NBCUniversal News Group Chairman Cesar Conde announced a “Fifty Percent Challenge Initiative” on Tuesday, setting a goal to have 50 percent of its staffers be women and 50 percent of the total workforce be people of color in an effort to increase diversity at the company.
The NBCUniversal News Group includes NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC.
Conde, a former Telemundo chairman, was chosen to oversee the group in May when the company announced that Andy Lack was leaving the company.
In a memo to staffers that was first obtained by the Los Angeles Times, confirmed by multiple outlets and published in full by TheWrap and TVNewser, Conde detailed changes he plans to make at NBCUniversal News Group after spending time “looking inward, asking tough questions and examining” ways to improve.
“Over the past several weeks we have covered a country reckoning with systemic inequality and the painful consequences of a long history of racial injustice,” Conde wrote. “During times like this, I know we all feel a heavy responsibility to our audience. But we have another important responsibility to meet as well – to each other and the news organization we all value.”
Conde said he has spent time exploring “what we should be doing differently in our own house” at the NBCUniversal News Group. Deadline reported that Conde told staffers the company is currently 26.5 percent diverse.
“It is clear from those conversations that there is a reservoir of good will and righteous intentions within our walls. It is also clear that the time for action is now. Our introspection and dialogue must continue, but on a parallel path we will lay out a plan for an even more inclusive workplace. And we will start executing now,” Conde wrote. “We aspire to achieve two concrete goals: that 50% of our News organization employees be women and 50% of our total workforce be people of color.”
Conde didn’t offer a timetable for his goals, but said a plan has been developed.
“This plan has five pillars: investment and recruitment; content; education and development; partnerships; and measurement,” Conde wrote, noting that the next 100 days are going to be critical to his plan.
“Over the next 100 days, we will be asking all of you to provide feedback on our action plan and how we should hold ourselves accountable. At the end of those 100 days, we will reconvene as a group to review our progress, potentially add to the plan, and collectively decide on the key metrics to track our progress,” Conde wrote.
NBCUniversal News Group did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.