To our readers—
We want to be completely upfront with you about the work we’ve been doing as a team in light of the recent acts of hate against the Black community—from George Floyd to Breonna Taylor to the many, many other Black people who have been persecuted and killed for the color of their skin. But this is not solely about recent events. It's about realizing the countless micro-aggressions those of us in privileged positions have inflicted throughout the years. It's about our previous lack of accountability in prioritizing diversity both on our site and internally in who we hire. This is our pledge to stop that right now, today, and every day after that.
Our Diversity Pledge
We have always said we stand on the side of equality and inclusivity, but our practices have not always lived up to that standard. We have preached “diversity” as an overarching goal to strive for, but did not always back it with concrete action. That stops today.
To our loyal readers and new readers (welcome!), know this: We’re sorry it’s taken us so long, but we will not be vague anymore. We will be upfront and transparent with the steps we’re taking to make diversity, inclusivity, and representation our number-one priority.
Ahead, you’ll find the terms of our Diversity Pledge—a promise in detailed terms that you can hold us accountable for (and trust that we’ll be doing the same). We know the power of the beauty industry, its influence, and its not-so-pretty reputation. We can do better—we must do better—when it comes to representation, and we promise to lead the way, now and moving forward. We will be updating this list constantly with our progress and new initiatives (we already have a few that we’re so excited to share with you).
Throughout all of our conversations, one thing we all agreed on was this: We cannot, and will not, go back to the way things were.
Note: In the list below, our definition of “diverse” refers to diversity of race, culture, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, body type, and ability.
- We pledge to include at least 50% diverse individuals in new roundups featuring influencers, editors, makeup artists, hairstylists and skincare experts moving forward.
- We pledge to include at least 50% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals in newly-published hair and makeup galleries.
- We will never publish a new hairstyle roundup that does not include a wide range of hair types and textures.
- In accordance with the 15% Pledge started by Aurora James, we pledge that 15% of products across our newly-published market roundups will be Black-founded and/or Black-owned brands. We also pledge to proactively call-in, test and prioritize Black-founded and/or Black-owned brands for our Beauty Awards and ensure at least 15% of the winners are Black-founded and/or Black-owned.
- Starting today, we will not feature brands that do not use any BIPOC in their campaign imagery, website, or Instagram. If there is a brand we love that does not prioritize diversity, we will actively ask them to change—otherwise they will not be featured on Byrdie.
- We pledge to list complexion product shade ranges from dark to light and we will prioritize selecting darker shades for product images to more accurately represent our readership. We will always do our due diligence when featuring a complexion product—if it does not have a wide shade range, we will be transparent and mention it in our coverage.
- We are actively working on a plan to update all existing articles in our library with the above points in mind and will share an update on our progress at the start of every quarter.
- We pledge to thoroughly research Black hairstyles, makeup looks, and beauty practices, understanding their roots and meaning throughout history, and to avoid incorrect attribution and appropriation. We will actively put in the work to further our personal knowledge of Black experts and beauty topics. If a Black person has a beauty question, our editors should be able to answer it. We know this is our editorial responsibility.
- We will never discriminate in pay rate for anyone based on experience level, background, or number of previously-published pieces. For more information on our rates, please email us at: email@example.com.
- We will continue to actively prioritize hiring diverse contributors to share their voice on our platform, and not just on topics having to do with their background or race. We commit to adding at least 10 more diverse voices to our contributor network by the end of 2020.
- We will actively work on long-term diversity initiatives, such as adding sensitivity reading as a regular step in our publishing process and hosting career development opportunities for writers of all backgrounds. (A sensitivity reader is someone who is hired specifically to check for representation issues, bias, and problematic language relating to their personal background.)
- We pledge to make our Instagram grid an inspiration board of inclusive images of beauty. We will do this by including at least one image of diverse beauty in every three posts to ensure that anywhere you look on our grid, there will be diverse representation.
- We pledge to prioritize regramming content from Black creators and prominently credit them for every post.
- We pledge to host Instagram takeovers that feature diverse industry professionals and talent multiple times a week so our audience sees all representations of beauty.
- In our Insta-Try series, we will feature people with a wide range of skin tones and perspectives.
- There will always be multiple BIPOC on set for any Byrdie shoot, either in front of the camera or on the production or creative teams.
- We will prioritize booking diverse talent for covers, features and interviews.
- Byrdie editors will never participate in a panel that doesn’t involve diverse perspectives and multiple BIPOC.
- We will prioritize diversifying our in-house team immediately, starting with currently open positions. This is long overdue.
We promise to uphold the actions in our Diversity Pledge above to the absolute best of our ability, and admit failures along the way if we ever fall short. To monitor our progress, we will be sharing updates on specific action items with you every quarter. From today onward, we will be unapologetic about prioritizing voices that have not been represented in mainstream media and accountable for the ways we’ve fallen short. From today onward, we will be loud.
Thank you for being a loyal reader of Byrdie, and thank you for speaking and sharing your stories, ideas, and voices with us. We hope you continue to do so.