Licensing International hosted its first Diversity and Inclusion Workshop on Aug. 3, bringing together some of the leading minds in licensing and retail to discuss the challenges and opportunities organizations face as they look to enhance diversity and inclusivity practices in their workforces and culture.
Madeline Di Nonno, chief executive officer, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University, kicked off the event with a presentation of the findings of their recent benchmarking study of diversity in the licensing industry, commissioned by Licensing International. Among other findings, the research shows that while 30 percent of companies surveyed currently have a diversity and inclusivity program in place, only 10 percent have budgeted financial support to those programs.
“If you don’t measure, you don’t have any substantive understanding of where things stand or a benchmark by which to gauge success,” says Maura Regan, president, Licensing International. “This research is the crucial first step in creating real, lasting change in our companies and the global licensing community as a whole.”
The full research study is now available for download at www.LicensingInternational.org.
Following the presentation of the research results, newly elected Licensing International board member Steven Wolfe Pereira, chief executive officer and co-founder of Encantos, was joined by Tariq Hassan, chief marketing officer, Petco, for a screenside chat about what it means to create an organization that is truly inclusive and how to go about doing it.
“You cannot only do this from executive-level down,” says Hassan. “If you want to tell people to bring their authentic selves to work, you’ve got to allow them to have a place to express it, and you’ve got to allow it to then influence the decisions of the company… we have to create a culture that celebrates that insistence. When you put it that way, it stops being about what’s wrong, and it focuses on the energy and creativity of what’s right.”
Much of the conversation throughout the event centered on where and how organizations can start to take action. To that end, Licensing International is sharing its new Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit, developed in conjunction with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. For the next month, Licensing International is making this Toolkit available to the global licensing community at large, after which time it will continue to be available to Licensing International members and partner trade organizations.
You can download your copy of the Diversity and Inclusion Toolkit here.