Consumer Reports Annual Report 2021

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion

Consumer Reports has a rich legacy of fighting for a fair, just, and equitable marketplace, and we’ve strived to live by such values within our organization. Over the past year and a half, amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic and the necessary national conversation on race and justice in America, we have taken stock and reflected on the state of our own culture and the sense of belonging for every member of the CR staff.

From this review and collective dialogue, we learned that when it comes to living our values through diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), we have made great strides in our journey over the years—and that we have more work to do. We are deeply committed to putting in place an equitable structure and systems to support every employee, limit bias in our decisions and actions, and lift up the voices of our Black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) colleagues.

We believe that diversity and inclusion must also extend to the governance of CR. Since the leadership transition in 2014, the board of directors has offered excellent guidance and supported the continued commitment to DEI. We’ve seen a substantial increase in the diversity of our board of directors, including a 50% increase of women and a 21% increase in BIPOC board directors, and across CR we’ve doubled diverse hiring from 25% in 2015 to 50% in 2021.

But that was only the beginning of the progress we’re aiming for, and we are moving forward to create a workplace environment where everyone can bring their full self to work and be respected, rewarded, recognized, and fulfilled.

This ongoing work draws from our commitment to building an inclusive culture and rests on the core values of CR:

  • We are mission-driven.
  • We are science-based.
  • We are people-centered.

We cannot live up to these values without fully integrating DEI into our strategies, our ways of working, and our culture. To develop a shared understanding of how CR could evolve to create a meaningful shift across the organization, we invited Partners for Racial Equity (PRE) to guide the entire organization. It was a process grounded in our shared discovery and inquiry to build new skills for engaging across differences and learn how to put the new awareness and skills into practice for broader impact and meaningful change.

In our partnership with PRE, we committed to centering the voices and stories of our BIPOC colleagues. Their candid sharing of their lived experience at CR deepened our appreciation and understanding of how much more is needed to achieve a truly equitable workplace.

We empowered a fully dedicated Chief Diversity Officer, Rafael Perez, who will help establish a path to becoming a truly exceptional 21st-century organization with intentional, equitable, and inclusive systems, processes, and practices. We have taken additional steps, such as generating a code of conduct policy, that sets the expectations for any individuals who engage with CR at events or on social media to make certain that our employees, and others in the CR community, are treated with respect. We have embraced a myriad of tools and engagements to further transparency around staff diversity data, which are now publicly shared on CR.org.

DEI Prioritized Actions

A number of recommendations emerged from our collective work on how best to strengthen the culture and workplace of CR, which have given shape to five key priorities:

DEI Vision & Mission

Craft a specific DEI vision and mission

Foster culture of inclusion

Education & Learning

Manager DEI learning and effectiveness training

Staff anti-racism learning program

Leadership & Accountability

DEI coaching for senior leadership

Clear DEI expectations and goals for managers

Retention & Advancement

Processes and practices for individual development

Action-oriented growth and advancement discussions

Support Structures

Evolve BRG & DEI Committee structures

Mechanisms to escalate concerns

We learned that we need to effectively counter the conscious and unconscious forces that create barriers to inclusion and opportunity, especially when it comes to race. Together as an organization, it must be our ambition to extend a standard of inclusion and acceptance to every individual to feel truly welcomed. We believe these priorities, and their corresponding concrete actions, will provide the necessary tools and skills to foster the best work environment possible.

We believe these actions are consistent with an organization renowned for keeping entities accountable and championing transparency to empower consumers.

CR’s Diversity Snapshot
Last updated: August 13, 2021
GENDER
Male
Female
Data is based on information
currently captured by CR.
RACE & ETHNICITY

Asian

Black or African American

Hispanic or Latino

Native

White

Two or more races
Data captured by CR indicates that no employees self-identified as American Indian or Alaskan native. Future data capture will include additional options for gender, race and ethnic identities.

In order for our evolution to succeed, we must continue to learn and grow. We are embarking on a comprehensive anti-racism learning program for all managers and staff, as part of these critical steps to better understand the pervasiveness of structural racism within our society and the challenges we must overcome to be a truly welcoming and inclusive workplace.

Meeting the DEI goals of our internal work is also critical to our external work, but we recognize that we cannot meet the ambitions of our current strategic plan to create a fair and just marketplace if we fall short of our internal DEI goals.

As a part of this effort, we applied a DEI lens when conducting a comprehensive content review to better understand who was represented and who was not, as well as a rigorous assessment of our employment practices and processes, to sharpen our focus on equitable outcomes. Based on the findings, we have made changes to ensure that the work on CR.org and in Consumer Reports magazine are reflective of the rich diversity that exists in the U.S. And we will continue to review our external efforts moving forward to look closer at how our strategies on digital rights, financial fairness, safety, and sustainability affected people of color in different ways, to ensure they not only meet but also promote these critical values.

All meaningful change requires accountability, and we will continue to share what we learn along this journey, identify areas where we must strive to do better, and assess our progress using clear key performance indicators that create a culture of shared responsibility for the change we seek.

We come at this work with great humility, seeking to better understand our full and complex history as an organization marking its 85th anniversary. This process is ongoing, but we will continue to grow and adapt, actively showing up with the willingness to listen, learn, and continually adopt and refine new behaviors. Because CR can only fulfill its mission when every person on our team feels seen, heard, and valued.

 
About Consumer Reports: Learn more at CR.org

Since 1936, Consumer Reports (CR) has been fighting to create a fair, safe, and just marketplace. As an independent nonprofit, CR has developed a world-renowned reputation for our rigorous research, scientific testing of products and services, investigative and public-interest reporting, and advocacy for consumer rights. We empower millions of consumers to take action on vital issues, including digital rights, financial fairness, safety, and sustainability.