Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement

Updated May 22, 2023

The IWMF’s mission is to serve the needs of women and nonbinary journalists globally, amplifying a diversity of voices. We are committed to providing meaningful opportunities and holistic safety training and resources for journalists from underrepresented backgrounds who would not otherwise receive them. We strive to bring diversity, equity and inclusion into our external work and internal operations.

Internal: Staff and Board Diversity, Culture, Policies and Hiring

The IWMF’s staff represent diverse backgrounds and lived experiences. We believe our strength as an organization is directly tied to the diversity of voices on our team. We are a women-led organization with 50% of senior leadership positions held by women of color, and more than 40% of staff are women of color.

The IWMF’s Board of Directors currently includes 21 members, 17 women (81%) and 4 men (19%); it also includes 6 people of color (29%).

The IWMF is committed to recruiting board members and hiring and advancing employees from diverse backgrounds. We currently employ people of color, veterans, people with disabilities, women, and LGBTQI+ people.

Within the IWMF, we are committed to:

  • Develop talent management practices that are equitable and inclusive by building diverse candidate pools for recruitment and hiring; promoting professional development offerings for all employees; establishing career paths and advancement opportunities; and ensuring equitable pay through annual reviews.
  • Increasing the diversity of the IWMF’s Board of Directors through recruiting people of diverse backgrounds and lived experiences, with diversity as a key factor when considering new members;
  • Creating space for DEI discussions with experts based on needs identified by staff
  • Soliciting staff input on how we can improve our DEI efforts;
  • Annually conducting self-identification surveys that include race, ability, gender identity, and sexual orientation to better capture our diversity as a staff and board.
  • Regularly reviewing the IWMF’s policies to ensure that they align with our DEI goals. This includes a comprehensive review of our employee handbook to ensure equitable hiring, evaluation, and promotion practices.

External: Supporting a diverse community of journalists, and funding the work

Across our grantmaking, programming, and awards, we strive to maximize inclusion by serving and recognizing a diverse community of journalists. The IWMF’s community is global and represents diversity in all forms – race, ethnicity, gender identity, geographic location, age, socioeconomic status, ability, including freelancers and staff journalists. Through our recruitment and selection processes, we prioritize representation across all forms of diversity. We are committed to increasing the racial and geographic diversity of our program participants, and we track our candidate pipelines to identify ways we can recruit more people of color and globally diverse journalists to apply for IWMF opportunities.

Several IWMF initiatives specifically serve journalists of color, including our Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund, Gwen Ifill Mentorship Program and Gwen Ifill Award. Our Fund for Indigenous Journalists specifically supports reporting by Indigenous reporters around the U.S. on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit and Transgender people.

In 2022, 20 Gwen Ifill Mentorship Program fellows from underrepresented backgrounds joined a mentor-led, peer-support network and attained the skills to achieve promotions, negotiate salaries, and navigate a complex media landscape. Additionally, journalists from more than 70 countries applied to our largest grantmaking opportunity, the Fund for Women Journalists. Based on data we collected from May 2021 to April 2022, 62% of our grantees are people of color. We also collected data about the nationalities of our grantees during the same time period.

In our work to support women and nonbinary journalists globally, we are committed to:

  • Continually improving the diversity of our program participants. In 2023, The IWMF will prioritize reaching journalists that are not as well represented in our grantmaking and opportunities. This includes Black, East Asian, African, and Arab journalists, nonbinary and transgender journalists, as well as journalists with disabilities.
  • Ensuring accessibility. We will make accessibility accommodations to enable participation for journalists with disabilities; for example, providing closed captioning on webinars or ASL interpretation when needed.
  • Sourcing and securing diverse funding streams.