Verywell’s 2022 Diversity and Inclusion Pledge

July 7 2022

To our readers—

It’s important to us that we’re providing you with accurate, reliable health information, and that you feel welcome no matter what your background is.

To do that, we rededicate ourselves to a diversity pledge we first made in June 2020—a detailed promise to all who visit Verywell, so they may see themselves reflected in the voices and content we share. 

As a health website that reaches more than 38 million readers per month, we are uniquely positioned to create positive change. That starts with covering topic areas we have ignored, empowering voices we have neglected, and representing those we have overlooked. Our goal continues to be creating inclusive content that spans the geographic, racial, gender, and body diversity of our readers. 

Over the next year, we will focus on these three areas: building a diverse team of contributors, reviewing and updating our content, and creating partnerships.

People: We will recruit and amplify Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) staff and contributors across Verywell.

In order to be the most complete and inclusive health information and news resource, we must have a diverse group of people working on Verywell. 

Since 2020, we have made a concerted effort to increase the number of people of color (POC) sharing their voices on our sites, but there’s room for improvement. We will work with more BIPOC health writers, Medical Expert Board members, expert sources, illustrators, and photographers, to create and enhance our content—not just on isolated topics of race, but across our brands’ coverage. 

This work includes improving our recruiting initiatives to ensure equality of opportunity for roles at Verywell. We expect, over time, to see that outcome in the makeup of our staff and contributors.

By the end of 2022, our goal is to reach at least 25% BIPOC staff. BIPOC staffers currently make up 18% of the Verywell Health, Verywell Mind, Verywell Family, and Verywell Fit teams. This includes editorial, commerce, sales, research, and marketing.

Additionally, we aim to gather and report on accurate contributor demographics quarterly. We’ll do this by maintaining our database of contributors and a consistent and comprehensive response rate from these freelancers.

Content: We will improve the inclusivity and representation in our written and visual content.

In 2020, we started to work with Dotdash Meredith’s Anti-Bias Review Board to review and evaluate content bias and inclusivity. Today, we work with the Anti-Bias Review Board to ensure that our content and images continue to reflect the diversity of our readership and modern society. 

To date, we’ve reviewed 51% of our traffic. The Anti-Bias Review Board has provided us with anti-bias editing guidelines, including guidance on making pregnancy and menstruation content gender-inclusive, removing ableist language, remediating stigmatizing language, and on highlighting disparities in access to care. These learnings continue to promote the ongoing education of our staff and contributors on the issues of diversity and inclusion. We’ve also worked with the Anti-Bias Review Board on content features, such as the vaccine sentiment tracker, the Health Divide series, and focused on removing stigmatizing language from our content on sexual health.

Together with the Anti-Bias Review Board, we will continue to identify specific areas of improvement in the topic areas we cover and update and remediate content to be accurate, affirming, and inclusive of more experiences and identities. 

On Verywell Health and Verywell Mind, we will continue to work with the Review Board and apply recommendations that come out of the ongoing content audit. For example, we’re working to highlight racial biases in mental healthcare and clinical research. Additionally, we aim to prioritize person-first language over stigmatizing identity-first language. 

By the end of 2022, we pledge to review and remediate articles that account for 10% of our traffic with the Anti-Bias Review Board, in addition to the 51% already reviewed. This includes a focus on editing articles to update language, errors, oversights, and incorrect information.

We will also continue to maintain diversity in the visual assets of our content library, including illustrations, photographs, and videos for new content. 

Community: We pledge to explore and develop partnerships with other brands, organizations, and leaders that promote inclusivity within the health industry.

In 2021, we partnered with The White Dress Project and Alliance for Positive Change as part of our Health Divide series on health inequities. We will continue to pursue partnerships with a variety of organizations to spotlight their work and share stories of real people across all backgrounds and life experiences.

Our Pledge to You

Our pledge and commitment to these goals is part of the ongoing work of our team to listen, learn, and help our readers best care for their physical and mental health. 

In order to do so, our team will remain dedicated to building an anti-racist brand and community, recognizing the racial inequalities that impact the core content we create, and taking actions to address inaccuracies and narratives that harm the most vulnerable among us.

Please continue to hold us accountable and trust we are doing the same within our team. We want to hear how you feel you are, or are not, represented in what you see across the Verywell brands. Your feedback is valuable and helps us continue to improve and grow, with the aim of working together, not creating shame that may cause more division.

Please email us at feedback@verywell.com.

We make these changes today and we will remain committed to them tomorrow and every day that follows. Thank you for being a part of the Verywell community and joining us in our efforts to do better.

Sincerely,

The Verywell Editorial Team