Seven Point Plan to Meaningfully Address Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Digital Trends Media Group

These following seven points outline Digital Trends Media Group’s plan to address all instances of racial insensitivities, sexism and all other forms of discrimination at the company, and sets forth our policy and commitment to measure and report progress on our efforts.

One.
Commitment to Representational Diversity in our Workforce

We believe representational diversity on our staff is paramount to building a culture of safety and inclusion for all employees. Natural attrition and growth will provide the company with opportunities to shift its demographic makeup by implementing new hiring practices which focus on increasing diversity.  The Company shall implement a plan to increase retention of non-white and non-male employees, and ensure opportunities for advancement for persons belonging to these underrepresented groups. The following policy initiatives are designed to shift our current white and male dominated workforce to one that is demographically reflective of the United States at large, and address diversity concerns at all levels of the organization, including senior and leadership positions.

Recruiting & Hiring Practices

All hiring managers must undergo unconscious bias training and interview training, effective July 30, 2020.

All job descriptions must be created using TapRecruit, an augmented writing platform to attract a more diverse candidate pool, effective July 30, 2020.

All jobs must be posted on applicable BIPOC and women focused job boards and/or through non-traditional sourcing methods in order attract a more diverse candidate pool, effective June 30, 2020.

Candidate decision making process to be standardized through skill and qualification-based scorecards to remove personal bias, effective June 30, 2020.

Retention Practices

Inclusion is comprehensive. To that end, here are the areas we commit to ensure that the environment people work in is supported:

Establish a mentorship program to help new employees navigate through the company over the first year.

The creation of a resource group for women and minorities in media publishing.

Establish a sponsorship program to connect employees with people in higher-ranking positions to provide guidance, with a focus on ensuring gender equality.

Career Advancement Practices

Provide employees with regular, actionable performance feedback, and cross-functional shadowing opportunities.

Provide employees with opportunities to lead cross-functional projects, and stretch assignments.

Set career goals, timeline and provide employees with training and a roadmap to goal attainment.

Benchmarks

The company endeavors to increase numbers of BIPOC in our workforce by more than 30%, and women and non-males by more than 60% — shifting the overall demographic makeup of the team from 30% non-white and 30% female (June 2020), to approximately 40% non-white and 50% non-male by year end 2023, which is generally reflective of the broader US population.

We seek to double the percentage of non-white and non-male persons in senior and leadership roles from approximately 23% to 50% by year end 2023.

Two.
Continually Ensure Fair and Equitable Pay

The company will arrange an annual Pay Equity analysis conducted by an independent law firm, in order to ensure that any issues of pay disparity are corrected. All employees will receive pay based on compensation bands that account for level of responsibility, experience, tenure and performance history. Neither race, gender, sexual orientation nor any other factor involving identity status will be considered when determining employee pay. Each year the results of the Pay Equity analysis will be made available to all employees, effective June 2020.

Benchmarks

Minimize variance to less than +/- 1% by gender and race after accounting for level of responsibility, experience, tenure and performance history.

Internal Pay Fairness within our team and positions of similar responsibilities.

External Market Fairness to benchmark against other similar positions in the same geographic location.

Policies & Practices

Ensure job titles and job descriptions are updated to confirm accurate duties and responsibilities under each position.

Maintain equitable pay practices in recruiting, hiring, transfers, promotions, and title changes by focusing on ensuring equal pay regardless of gender, race, and all other protected classes.

Work to develop and share an org-wide compensation philosophy that aligns with our mission, values, and DEI initiatives.

Three.
Prioritization of Coverage of and Stories Affecting BIPOC, Women and other Minorities

Our audience is vast, which provides Digital Trends with the opportunity and obligation to amplify underrepresented voices. We hereby commit to this policy of prioritization for technology related stories involving BIPOC, Women, LGBTQ and other minorities, and to freelance and in-house hiring practices that significantly increase the share of writers belonging to these groups.

Editorial Policy Related to DEI

Editors must make resource allocation decisions with preference given to stories involving BIPOC, Women, LGBTQ and other minorities, effective immediately.

Stories must adhere to the forthcoming addendum to the editorial stylebook on covering topics such as racism, sexism, and other forms of identity discrimination, effective July 30, 2020.

Monthly editorial content calendar to include input from the company’s DEI committee, effective July 30, 2020.

Mandatory coverage of technology and lifestyle related stories for holidays and periods of recognition for BIPOC, Women, LGBTQ and other minorities, i.e. Juneteenth, Black History Month, Pride, International Women’s Day and others, effective immediately.

Four.
Zero Tolerance for Racism, Sexism, or Discrimination based on Minority Status, Intimidation, Bullying and Retaliation

Digital Trends is committed to fostering a safe, healthy, and supportive environment for everyone. All types of workplace harassment, including sexual harassment, bullying behavior, and other forms of workplace harassment based upon an individual’s age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, pregnancy, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran status, uniformed service member status, or any other status protected by law. All forms of harassment of, or by, employees, vendors, visitors, customers, and clients are strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated.

Policy & Practices

Bullying: Digital Trends generally defines bullying as conduct that is threatening, humiliating, embarrassing or seriously intimidating and which creates a hostile environment by substantially interfering with an individual’s opportunities, performance, or physical or psychological well-being.

Bullying also means any intentional written, verbal or physical acts, including electronic communications that physically harm an individual, damage an individual’s property, or intimidate or coerce an individual.

Sexual Harassment: Sexual harassment is unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that is persistent or offensive and interferes with an employee’s job performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

Sexual harassment can be physical and psychological in nature. An aggregation of incidents can constitute sexual harassment even if one of the incidents considered on its own would not be harassing.

Other Harassment: Other workplace harassment is verbal or physical conduct that insults or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of the individual’s class (including age, race, color, national origin, ancestry, religion, sex, sexual orientation, and any other status protected by law).

Accessible procedure for complaints.

Digital Trends encourages prompt reporting of all perceived complaints or concerns, including incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should discuss their concerns with their immediate supervisor, any member of the HR team or Head of People directly, or through the anonymous HR comment box.

Management is required to share any information regarding policy violations to the HR team to insure they will be addressed and responded to appropriately.

Protection from retaliation.

Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported immediately and will be promptly investigated and addressed by HR.

Confidentiality and anonymity throughout the complaint and/or investigation process is assured.

Digital Trends will maintain confidentiality throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with proper investigation and appropriate corrective action.

Assurance of consequences and action following violations.

Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling or disciplinary action such as a warning, reprimand, withholding of a promotion or pay increase, reassignment, temporary suspension without pay, or termination, as Digital Trends believes appropriate under the circumstances.

Five.
Mandatory and Continuous Diversity, Inclusion and Sensitivity Training at All Levels of the Organization

Sensitivity training for all employees, with additional training for manager level and above, effective July 2020.

Mandatory DEI training for all employees, additional training for manager and above, effective August 2020.

Unconscious bias training starting in August 2020.

Training party to be selected with guidance from the DEIC.

Six.
Transparency

The company will produce a bi-annual report detailing diversity metrics, and progress toward achieving the goals of diversity as outlined in this plan, effective July 30, 2020.

Seven.
Commitment to Minority Representation on our Board of Directors

Our commitment to increasing diversity applies to all levels of the organization, including its highest level: our three person board of directors.

The company hereby commits to actively pursue the recruitment of a qualified BIPOC, Woman, or LGBTQ board director, to serve at the highest level of the Company with fiduciary oversight responsibility of the Company’s management.