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2021 update on Michigan Radio’s staff demographic composition

A variety of marking images for Michigan Radio.
Roger Hart
A variety of marking images for Michigan Radio.

One of the key values outlined in Michigan Radio’s 2020 Strategic Plan is a commitment to ensuring the station's staffing composition reflects the diverse communities we serve, creating news content that reflects the diversity of people across our state, and developing relationships with marginalized communities.

As a measure of transparency, Michigan Radio has committed to publishing an annual report on the demographic composition of station staff.

The data below provides information on the gender and racial composition of Michigan Radio’s staff as well as the senior management team, as of December 31, 2021. For comparison, this is presented along with similar data for the state of Michigan as a whole, as well as the Southeast Michigan market. Not only does this represent Michigan Radio’s largest listening area, but Southeast Michigan is also where the majority of Michigan Radio’s staff is located.

In terms of gender composition, Michigan Radio’s overall balance of male-female employees has remained virtually the same as in 2020, with 70% of staff identifying as female and 30% as male. While in 2020 only 31% of the station’s senior management team were female, that percentage increased to 44% in 2021 with the addition of our Director of Digital Audiences and Director of HR and Finance.

The chart below shows changes in the gender composition of Michigan Radio’s overall staff and management team between 2020 and 2021.

Although much work still remains to be done, Michigan Radio has also taken steps to improve the racial diversity of its staff and management team compared to previous years and has revised the hiring process for staff. In the past year, we have engaged the services of the University of Michigan's Talent Acquisition Team to ensure an innovative and integrative recruitment process to support our efforts to attract and retain the right talent while fostering a positive and seamless candidate experience.

As of December 2021, 79% of Michigan Radio’s staff were white, while 21% were Black, Hispanic, Asian, two or more races, or other. For comparison, in 2020, 84% of station staff were white and 16% non-white, marking an increase of 5% in regards to people of color.

While still not reflecting the overall diversity of Southeast Michigan or the state as a whole, it does show that the station’s efforts to diversify its own staff are beginning to have an impact. And while still predominantly white, there is also now some racial diversity among the station’s senior management team.

The chart below compares the racial demographics of Michigan Radio’s overall staff and management team between 2020 and 2021.

At Michigan Radio, we understand that having a diverse workforce and management team can help us better understand the diverse communities that make up our state, and also help us deliver content that serves these current and future listeners.

Note: State of Michigan and Southeast Michigan demographic data is from the 2020 American Community Survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. Aggregated data is for the Detroit DMA market which includes Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Washtenaw, Livingston, Monroe, St. Clair, Lapeer, and Sanilac counties. Percentages may total more than 100% due to rounding.

You can find our 2020 and 2019 Staff Demographic Composition Report here.

Steve is Michigan Public's Marketing Director. His job involves coordinating the station’s marketing, communication and public relations efforts, special events, car donation program and community & media partnerships.