own internal or unconscious biases

    • Ensuring all BuzzFeed, Inc. job descriptions and interview processes are inclusive

    We will also continue to have diverse hiring panels and implement new processes to ensure we actively recruit, hire and retain talent with diverse perspectives and backgrounds.

    2. Education

    We are committed to ensuring our culture allows employees to bring their authentic selves to work every day. We want all employees to feel safe and supported, without threat of microaggressions or bias.

    This year, we prioritized educating employees on unconscious and implicit biases to better combat both our own biases and areas of ignorance. We developed & launched key educational opportunities including:

    • Unconscious Bias Trainings (quarterly, required for employees)

    • Foundations in DI&B (monthly, e-learning)

    • Hiring w/out Bias (monthly)

    • Gender 101 Training

    • Disability/Ableism 101 Training

    • Heritage Month Educational Opportunities (6+ times per year)

    • Educational Events by BuzzFeed ERGs and the DI&B Council

    3. Advancement

    We are committed to increasing the representation of people of color within senior leadership. While we have BIPOC leaders and managers, we are disproportionately less diverse at upper levels of management. To do this, we must advance and retain current BIPOC employees, while also hiring more BIPOCs for senior roles.

    • We are focused on advancing BIPOCs and underrepresented groups through career development programs.

    • Across the company, we are committed to supporting internal career growth by opening up new leadership opportunities widely and inviting all employees to participate.

    Over the past year we launched several career advancement programs to ensure BIPOC employees are well-equipped for leadership opportunities. In 2021 we:

    • Surpassed our diversity goal of 60% BIPOC employees for the Emerging Leaders Program, which developed 53 junior leaders

    • Led Advocacy Training for all employees, in partnership with the DI&B Council and our ERGs

    • Hosted a specialized Advocacy Training session for the Business Organization

    • Conducted pay equity analyses during our promotion processes

    • Expanded mentorship opportunities for BIPOC employees with senior leaders



    • Gray Scalable, an independent consulting firm, analyzed anonymized pay data for US employees and found no statistical evidence of pay inequity.

    • Our compensation philosophy takes a structured approach to making sure pay ranges are set competitively and fairly to market pay. Market pay data is sourced from a blend of providers - the Radford Technology Survey, Willis Towers Watson Media Survey, and more. These datasets have tens of thousands of records and companies ranging from startups to industry leaders like Facebook, The New York Times and others. This data is updated regularly to account for any major market shifts.

    • The pay equity analysis found that regardless of race/ethnicity and/or gender, BuzzFeed, Inc. employees with the same title/level and in the same location are paid equitably.


    • Pay equity is measured using a Comparative (or “Compa”) Ratio, which shows where actual compensation falls relative to the midpoint of a given pay range. The compa ratio accounts for market location, job function, and level.

    • A Compa Ratio of 1.00 represents the exact midpoint of a pay range. 0.95 = 5% below the midpoint. 1.05 = 5% above the midpoint. Hypothetical example: an employee makes $50,000 in a position where the minimum, midpoint, and maximum of the pay range are $40,000, $55,000, and $60,000 respectively. That employee’s Compa Ratio is .91 $50,000 (salary) /$55,000 (midpoint) = .91 (9% below midpoint)

    • Pay equity is demonstrated when Compa Ratios are within close range when comparing different populations.


    • Looking across all employees and levels, there is no statistically significant difference between groups in terms of where they fall relative to their salary ranges:


    • We run pay equity analysis during our promotion and merit increase process annually, and will continue to do so. This work is important and requires ongoing attention and improvement. We must ensure our employees are leveled correctly for the work they do.

    • We are frequently conducting analyses, implementing new processes, and listening to employee feedback.

    • While Gray Scalable didn’t find pay equity in levels or titles, we will continue to expand career advancement programs to increase internal mobility and professional development to benefit employees from all backgrounds.