Ultiworld Staff and Contributor Demographics, 2023

Ultiworld production at the 2023 USA Ultimate frisbee Club National Championships.
Ultiworld production at the 2023 USA Ultimate Club National Championships. Photo: Jeff Bell – UltiPhotos.com

Starting in 2021 and as part of the commitments outlined in our Equity Statement, Ultiworld collects baseline demographic information about our staff and contributors to share in an annual public report; however, this is the first such report since 2021. Our instrument for this is an anonymous, opt-in survey for staff and contributors as defined below. While not a complete index of equity and inclusion at Ultiworld, we present the data as one rough snapshot of our contributor base, a prompt for further reflection and examination, and a measure for greater accountability to our readers and staff.

What To Know About This Data

In the survey, we asked core staff and significant contributors to self-describe across non-exclusive demographic categories. For purposes of this report, we invited responses from anyone with at least three bylines during either year as well as anyone present in a regular reporting, content production, or internal role with the site. We also asked respondents to describe what work they did for Ultiworld within broad categories during the relevant period.

Because contributors could choose multiple options for each question (for example, self-identifying as both Black and Latinx), percentages across a broader category often add up to more than 100%. Each demographic question included options for “none of these” and “choose not to respond”; “Middle Eastern,” “Pacific Islander,” and “Native and Indigenous” were also listed but received no responses for either year.

38 total respondents completed the survey.

This data was collected and retained anonymously. We worked to be transparent and forthcoming with respondents throughout the process, describing on the survey and in internal communications how the data would be saved and shared.

Results and Analysis

Self-described as…Self-described as…
Nonbinary, genderqueer, or other gender nonconforming13%East Asian13%
None of these3%
Received no responses: South Asian, Southeast Asian, Middle Eastern, Native and Indigenous, Pacific Islander
Editing and ManagementWritingBroadcastingMedia Production
Nonbinary, genderqueer, or other gender nonconforming11%7%0%17%
East Asian, South Asian, or Southeast Asian11%7%7%22%
Any other than white22%20%27%44%
Received no responses: Middle Eastern, Native and Indigenous, Pacific Islander

Two respondents indicated their role as “Other”, but both in combination with other roles that have encompassed them into the survey results.

What This Data Can Tell Us

We are pleased to see that, by the simple measures of this survey, our staff has grown more diverse since 2021. Across the staff, the two most common responses — Man for gender and white for race — both decreased in representational percentage. 45% of respondents self-described as something other than a Man, as compared to 32% in 2019 and 2020.

However, there is still more work to do in order to create the diverse, equitable, healthy work environment we hope to achieve. Overwhelmingly, our editorial, writing, and broadcasting teams skew white and Man. We hope to get more feedback from within and from outside of our staff to help us better understand how to achieve those goals.

It is worth noting that we have a fairly limited data set so far, which just three years through two surveys, and that we are exercising caution with drawing sweeping conclusions based on that.

Who This Survey Includes

Ultiworld has a small number of full-time employees as well as a slightly larger number of paid freelance staff consistently working part-time or equivalent, mostly in editorial or management roles. Much of the rest of the site’s material comes from staff writers and other staff-level contributors who create multiple pieces each month or hold regular production or operation roles; finally, there is a wider circle of occasional contributors who produce several pieces a year and whose presence in the site’s published content, internal channels, and overall operation make up a meaningful part of what Ultiworld is and does.

We tried to reach as many of these people as possible, announcing the survey via multiple virtual office platforms. There are likely some we didn’t reach, as well as some who received the survey but didn’t complete it. For this reason, the data may not include all staff and contributors who met our qualifications in the years described, though the total number of responses is roughly commensurate with the scale of the site and the number of significant contributors we would expect during this period.

What This Report Covers

We limited the demographics covered here to race and gender. While the larger equity conversation includes many elements of identity and experience outside these, we chose to focus on categories that are better served by voluntary self-description than attempting to index via other means, while avoiding categories that may feel more sensitive to disclose. (We didn’t, for example, choose to ask about sexual orientation or disability, though we also value queer and disabled perspectives.)

Additionally, many contributors have roles across multiple areas of the site in ways their title on our masthead may not fully reflect: someone listed as an “editor” might also contribute reporting throughout the year, while a “staff writer” might also have a prominent role in our podcast and video presence. We asked respondents to describe these roles as distinct from their listed positions in order to get another view of which voices are present in which aspects of Ultiworld’s content and community.

Finally, the survey was focused on staff and contributor demographics, so this report doesn’t address content on the site, such as coverage across gender divisions or from outside the US. We plan to gather data on that content via other means (such as indexing published articles or videos) and will continue to share that information publicly for greater transparency and accountability in our work.

It’s not enough for us to declare an intention to welcome a diverse range of contributors. Ultiworld continues to prioritize initiatives that commit real resources toward recruiting voices underrepresented in our coverage and supporting them in their work for the site, while also allowing them space to define their own projects and perspectives.

If you’d like to get involved with the site, check out our Pitch Guidelines for information on submissions and payment. We are always on the hunt for talented new regular contributors; if you have a perspective you believe is missing from our current offerings, we’d love to hear from you.

We welcome your feedback at [email protected].

  1. Ultiworld

    Ultiworld is the premier news media site dedicated to the sport of ultimate. This article includes the work of a number of our staff or contributors that have been identified within the piece.


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