Licensing International to unveil findings of its diversity in the industry study this August

Published on: 14th July 2020

The industry trade association, Licensing International, will unveil the findings of the first global study into diversity within the licensing industry in special webinar to be held on Monday, August 3rd. The study was conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University and was commissioned by Licensing International’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee in February this year.

Licensing International will use the research to benchmark the industry and evaluate progress in the years ahead. The study also serves as the starting point for development of a Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit, providing guidance and resources for companies as they tackle this important issue.

The study is part of the ongoing work of the Licensing International IDEA committee, which is sponsored by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), with additional support provided by Sony Pictures, Sybo Games and USAopoly.

“The findings of this study bear out what I think we all already know – there is work to be done when it comes to ensuring inclusivity and equal representation across our industry,” said Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “This is a moral and a business imperative. Our goal is to provide the leaders of our industry with the knowledge and tools they need to take action and change the status quo. Sharing the findings of our research is just the first step in that process.”

“We applaud Licensing International for taking a leadership role by committing to this ground breaking research, which can serve as a blueprint as they build a more inclusive and equitable environment for their members,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

“Given the global reach and impact that the licensing industry has on consumers, and particularly children, embracing and building a culture of cultural equity and inclusion will drive relevant strategies around product development which will ultimately benefit our global society.”

Licensing International member companies from around the world participated in the study, and their responses were combined with supplemental research and data analysis by the Geena Davis Institute. Key learnings include:

  • 30.2 per cent of survey respondents report that their organization has a D&I program.
  • 17.8 per cent of small organizations (1-50 employees) have a D&I program, compared with 67.5 per cent of large organizations (501+ employees).
  • In the U.S., people of colour account for 38 per cent of the population, but only 13.5 per cent of CEOs among member organisations.
  • Women make up 51 per cent of the global population, yet 24 per cent of member organization CEOs are female, compared with 76 per cent who are male.

The full results will be presented by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University in a free webinar Monday, August 3 at 9 am PDT / Noon EDT.

The event will also include a discussion about the path forward with experts and corporate leaders. Licensing International’s new Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit will be made available after the event and is also being shared with a number of other related trade associations.

Formed last June, the Licensing International IDEA committee, chaired by Jamie Stevens, Sony Pictures Entertainment EVP of Consumer Products and Licensing, also plans to launch a diversity recruitment program that will attract and grows a diverse talent pool to brand licensing right out of college. Through partnerships with universities, Licensing International aims to develop and implement a targeted internship program, formalized mentorship opportunities and quarterly speaker series.



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