The World Economic Forum benchmark measures how media reflect diversity and inclusion; game delays

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The World Economic Forum’s Power of Media Initiative has developed a first-of-its-kind Audience Representation Index, which provides a measure of how well consumers see themselves as represented in film and TV, gaming, news and magazines, and sports — and whether those sectors contribute to society and society.

The forum hopes it will result in better benchmarks for diversity, equality and inclusion and change for companies and industries around the world. And perhaps it’s no surprise that the gaming industry is lagging.

The index is based on research that surveyed more than 7,000 respondents from target groups in the US, UK and France on gender, race and ethnicity, origin, ability, sexual orientation and age, as well as crosses between them.

The report assessed all industry sectors on four dimensions that constitute effective diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I), equitable representation (who is represented), authentic representation (is the representation nuanced and non-stereotypical), community building and societal impact.

The index, produced in collaboration with Accenture, Ipsos and Nielsen, shows relative performance across sectors, as well as sector-specific results, and the conclusion is clear: the media and entertainment industry has work to do to advance DE&I efforts to engage the public. improve representation.

Key insights

The World Economic Forum compares media industries for diversity.

One of the key insights is that the report notes that:

— Room for growth: The media and entertainment industry has a clear opportunity to improve its content diversity. The index shows that with an overall average score of 54.6, no sector shows a leading maturity level (score 75-100 on a scale of 100 points).
– DE&I has business implications: the study shows that a 10-point improvement in the Audience Representation Index gives consumers a 1.3 times greater chance of trusting a brand.
– Efforts already made are having an impact: the targeted efforts of film and TV to increase representation make audiences feel seen, as does the appeal of gaming to people with disabilities
– Older and LGBTQ+ groups don’t see themselves: LGBTQ+ and older viewers feel the least represented in all four sectors, offering a real opportunity for increased brand loyalty. One in two LGTBQ+ consumers said they would stop using a product or service they saw as non-inclusive.
– The gender gap is a business opportunity: gaming and sports both show significant gender representation gaps. In sports, men scored the sector 6% better than women in promoting inclusive communities.
– Actions speak louder: As important as in-content representation is, the audience emphasized the importance of brands driving social impact through corporate social responsibility, ranking it as the most important aspect of representation across all sectors.

Sector Index Scores: Gaming lags behind

The World Economic Forum says gaming is lagging behind diversity.

The index ranks film and TV above other sectors, while gaming generally ranks the least favorably. The specific challenges and opportunities in each sector are highlighted in the report and lead leaders to the most important issues for their audiences.

“The Power of Media initiative is committed to building prosperous, inclusive and equitable economies and societies that create opportunity for all and help to advance the voices of underrepresented groups in media content. It is imperative that organizations be able to measure their DE&I footprint to truly understand the gaps that need to be addressed,” said Cathy Li, head of media, entertainment and sports at the Forum, in a statement.

The World Economic Forum’s Power of Media Taskforce on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion brings together leaders from across the industry, including those in creative leadership roles, independent nonprofits targeting DE&I, business leaders, creators and DE&I professionals, to take up the call. for transparency and driving change as a community.

Initiatives to support change

The World Economic Forum has created a framework to measure public representation.

The forum said its previous report set the baseline and outlined best practices.

And the 2022 Audience Representation Index serves as the industry’s first coordinated contribution to align with a common set of metrics to measure progress over time, identify trends and hold all players accountable.

The task force calls for a sector-wide commitment. It intends to define a set of high-level principles and commitments of organizations to work together for change, based on shared experience and efforts.

“We believe the future workforce is equal. To meet this ambition, organizations need to create products and services that address the full diversity of their audiences, and create an environment where everyone feels at home and heard,” said Kathleen O’Reilly, global lead of Accenture strategy, in a statement. “The social impact that comes from a culture that embraces inclusion and diversity – as a core strategy, both internally to their people and externally to their customers – will be one of the key differentiators in determining whether companies thrive or lag behind in the inclusive future which we must build together.”

Ben Page, Chief Executive Officer of Ipsos, added: “Ipsos’ research shows that older people – the richest age group in the world – and LGBTQ people are most likely to feel underrepresented in the media. This is important because we can show that where people see ‘people like them’ on screen or in print, they are significantly more likely to trust the content provider.”

Over the coming months, the Power of Media Taskforce will continue to work with industry to strengthen the index framework and explore opportunities to improve diversity and representation in each media sector. The goal is to refresh the results annually to measure progress and promote transparency and accountability so that organizations can reflect diversity in society.


World Economic ForumWorld Economic Forum shows how markets respond to better diversity.

The World Economic Forum, in partnership with Accenture Research and Ipsos, surveyed 7,201 consumers
online in the US, UK and France from November to December 2021 to measure their perception of how
good content in every media and entertainment sector reflects the diversity of society and itself.

The survey measures diversity in five identity categories: race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and identity, disability and age. The sectors analyzed were film and TV, gaming, sports and news and magazines. In each market, the first sample examined was nationally representative, with additional incentives for certain identity groups to ensure a robust sample for analysis purposes.

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