Diversity and inclusion (D&I) programs in the licensing industry are on the rise. In Licensing International’s third annual study measuring progress in this area, 44% of companies surveyed reported having programs in place, up 3% from last year.
Conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, this new report combines the results of surveys focusing on D&I programs (60 responses) and the impact of COVID-19 (16 responses). It tracks the growth of eight types of D&I programs, ranging from simple mission statements to budgeted financial support and training programs. And while diversity education and training declined slightly from 34% in 2021 to 32% this year, the remaining seven categories are on the rise.
When developing D&I programs, more companies have begun including components such as talent retention efforts (up 13% over last year), D&I mission statements (up 7%) and career development and mentoring programs (up 6%).
To tackle the broader issue of retaining employees, 70% of the companies surveyed have begun offering flexible schedules, while 55% have adopted hybrid work options. They reported that these strategies have improved employee efficiency as well as retention, and some are also starting to offer better compensation packages and benefits to keep employees satisfied.
It’s worth noting that this year’s survey had 170 fewer respondents, which could indicate the licensing industry as a whole isn’t prioritizing D&I programs, according to the report. Key areas for companies to consider in the future include setting new internal goals to advance existing D&I programs, offering hybrid work options, and ensuring that the company’s external partners commit to D&I initiatives by investing in community and humanitarian causes.