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Southern California Public Radio Diversity Report (2023)

This is the second annual report detailing LAist (Southern California Public Radio) staff diversity as self-reported. This reporting is part of an ongoing commitment from the organization to support and advance a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture.

About this report

As articulated in their organizational values, LAist believes that “diversity, equity, and inclusion—in everything we do—are critical to our success.” The organization’s commitment to an ongoing DEI implementation plan, including publicly reporting on staffing diversity, reflects that.

The following information is assembled from an optional survey sent to the entire LAist staff, conducted in December 2022. One hundred forty-five of 170 active employees (85%) completed the survey. Due to rounding or unavailable data, the values do not always sum to 100%. The charts reflect answers from all respondents, except where otherwise noted. The survey is separate from the data used by Human Resources; that data is more limited and is collected at the time of an employee’s application to work here.

Race and Ethnicity

The survey invited staff to self-identify as one or more of the five racial groups currently used by the U.S. Census Bureau: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, or white. In addition, consistent with the Census Bureau’s current treatment of ethnicity, staff were asked to self-identify as either Hispanic (including Latino, Latina, Latinx, etc.) or non-Hispanic. Finally, staff were also asked to provide their heritage to provide an even richer look at the cultural backgrounds of LAist staff.

Forty-six percent of LAist staff who completed the survey identified as non-Hispanic white alone and collectively 54% identified as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or Hispanic/Latinx. This is virtually identical with the findings from last year’s staff diversity survey.

In total, one-quarter of LAist staff identified as belonging to more than one of the five racial or ethnic groups shown in the graph (shown as “in combination”).

In comparison to the total population of LAist’s primary service area, Los Angeles County, the proportion of LAist staff identifying as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, and Black is fairly similar. The proportion of LAist staff who identify at Hispanic or Latinx (28%) is far lower than is the case among the broader L.A. County population (49%), and the proportion of LAist staff who identify as non-Hispanic white alone (46%) is far higher than is the case among the broader L.A. County population (25%).

Does racial and ethnic diversity differ between management and other employees?

According to the survey results, the racial and ethnic backgrounds of current LAist staff differ somewhat by management status. One quarter of managers who completed the survey identify as Hispanic or Latinx, compared with one-third of other survey respondents. A higher proportion of managers than other employees identify as non-Hispanic white, 57% compared to 39%. (The only manager who participated in the survey who identified as Black also identified as Hispanic, so that person shows up as Hispanic in the graph below.)

Note that racial and ethnic groups in this graph are organized somewhat differently than in the graph above. The comparable percentages for the total population of Los Angeles County are: Hispanic/Latinx, 49%; non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native alone, 0.2%; non-Hispanic Asian alone, 15%; non-Hispanic Black alone, 8%; non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander alone, 0.2%; non-Hispanic multiracial, 2%; non-Hispanic white alone, 25%.

How has staff racial and ethnic diversity changed over time?

Overall, the diversity of staff has increased in recent years, at least as represented in those who remain current employees. According to the staff survey, about one-third of those hired in the past five years identify as non-Hispanic white, compared to over three-fourths of those hired between six and 10 years ago and who remain at the organization. Additionally, most of LAist’s current staff who identify as Asian were hired within the past five years.

According to data provided by the Human Resources department, 43% of those hired in calendar year 2022 identified as non-Hispanic white, 24% identified as Hispanic or Latinx, and 21% identified as Asian.


The survey included two questions related to gender: One asking respondents to specify their gender identity and another asking about pronouns. The answers to these questions were strongly related:

  • All 81 respondents who selected “female” as their gender identity selected “she/her” as their pronouns.
  • Fifty-four of the 57 respondents who selected “male” as their gender identity selected “he/him” as their pronouns (none of the three exceptions selected “she/her” or “they/them” but instead indicated unique answers).
  • All of those who indicated “non-binary” as their gender identity selected “they” as at least one of their pronouns.

Given the high degree of overlap between pronouns and self-reported gender identity, we are reporting only the results of the gender identity question. Note that the survey did not explicitly ask questions that would allow us to report on numbers of cisgender or transgender employees.
As shown in the graph below, over half of LAist employees are female, 40% are male and 4% are either non-binary or provided a unique gender category.

There is no significant difference between managers and non-managers in the proportions of people identifying as female, male and non-binary or unique. A notable difference exists by length of service, however. Over half of those hired more than 10 years ago who remain employed at LAist are male, compared to less than 40% of those hired since that time.

Sexual orientation

Three-quarters of LAist’s staff identify as heterosexual. The remaining quarter specified their sexual orientation as bisexual, queer, gay or lesbian, or they chose another term. Two respondents did not answer this question.

There is not a large difference in sexual orientation between managers and those who do not manage or supervise others at LAist. There is, however, a difference based on length of service, with over 80% of those who have been employed at LAist for at least six years identifying as straight, compared to only 64% of those who have been with LAist for one to five years.

Straight, white males

According to survey results, about 1 in 7 LAist employees identify as a heterosexual non-Hispanic white man, but that varies by both manager status and length of service. Given the privilege associated with that identity in the United States, we checked for differences according to manager status and tenure with the organization, and found:

  • Twice the proportion of managers are straight, white males than is the case among non-managers, 21% compared with 10%.
  • About one-quarter of those who have been employed at LAist for six years or more are straight, white males compared with notably fewer among current employees who have been hired in the past five years.

Content production staff

Arguably, it is most important for the public to be able to see themselves in the most visible parts of the organization: those who work in content production — including news, shows, podcasts, and community engagement. Sixty-six out of 145 respondents work in content production.

In terms of race and ethnicity, a higher proportion of LAist staff who work in content production identify as Hispanic or Latinx than is the case among other parts of the organization (35% compared to 23%). Content production is home to proportionally fewer staff who identify as non-Hispanic Asian alone or non-Hispanic Black alone.

Over half of both those working in content production and those working in other parts of the organization are female. About 2 in 5 employees are male, whether they work in content production or not.

Two-thirds of those working in content production identify as heterosexual, compared with 81% of those working in other parts of the organization. Notably higher portions of those working in content identify as bisexual or queer.

The proportion of employees who identify as straight, white males is very similar in content and other parts of LAist, 15% and 14%, respectively.

More about the respondents

Respondents from all parts of the organization participated in the survey.

Most respondents were full-time employees, but interns, part-time, and contractual workers also participated in the survey.