WUFT Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access Statement

2021-2022

WUFT-TV/FM are licensed to the University of Florida and operated through the Division of Media Properties in the UF College of Journalism and Communications. At WUFT-TV/FM and in the College, we utilize the acronym of “IDEA” to guide our thoughts and efforts related to inclusion, diversity, equity and access. Everyday we strive for the following for our organization and College: Being Inclusive: feeling welcomed; Honoring Diversity: respecting our differences; Being Equitable: fair treatment for all; and Ensuring Accessibility: including everyone.  We define diversity, in broad terms, as the mix of rich, vibrant people of different ethnicities, races, cultures, religions, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, education, experiences, and abilities. We believe that diversity is essential to authentic, accurate storytelling and reportage; creating an inclusive workplace in which all voices are encouraged and heard is a core part of our values as an institution of higher education and media organization.

WUFT-TV/FM Employment Policies

WUFT-TV/FM is an equal opportunity employer committed to achieving the goal of equal employment opportunity for all. Applicants and employees are considered and evaluated for positions without regard to mental or physical disability, race, creed, color, religion, gender, national origin, citizenship status, age, genetic information, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, employment status or any protected federal, state or local status unrelated to the performance of the work involved.

WUFT-TV/FM Workplace Demographics as of July, 2021

For the period of July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021, WUFT-TV/FM’s total workforce included 35 active regular employees. 43% were female, 57% were male, and 14% were people of color. Our employees are multigenerational, having been born from 1955 to 2002.  WUFT-TV/FM also has 49 part time students employed for our news and Hispanic programming.

University of Florida Board of Trustees as of July, 2021

Our diversity goals extend to our Board of Trustees. The University of Florida’s Board of Trustees has 13 voting trustees, 15% of whom are women, 85% of whom are men. The entire Board is appointed by the Governor of the state of Florida.  Trustees are multigenerational and span over five decades and represent a variety of professional and life experiences.

WUFT-TV/FM’s FY22 Diversity, Equity and Inclusion goals, and initiatives

WUFT-TV/FM and the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication strives to continue to build a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture and environment that increases belonging in the organization and reflects the communities we serve. To support this priority:

  • Collaborate with the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications’ (of which WUFT-TV/FM is a part of) Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Committee to incorporate policies and actions regarding IDE into the WUFT-TV/FM operational culture and employment recruitment and hiring practices. All members of this committee represent a diversity of experiences, identities, and roles within the organization.
  • Included in the work of the DEI Committee is a series of commitments and initiatives that are essential to our goal of building a strong culture of inclusion in the three areas below: 1) Recruiting and hiring, 2) Retention and, 3) Diverse audiences
  • WUFT-TV/FM actively promotes and encourages full participation in the following DEI tools and resources as developed in the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications, of which WUFT-TV/FM is an operating division:
    • Inclusive Language Guide:  Inclusive language is a major tool in our commitment to a diverse and inclusive work environment.  This guide is a living document of up to date inclusive language practices and recommendations for best communication in the workplace.
    • Calendar of Religious Observances:  Our faculty and staff are asked to utilize this calendar when scheduling meetings, assignments and exams.  This calendar lists major holidays, traditional observances and days of religious significance within Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Islam.  It also notes dates of observance for Chinese New Year and Tet.  The University of Florida, licensee of WUFT-TV/FM, also incorporates an attendance policy and religious observance calendar overview.
    • Monthly IDE “Coffee Breaks”:  Intended to help build the type of IDE culture the University, our College and WUFT-TV/FM desires, these coffee breaks are held monthly and are designed for all faculty and staff to connect and informally discuss any diversity and inclusion observations or concerns.

WUFT-TV/FM and the University of Florida/UF College of Journalism and Communications continues to make strides towards becoming a more inclusive and equitable workplace as we invest in the most valuable resource we have; our people.  During the past year we:

  • Ramped up communication efforts and tools related to building DEI and our internal culture. Some of these efforts included conducting in-person exit interviews and surveys to gather information from departing employees to help us improve working conditions, retain existing employees, and identify potential problem areas within the organization.
  • Coordinated with University of Florida human resources and organizational training departments to develop more inclusive recruitment and hiring practices that include identifying where biases might exist in our hiring process.
  • Focused more on building an active pipeline of qualified diverse candidates by developing new partners who have been able to extend our reach and sourcing on diverse sites.
  • Worked to enhance relationships with minority-focused industry organizations and companies that target underserved segments of the population.
  • Included our newsroom in continued efforts to enhance our DEI profile externally and began tracking gender and race/ethnicity of every person in our news features.
    • Enhanced on-air announcements that ask any organization interested in learning about potential positions in the UF College of Journalism and Communications and WUFT-TV/FM to engage the resources we make available to the broader communities of north Florida. We have subsequently enhanced our recruitment source list and expanded postings of any open positions.
    • Routinely solicit applicants from a variety of organizations that include a diversity of ethnicities, sexual orientation, religions, cultures, and races.

WUFT-TV/FM, licensee University of Florida and the UF College of Journalism and Communications commits to the further enhancement of all IDEA initiatives and efforts in FY ’22 and looks forward to creating an even more inclusive and engaging culture and environment for the future.