Latino representation in the media industry increased by only 1% in the past decade, a new report finds | Techy Kings



Latinos remain severely underrepresented in the media industry and are significantly more likely to perform service roles, according to the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) latest report on Latino representation in film, television and other media outlets.

The GAO’s 2021 study found that Latinos make up 12% of the media workforce and 4% of industry management, despite making up 18% of the total US workforce.

This latest report, released Wednesday, provides a more comprehensive data analysis of Latino representation in the media industry over the past decade and solutions federal agencies can take to increase diversity in the industry. The population of Latinos in the media industry increased 1% from 2010 to 2019, compared to the slightly larger 3% increase in representation in all other sectors, according to the report.

“This invisibility means that Americans do not know who Latinos are or how we have contributed to the success of our nation. This year’s report will be a call to achieve greater Latino representation in the media and enable the Latino narrative to finally become a part of the larger American story, said Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who led a congressional effort to examine the state of diversity in the media.

The findings released Wednesday are part of the second part of the GAO report. Last year, the agency released its first report, in which researchers analyzed Hispanic representation by media industry and by profession. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus had asked the GAO to investigate the issue in 2020.

The first report, Castro said in a statement, “put a national spotlight on the industry’s failure to recruit and retain talented Latinos.”

The media industry is responsible for informing the American public and influencing how we think about the world and other people, which is why it is important for society to represent the diverse perspectives from top to bottom, the report said.

Media companies also have a financial incentive to promote representational parity.

A Nielsen report revealed last month that Latino viewers spent more time binging shows that included Latino representation behind and in front of the camera.

When Latinos get jobs in the media industry, they are often segregated into service roles. 19% of Latinos working in media are service workers compared to 3% in senior management roles, the report said.

Latin America has even greater disparities in industry representation. The only roles in which they have more representation than men are as news analysts/journalists and writers/authors, beating out men by only 1% in both sectors, according to the report.

A small group of industry group researchers and representatives, union members and Hispanic nonprofits identified in the report several challenges Latinos face in getting jobs in the industry — such as financial and educational barriers — but most of those stakeholders said access to professional networks, in particular, had detrimental effects.

Part of the blame may also lie in how the federal government enforces anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity rules, researchers say. The report makes recommendations that some federal agencies can take to mitigate this disparity, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) sharing discrimination reports with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which can conduct audits and drop penalties on companies previously flagged by the former the bureau.


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