TV Academy Report: Underrepresentation Most Pronounced Among Members With Marginalized Intersecting Identities

The Academy will hold its inaugural DEI summit in December

Frank Scherma (Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)

The Television Academy reported progress in its diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in a membership data report released Friday, and announced that its first DEI summit will take place in December.

The report, which focused on DEI practices across the industry in a follow-up to the television academy’s membership study released in 2021, found that while there has been forward movement — especially in creative representation — members with historically marginalized identities “experience exclusion and less access to opportunities.”

The TV Academy also announced that it will launch its inaugural DEI summit this year, using the report to “spur actionable discussions” at a forum of industry DEI professionals in December.

The summit will offer an opportunity for DEI professionals to collaborate on “a more inclusive and equitable industry, increasing the visibility, equity and power” of marginalized groups.

The report, created from a partnership with DEI consulting firm ReadySet, focuses on several topics, including underrepresentation, exclusionary lived experiences and insufficient action.

In the underrepresentation section, the report found that “members from historically marginalized groups report unfavorable perceptions of their identity representation compared to those from non-marginalized groups” regardless or role of peer group. This perception was especially pronounced among those with intersecting marginalized identities.

Similarly, the findings noted that a majority members from historically marginalized groups “say they have lost out on or been passed over for job opportunities due to perceived identity bias,” and experience “bias-related microaggressions and even harassment” when they obtain a position. Again, this experience was especially evident for members with intersecting marginalized identities.

In terms of action, the television academy reported that “72% of responding members across roles in the industry are confident in their knowledge of DEI practices,” but they report low visibility of actions towards actual improvement or substantive DEI practices in their own places of work, especially through structural or process-related programs.

The report concludes by noting that the industry must “implement impactful actions that center the experiences of underrepresented communities,” and seeks action-focused and human-centered actions that have accessible communication.

“This report will help us frame meaningful conversations aimed at developing actionable initiatives at our December gathering,” Television Academy Chairman Frank Scherma said. “This isn’t a ‘one and done’ exercise. We want to not only put into place a set of actions that are comprehensive, lasting and meaningful at the Academy, but we want to play a role in helping DEI professionals across the industry do the same, collectively sharing learnings and best practices.”