Managing DEI in Your Projects is the Key to Continuous Success and Innovation

Entertainment and media content shape the world around us and how we perceive it. DEI is the key to shaping the future to establish an inclusive space for all.

What is DEI?

DEI stands for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Though distinctly different, the three go hand in hand. Each represents a facet to the larger picture of creating a comprehensive Hollywood space.

Let’s dive deeper into each pillar:

  • Diversity constitutes the range of backgrounds in a group - think age, race, gender, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic standing. There is a multitude of identities of possibilities and combinations.
  • Equity at its foundation is fairness, however, in the context of DEI, it is the access to making it fair for everyone. Note, equality is giving everyone the same amount whereas equity is giving some more who don’t have as much access and some less because they already have access (redistributing power)- a slight nuance that can make a huge difference.
  • Inclusion refers to a sense of belonging. It revolves around the idea of making everyone feel that their perspective and experience matter.

DEI ultimately is establishing an inclusive environment for everyone involved.

Why is DEI important for Hollywood?

At the core of importance is the idea that “media and entertainment companies...shape how we see our world.” The power of representation and viewers seeing themselves in a protagonist or performing a new activity gives way to inspiration and social progression.

DEI brings more people to the table. New ideas, new projects, new possibilities. DEI is the necessary change that needs to be injected into the ecosystem to promote a new era of Hollywood. More diverse ideas connect with a larger audience. Hollywood is global now. Thinking on a larger scales creates more opportunities for all.

And, if you’re still not convinced, there is the factor of social prevalence. The world as a whole is much different now. With social movements over the past few years, we’ve seen the landscape of representation transformed (for the better!). To not embrace DEI and stay with antiquated behavior is problematic in itself.

How is DEI the key to continuous success and innovation?

DEI is rooted in authenticity. It’s making space for everyone at the table. Prioritizing marginalized voices who have been suppressed in the past and aiding in the tools to promote these populations in the future and ensure no one gets left behind.

Managing DEI gives way to a plethora of novel ideas. Well-done ideas that remained true to their original intent have the greatest success. In the media, take Black Panther, for example; it was monumental. That team focused on an idea that was inclusive and consciously made their choices. People see themselves in the character and create an emotional bond. That bond spurs a connection to the story, media, and brand.

Hollywood has the greatest reach. With the rise of globalization, there are more ways to connect with people than ever before.

Ways to take action:

This is an ever-evolving process. Great strides have been made for DEI in Hollywood - there’s no arguing about that. Yet, there are no questions about the fact much more work needs to be done.

  • Assess All Facets: Proper DEI extends well beyond the cast and into behind the scenes. Directors, writers, - the whole team matters. The prioritization to offering an opportunity to multiple demographics is key.
  • Keep Organized: Staying organized and managing your slate allows you to constantly have a birds eye view of everything going on. Using Symbonic, maintain intentionality within your team and slate.
  • Implement Standards: Within your company create a task force team to highlight DEI and ensure it is present in your projects. Cast and choose to elevate new voices and stories.
  • Maintain Education: Continue learning and educating yourself about DEI. Foster DEI groups. Integrate DEI education into training protocols and work culture to make sure your staff is always on the same page.
  • Stay Engaged: Make it sustainable - it’s a marathon, not a sprint. As previously stated, this is an evolving process and be open to the discourse.

This is the opportunity to make the change, otherwise you’ll be left behind. DEI needs to happen now for a better future.

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