Entertainment companies are increasingly recognizing the challenge of closing the gap between intention and action on fostering diversity and inclusion.
A hope emerged that the show of solidarity and empathy from business leaders would be a precursor to real change in the aftermath of civil unrest following the Black Lives Matter Movement.
A recent McKinsey study shows that inequity is 'deeply entrenched' across film and TV, the Kind of a Big Deal Podcast discusses the strange truth that it wasn’t until 2019 that a little person was represented as a normal human at a party. Not an elf, not a freak, not specifically a little person. Just a woman having a drink with her friends.
The challenge is real but the incentives are compelling. Despite persistent inequity, tangible progress is being made by some brands. Four lessons are emerging in spe
cific areas where senior-level commitments are translating intention into results.
1. Decision-making must be diversified
While there is only a small crew running Firestorm Talent, we are taking the time to hear from our performers to create better decisions on their behalf. To push narratives beyond even what our clients expect out of us. We have an all female leadership that believes in equity for all and a multi ethnic team that has a say in how they want to proceed with new ideas.
2. Embed industry metrics and accountability
We are designing systems to give us answers to questions about fairness, diversity and inclusion. Our goal is real numbers by the end of 2022 to confirm our assumptions that we are creating safe and healthy performance environments.
Hold leaders accountable for their contributions.
—Ellyn Shook, Chief Leadership and Human Resources officer for Accenture
3. Enable discourse and learning
The entertainment industry has often been reactive to social issues, we are excited to pool our resources with other vendors with the same aspirations. WE feel strongly we have a unique opportunity to educate audiences, create content that challenges the status quo and bring social issues to the forefront of public consciousness.
Not only resonating with our consumers, but also empowering all of our employees
—Alexandra Wallace, Head, Media and Content for Yahoo
4. Promote accurate portrayals
The industry pushes the boundaries of imagination, and with that, it can do a lot to encourage diversity in ways audiences don’t usually think about. Our action plan, rewire marketing.
Re-wire the way we approach marketing
—Aline Santos, Chief Brand Officer and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Unilever
Categories of Diversity
Image: World Economic Forum-Accenture, Reflecting Society: The State of Diverse Representation in Media and Entertainment