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Cannes LIONS Live 2021: Measuring Progress Toward Better Representation in Content

2 minute read | June 2021

On the surface, we can see that progress has been made towards creating a more inclusive media industry. However, once you start to look more closely and measure the representation of on-screen talent by gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation, it’s clear that there is still much more work to be done. According to Nielsen’s Being Seen on Screen: Diverse Representation and Inclusion on TV report, women make up 52% of the U.S. population but comprise only 38% of top recurring cast in popular broadcast, cable and streaming programming. Additionally, people of color account for 40% of the broader U.S. population but are present in only 27% of top TV roles. 

While there is a strong industry push towards a more inclusive entertainment future, brands are in a unique position to really help drive forward progress. Maryl Widdows, VP, Product, Inclusion Analytics, Nielsen, met with Madeline Di Nonno, President & CEO, Geena Davis Institute during Nielsen’s Cannes LIONS Live 2021 virtual experience to discuss how brands can get involved to not only positively impact the industry, but society as a whole. 

Together, they explored the importance of measuring content in order to strive toward more accurate representation, including: 

  • What is the value of visibility of underrepresented groups in content for viewers, and what role can brands play?
  • How can you use data to dispel widely held misconceptions around representation in entertainment? 
  • Where are the biggest opportunities to advance the causes of creating equity, fostering inclusion and reducing negative stereotyping in entertainment media?

Watch our on-demand recording of this session for more insights into the opportunities for brands to help drive better representation in media.

Be sure to check out on-demand recordings of the other sessions from Nielsen’s Cannes LIONS Live 2021 virtual experience:

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