Licensing industry diversity programs on the rise

More companies are budgeting for DEI, but the Geena Davis Institute and Licensing International recommend prioritizing intersectionality and employee well-being.
September 24, 2021

A new study from Licensing International and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media has found that 32% of licensing companies now have diversity-focused recruitment efforts—a 6% increase compared to 2020.

Among respondents, 34% say their company has diversity-focused education and training programs (up from 21%), and 41% say their company has a program for improving diversity, equity and inclusion (up from 30%).

The study has also found that more companies are dedicating financial support to diversity efforts in 2021—15% of respondents say their organization included DEI in their budgets this year (a 50% increase over 2020). The number of companies with diversity mission statements also increased year over year, growing by 6% to 29%.

These improvements were made as many companies also struggled with financial challenges posed by the pandemic, and Licensing International reports that there has been additional growth in the number of reported DEI education and training programs since the study was conducted.

Moving forward, the Geena Davis Institute recommends prioritizing intersectionality, setting specific goals, tracking benchmarks and implementing a broader range of benefits that support the well-being of employees.

“Measuring Diversity & Inclusion in the Licensing Industry—Year One Report” was produced by the Geena Davis Institute, based on a survey of 246 people in Licensing International’s membership community across Asia, Europe, the Middle East, North America, Oceania and South America. These responses were compared to benchmark data collected in 2020 (based on responses from 169 members).

The report represents the first global study of diversity in the licensing business. It was sponsored by the National Basketball Players Association, the National Football League Players Association, Peanuts Worldwide and Sony Pictures. The full report is available online.

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