EXCLUSIVE: WarnerMedia released their first diversity and inclusion (D&I) interim report which covered the year of 2018 when it came to D&I in its corporate operations as well as the films, television series and digital content created by its various properties. The findings were quite surprising and sets a baseline for how to move forward when it comes to representation.
This report comes a year after WarnerMedia made a commitment to release a report which was part of the industry’s inaugural Production Diversity Policy which pledged to use their best efforts to ensure that diverse cast and crew be considered at the start of all new television, film and other projects. The report covers breaks down diversity and inclusion in three specific areas at the company: workforce, which includes workforce composition and employee resource groups; content in the realm of scripted TV, films, news as well as animation; and community which includes industry and local outreach partnerships and programs. This is the first studio to release such a report.
“Across the WarnerMedia companies, we have a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and consider these values an important part of our culture and a business priority,” said John Stankey, President & Chief Operating Officer, AT&T Inc. and CEO, WarnerMedia. “While I’m incredibly proud of what this report shows and our ongoing dedication to transparency, I recognize that we’ve got more work to do at every level. We know diversity, inclusion and belonging are important to our employees, our creative partners, our customers and to our success.”
“Our industry hasn’t been as transparent about these things as, for example, the tech companies,” Christy Haubegger, Executive Vice President, Chief Enterprise Inclusion Officer told Deadline. “Only with transparency, you have real accountability.”
She adds, “Historically, in our industry people say, ‘diversity is great, let’s do more’ — ‘let’s do more’ is not a strategy. From here, we are building out a strategy and a plan to really become true leaders in the space but the first step in leadership is transparency and accountability. I’m really proud of an organization that is, in our industry, among the first to step forward and do that.”
When it came to workforce and production staffing, WarnerMedia is close gender parity. On a global level, the workforce is 54% male and 46% female while the U.S. is 53% male and 47% female. More good news for women was revealed that, globally, half of all new hires and promotions to Vice President and above are women.
When it came to people of color, 42% of the workforce in non-manager positions are people of color. That percentage tends to decrease as you move up the ladder to senior levels. The good news is that the percentage of people of color who were hired or promoted in 2018 exceeds their total percentage across all levels. The report says that this will pave the way for increased representation, which means the numbers could only go up.
Broken down, the representation of ethnicities are: 61.13% white, 12.91% Black, 11.27% Latinx or Hispanic, 10.77% Asian American, 0.3% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, 2.19% were two or more races, .11% Native American or Native Alaskan and 1.3% other.
“I was really pleased that we are close to gender parity — that means we could do it,” said Haubegger. “I was enormously encouraged by the total composition of the workforce with people of color. We know that the talent is equally distributed but maybe the opportunity hasn’t been. Part of our work is to make sure the opportunity is there so that we can continue to elevate some of the remarkable talent throughout the company. I feel like we’ve never had a collective baseline before. For me, I was pleased where we are starting from.”
On the TV side, the representation is still fairly low. For non-film scripted programming, females represent 34% of onscreen roles and 23% of behind-the-camera positions. Meanwhile, People of Color represent 24% of onscreen roles and 23% of behind-the-camera positions.”
In film, Warner Bros., in U.S. and international productions, women represent 28% of the on-screen roles and 24% behind the camera. In U.S. productions, people of colors see lower numbers, representing 16% of the on-screen roles and 20% behind the camera.
For its first report, it focuses on ethnicity and women. However, we can expect future annual reports to include data on the LGBTQ people, the disabled as well as other marginalized communities.
“We’re exploring different tools in how we collect data consistently — not only across workforce but in production,” said Haubegger “We are trying to make all of this in a systematic way so that you can compare apples to apples. We’re working towards more consistent measurement of data for [more communities].”
She continued, “What we do in our business matters in a unique way. When you integrate in firefighting you don’t change the way fires get fought. When you integrate in our business, it actually changes our culture. It changes what stories get told. We decide what heroes look like and what villains look like. We know being inclusive and diversity drives innovation in our business. It actually matters on every level.”
The full WarnerMedia 2018 Diversity and Inclusion Interim Report can be viewed here.