Writing Our Own Story
The VICE Media Group
2019 Diversity & Inclusion Report
2019 Diversity & Inclusion Report
A Letter From Our CEO
Throughout history, young people have driven many of society’s most powerful and profound changes. This is why, at VICE Media Group, our voice and purpose are focused on the ways we live, work, connect, inspire, inform and entertain our audiences. Who we are directly correlates with how we fulfill our mission and values.
As we look to connect with the world through stories, content and journalism, in all its beautiful diversity of thought, background, and perspectives, it’s imperative that our makers and reporters authentically bring a point of view that also reflects the world around us. Our content is only as bold and culture-defining as our people which is why we are so fortunate to be comprised of a truly global workforce located in 35 cities around the world, writing, producing and reporting in 25 languages.
I’m most proud of the fact that among our new employees this year, 56% are women and, in the US where we can collect this data, 50% are people of color. The people at VICE are growing in diverse representation, and as a result the things we make have even greater relevance and impact. Employee-born projects put us on the frontier of defining how media can move culture forward. A few standout examples include the award-winning Q, the world’s first AI genderless voice that VIRTUE created and the Gender Spectrum Collection, the world’s first free trans and non-binary photo stock library, made by the VICE editorial team. And from Refinery29, Unbothered is a community created by and for black millennial women that showcases how threading allyship throughout the entire company results in groundbreaking work that connects us all.
In 2020 we’ll be focused on best practices in recruiting and hiring to build a robust pipeline of diverse talent for not only our own business, but for the industry at-large. As part of this effort we will double the number of participants in our Apprentice Program, which you can read about in this report. We are also revamping our Summer Intern Program to prioritize recruiting young people with diverse backgrounds and educational experiences, including community college students. Not everyone can attend a four-year college, but that should not limit anyone’s potential and we’re committed to leveling the playing field.
Diversity and Inclusion is woven into the everyday fabric of who we are — from our Community Groups that engage all of us through activities and thought leadership to our Diversity and Inclusion Board that helps us build systems to elevate these values in all forms, to our employees that drive change through our many VICE platforms. There is always more that we can do and this report is another first of new and continued commitments that will keep us moving in the right direction.
Nancy Dubuc, CEO
Stories That Elevate The Underrepresented
We have an audience that is trying to understand this world and it’s our responsibility to guide them. At VICE we do this through award-winning storytelling and journalism, and it’s the people here that make all of that possible. Our diverse teams are always looking deeper, seeking out the fascinating, unreported and underrepresented to find the complexity in every situation. Ultimately, we want to challenge preconceived notions and widen the world for ourselves and our audience.
Pulse Films’ groundbreaking documentary about Chelsea Manning, the trans activist, ex-army intelligence officer and historic whistle-blower.
"Getting to make the kind of content that I want to watch, with people who are eager to challenge the perspectives and assumptions of others is something I’m really proud of. We don’t look like (or sound like or function like) a traditional newsroom. I think that’s what makes us different -and that’s important to me."
Senior Editorial Producer, VICE News
Dismantling the status quo for what a newsroom should look like today.
"This is the most diverse newsroom I've ever worked in and it's been revelatory for me professionally."
Senior Executive Producer, Long Form, VICE News
A campaign investigating domestic and gendered violence in the UK — and what people can do to protect themselves and stand up for others.
"The United Arab Emirates is home to over 200 nationalities and our office is a true reflection of that vibrant culture. The diversity of our team creates an amazing working environment that covers 16 nationalities as well as different ethnicities, genders, religions, languages and backgrounds."
Close to half of VICE Studios projects are directed by women.
"I'm especially proud of VICE Studios feature films Judy & Punch and Crystal Swan. These are prime examples of stories that inspire me personally, as a woman. Both show the incredible strength we draw on when we're dismissed, held back, mistreated... we keep going and we keep fighting because there is no other option. We want to change the world for ourselves and our children, our families, our peers... and I hope that these films (and all of our films both past and future!) will make people feel less alone in the world."
