September 26, 2019
WarnerMedia Sept. 26 released its first-ever annual report looking at diversity, inclusion and belonging across both its corporate operations and the films, television series and digital content created by its various production businesses.
In September 2018, WarnerMedia announced a “production diversity policy,” which included the commitment to report on its diversity and inclusion efforts annually.
The policy was partially in response to the fallout following the resignation of former Warner Bros. CEO Kevin Tsujihara, who left the studio after revelations of an extramarital affair with an aspiring actress.
Earlier this year, WarnerMedia hired its first chief enterprise inclusion officer, Christy Haubegger, saying her leadership would be key to expanding and developing initiatives designed to make the company and its content more diverse and inclusive.
The report, covering 2018, highlighted three areas at WarnerMedia: workforce (including workforce composition, employee resource groups), content (including scripted TV, films, news, animation) and community (including industry and local outreach partnerships and programs).
Among the key findings related to workforce and production staffing:
WarnerMedia’s global workforce is 54% male and 46% female, and its U.S. workforce is 53% male and 47% female.
Globally, half of all new hires and promotions to VP and above were women.
About 42% of non-managers were people of color, but representation decreased at more senior levels. However, the percentage of people of color who were hired or promoted in 2018 exceeded their total percentage across all levels.
“This will lead to increased representation going forward,” read the report.
Across WarnerMedia’s non-film scripted programming, females represented 34% of onscreen roles and 23% of behind-the-camera positions.
Across WarnerMedia’s non-film scripted programming, people of color represented 24% of onscreen roles and 23% of behind-the-camera positions.
“[At] WarnerMedia companies, we have a longstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion, and consider these values an important part of our culture and a business priority,” John Stankey, COO of AT&T and CEO, WarnerMedia, said in a statement.
“While I’m incredibly proud of what this report shows and our ongoing dedication to transparency, I recognize that we’ve got more work to do at every level. We know diversity, inclusion and belonging are important to our employees, our creative partners, our customers and to our success.”
Indeed, the report underscored various examples of diversity and inclusion in action, including spotlights on various employee resource groups (Black Professionals@Turner, HBO Proud, Women of Warner UK and others), employee-centric content and platforms showcasing D&I activities across the enterprise (Warner Bros.’ “We See You,” Turner’s “Hello, My Name Is…” and “HBO POV”) and a behind-the-scenes look at the company’s films, TV shows and animated series.
While the report only tracked gender and race, WarnerMedia said it is developing new processes, tools and formats for gathering more detailed information about the diversity of its workforce and productions, allowing it to better tailor its efforts and outreach.
Going forward, the annual report will look at data from the previous full calendar year, and will evolve to reflect the changes taking place across WarnerMedia’s businesses.