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New York Times no longer includes women in diversity metrics

To measure diversity, the Times only counted those who identify as coming from a minority group—but a couple years ago, women would have been included, too.
Libby Emmons Brooklyn, NY

The New York Times ran a story showing photos of "922 of the most powerful people in America." They called it "Faces of Power," and the implication was that it is a really bad thing that of those faces, "80 percent are white." To measure diversity, the Times only counted those who identify as coming from a minority group—but a couple years ago, women would have been included, too.

In exposing the whiteness of power in the US and claiming that there has been far from enough progress made on diversity, the Times seems to forget that, just a few years ago, women were also included in the definition of "diversity."

Putting aside for a moment whether there should be an equivalence between the backgrounds of people in power to that of the public at large, we took a fresh stab at their numbers.

While the data compilers noted that of their assessed 922 most powerful people in the US only 180 were from diverse backgrounds, if women are included in the measure of diversity, as they once were, that number jumps to 309, that's an increase of 129 people.

In the highest levels of policing, the Times found that 14 or 25 were diverse, but adding women brings that total to 17, meaning that the highest levels of policing have a diversity rate of 68 percent. While the Times notes that there has been progress in diversity in policing, as evidenced, by their own numbers, they are forced to acknowledge that "the rise of people of color to positions of leadership has not been a guarantee against the targeting of marginalized groups."

In the ranks of our nations top prosecutors, 12 of the top 29 are racially diverse. But the inclusion of women brings that total to 19, meaning that there is 65 percent diversity among the prosecutorial ranks.

The Trump administration has 3 of 24 persons of diverse backgrounds, but the addition of women brings it up to 5 or 20 percent.

The low diversity rate on the Supreme Court is only low if those who are black and Hispanic are counted as diverse, but throw women into the mix and suddenly the Court has a diversity of 44 percent.

The Times summation of diversity among military chiefs and the top execs at top US companies is low, even with the inclusion of women, because there aren't any. Among heads of top universities, the Times laments that only one of 25 are diverse in background, but adding women back into the classification adds another four to the diversity ledger.

While the tally for top news organizations shows three diverse heads out of 15 companies, counting women brings that total up to six, which would mean that 40 percent are diverse. Tracking through diversity percentages for publishing companies, magazines, music executives, all are increased when women are made part of the diversity number.

When including women in the diversity calculations, the percentage of diverse heads of TV networks jumps from 12 percent to 40 percent. In fashion, the number doubles from a 12 percent diversity measure to 24 percent. In pro-sports ownership, the addition of women brings up the percentage from 3 percent up to 17 percent.

Where these figures are most telling is in the ranks of elected officials. The Times counts on nine diverse members of the Senate, ignoring the women who hold that office. Instead of six percent diversity in the Senate, that figure should rightfully be 17 percent.

In the House of Representatives, the Times tracks 112 diverse members of the body of 431 representatives. But adding the 58 non-minority women brings the total of diverse members up to 170, which means that 39 percent of the House is diverse.

Women were included as part of diversity metrics only a few short years ago, but now, they are being left out. Why are women no longer part of the diversity measure? It is because the Times and their ilk do not want to note that there has been any progress. Mainstream media would rather bash the American public of our collective heads with our failings than to admit that yes, America is making progress.

The American people are more open-minded to diverse representation in all levels of corporate and government infrastructure than they were just a few short years ago. The way we can tell is that the Times doesn't even think that women attaining greater positions of power is progress, instead, they think that's a given. Women have made so many strides in gaining power and influence that the Times doesn't even think it's worth mentioning anymore. We're so accustomed to seeing women in powerful positions, that it's no longer even considered an achievement.

But in pulling women from the diversity metric, the Times is pulling a fast one. They want us to believe that the work on equality has barely begun, they want to berate us with our flaws, when in fact, by their own numbers, what we have on our hands are great accomplishments.

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