Head of Film, VICE STUDIOS
Produced by VICE Studios in Berlin,100percentme reimagines what it means to be disabled in 2019.
"The best thing about being a part of VICE is the ability to create meaningful content that gives a voice to all communities, genders and ethnicities. We're here to tell stories that make a difference. If we open up even one person's mind through a piece of content we produce, we're doing our job right. And to be part of a company where that is a measurement of success, is a really good feeling."
Head of Content, APAC
Challenging Industry Standards
VICE strives to be a challenging force, pushing ourselves and those around us to do better and do more. This same formative DNA is found across each of our businesses and within the creative work we do. We aspire to break boundaries and challenge others to do the same.
A new agency created in partnership with director Robert Rodriguez and VIRTUE, focused on connecting brands with the U.S. Latinx market.
“After over a decade in an industry in flux, I was inspired by VICE Media Group and VIRTUE Worldwide’s commitment to speak with relevance to the diversity of the country and excited about the unparalleled potential for LA REYNA to create a much-needed platform for Latinx voices.”
Managing Director and Chief Strategy Officer, La Reyna
VIRTUE introduces genderless voice Q to challenge gender bias in AI assistant technology.
Gender Spectrum Collection
VICE’s stock photo library featuring images of trans and non-binary models that go beyond the clichés.
“As soon as I found out about The Gender Spectrum Collection, even in its early stages, I was dying to be a part of the project. To me, the body of work showcases what happens when a company prioritizes queer stories and talent. From start to finish, those who were involved had one priority –– to reshape the way queer people are visually represented in media. I still screenshot photos from the collection anytime I see them out in the wild, especially when they're attached to a story that isn't explicitly about queerness. That's everything.”
I Will Not Be Deleted
Pulse Films produces Rimmel London’s new beauty campaign to fight cyber bullying.
"At VICE, we make stuff that the world sees, and that’s a powerful thing. For those of us who have always lived on the fringes of society’s vision, this is where we can use our lens to change how the world sees us and itself. This is where we belong."
Head of Creative, APAC
This is Womanhood captures the incredible stories behind the challenges and issues facing the women of South Africa today.
"This is Womanhood was an enormous project driven by the passion of an entire team that wanted to make sure the heart-rending and incredibly complex issues of being a woman in South Africa were heard. One of the most emotionally demanding pieces I’ve worked on in my career. I hope in some ways this work challenges the normalization of gender-based violence in South Africa."
Ciaran Desmond Bonass
Executive Creative Director, VICE MENA
Supporting New Voices
VICE’s responsibility does not stop with the stories we tell. As we look up and out to the communities around us, we want to ensure that we use our position as the world’s largest youth media company to create a more equal and inclusive work environment.
The Apprenticeship Program
VICE partners with Center for Employment Opportunities to create career opportunities for people who were formerly incarcerated.
"CEO’s mission is to connect persons leaving incarceration to a job. Our two year partnership with VICE has been instrumental in exposing CEO participants to a diverse variety of creative disciplines. Our participants have described their apprenticeship experience at VICE as transformative to their career growth. We are grateful for VICE’s commitment to this important work."
New York State Executive Director, Center for Employment Opportunities
The Knight-VICE Scholarship fund supports the next generation of journalists at CUNY.
"The Knight-VICE Fellowship program has been an important way for our school to recruit emerging and diverse talent because VICE has such strong appeal to young, aspiring journalists. Through this program, those selected as fellows not only get help with their tuition, but great exposure to the company's innovative approach to storytelling."
Dean of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York
VICE Community Groups
Employee-led groups are open to all staff who want to be allies and support our diverse and inclusive community.
“By leveraging our content for social action, VICE IMPACT seeks to elevate and serve VICE communities, both inside and outside our doors. Employees drive the areas where we are most passionate - including but not limited to climate, mental health and freedom of the press - and use our voice in media to move the needle and make a difference.”
Senior Vice-President, Impact