Our Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion

Table of Contents

At Lifewire, we’ve done far too little for far too long.

We have too few BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) editors, writers, photographers, and illustrators. Our content strategy efforts do not consistently consider the unique technology challenges of BIPOC communities. We have never systematically reviewed our existing content for racial bias.

This is absolutely unacceptable and we must change.

Addressing these issues is the core of our commitment moving forward, and it begins now.

Our Commitment

  • We will diversify our teams. Our content is written, edited, and managed by teams of staff and freelancers, all of which must be more diverse. By December 31, 2020, we pledge that 20% of our greater team will be composed of BIPOC editors, writers, reviewers, and other creatives.
  • We will audit our existing content for racial bias. Most of our content is evergreen, meaning people find and read it long after it was originally published, so it’s important that we look closely at our existing library. By December 31, 2020, we pledge to review (and update as needed) content representing 40% of our traffic for racial bias in our text, photography, and illustrations.
  • We will create content around the digital divide and other technology challenges facing BIPOC. Technology is more than a smartphone or tablet; it’s also about people and their levels of access to the internet, hardware, education, security, and more. By November 30, 2020, we commit to creating and actively promoting a collection of content around the digital divide. We also commit by this date to incorporate a new layer of diversity consideration in our content strategy process.

This is not the end of our commitment. We will continue to educate ourselves and expect our goals to expand as we learn more over the next several months and beyond, especially as we diversify the voices on our team.

We also know there is no progress without accountability so we promise to be fully transparent and provide, on a quarterly basis, a detailed update on the status of our goals that quarter and what our next set of specific goals will be for the next 90 days. You’ll find those updates appended to this document.

Please let us know at feedback@lifewire.com if you have additional ideas about how we can continue to improve.

Sincerely,

Tim, Sally, Bob, Jerri, Rob, Kyree, Molly, Kevin, Alan, Alice, & Ajay
Lifewire Editorial Team

Black Lives Matter!

Q3 2020 Update

Since June of 2020, the Lifewire team has spent many hours learning about the challenges members of the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) community face. We’ve done so by attending Dotdash-led diversity seminars and meetings, and becoming part of diverse company groups to help us understand the experience of racism, as well as the challenges faced by underrepresented communities.

We’ve also been talking with friends and neighbors about the problems they face, and actively brainstorming ways to help expose how technology can both contribute to the problems, as well as help alleviate them. 

To address our three primary commitments for Q3:

We will diversify our teams.

During the third quarter of 2020 the Lifewire team actively sought to hire BIPOC and other diverse candidates. We are always seeking new writing talent to join our team, so we looked for ways beyond the standard job board to attract more writers of color and reach audiences we hadn’t previously reached.

Specifically, we placed our job postings on the Black Writers Collective and the Diversity Job Board. We also reached out to the popular @writersofcolor on Twitter and requested they share our posting with their 59,000 followers.

In addition, we have updated our postings to make it clear that we’re looking for writers to help tell stories about justice, inclusion, and underrepresented communities. We are seeking additional sites to place our open positions; if you know of a good one, please let us know! 

As a result of these efforts, we have moved from a baseline of 0% to 12% of our greater team being composed of BIPOC editors, writers, reviewers, and other creatives.

We will audit our existing content for racial bias.

To address how our existing content reflects racial bias, we launched an exhaustive review of our entire corpus. We discovered 2,092 articles that included biased, harmful or inappropriate terms like master/slave, whitelist/blacklist, native, and more. 

We worked with a sensitivity consultant to develop new ways to express old technology terms that enshrine marginalization. For example, we have begun replacing phrases like ‘master’ with main/default/primary and ‘black hat’ with ‘unethical’. To date, we have replaced nearly 1,000 derogatory terms representing 18% of our site traffic. We expect to complete the rest of the work in Q4 2020.

We will create content around the digital divide and other technology challenges facing BIPOC.

Another commitment we made was to create content around the digital divide and other technology challenges that disproportionately impact BIPOC communities. We created more than a dozen articles in Q3, such as Is T-Mobile’s Free Internet Enough for Low-Income Families? and How Tech Education Fails Disadvantaged Kids.

We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished so far but know that there is more work to be done. In Q4, we will continue tackling all three of these areas to make even more progress. Specifically: 

  • We will continue to work toward diversifying our teams. We are still striving for at least 20% of our greater team to be composed of BIPOC editors, writers, reviewers, and other creatives; we are seeking new job posting outlets to reach beyond current audiences to find and locate the talent we know exists in BIPOC communities. We will also continue to learn about the challenges and experiences of Black, Indigenous, Latinx and other communities by continuing education both at Dotdash and individually.
  • We will complete our work on updating our content to remove racial bias in our text, photography, and illustrations. That means we will find and replace offensive terms in more than 1,000 additional articles.
  • We will continue to create content around the digital divide and other technology challenges facing BIPOC. In addition, we will find new ways to more effectively showcase BIPOC creatives and technology businesses on our site so that more people can hear their stories, read their work, and become more aware of the technology challenges faced by so many in our society.

Our next report, for Q4 2020, will be provided here on or before March 15, 2021.