BuzzFeed Deputy Editor-in-Chief Shani Hilton writes about the importance and difficulty of hiring a diverse newsroom. I think her analysis is applicable to nearly every workplace - from newsrooms to banks and medical offices and everything in between. The obstacle is networking: women and people of color aren't often in the same networks that connect future employers and employees. Hilton writes that companies need to expand their pipelines and perhaps job seekers need to infiltrate the networks that already exist.
In fact, “diversity” doesn’t stop at hiring one person who represents each so-called different viewpoint, be it race or gender or sexual orientation or political leaning. Any newsroom in which the black staffer is expected to speak up for blackness while the white staffers only have to speak for themselves is a newsroom that’s failing. Getting to that level of diversity takes work. It’s something BuzzFeed is OK at — and we’re working on improving. The undercurrent to much of the criticism of Silver and Klein et al. is an assumption that it’s easy to hire a diverse staff if you try, but white dudes just aren’t trying. I’m not a white dude, so I can only speak to the first part of that sentence ... So here goes: It actually isn’t easy to build a diverse newsroom.