The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » News » MBA News » There’s No Biz Like Demographically Diverse Show Biz

There’s No Biz Like Demographically Diverse Show Biz

Image for There’s No Biz Like Demographically Diverse Show Biz

The following post has been republished in its entirety from its original source,

Columbia Business School (CBS)’s website recently published new research that offers tangible solutions for increasing workplace diversity. This is an especially hot-button topic in the realm of show business ever since the 2016 Oscars contenders were widely decried throughout the media as demographically homogeneous.

The CBS research group confirmed a number of obvious assumptions regarding workplace diversity but uncovered specific strategies that both impeded and fortified diversity.

“Demographically diverse groups make better decisions and produce more innovations, because they bring in different perspectives,” explains CBS Professor Katherine Phillips, co-author of the study.

Despite slightly higher rates of conflict, which can “impair group functioning and performance,” diverse workplaces generally inspire greater efficacy and creativity while spurring economic growth on both national and global scales.

Adam Galinsky, lead author and fellow CBS professor, warns that “skin-deep” diversity company policies are ineffectual without discrete strategies for implementation. “The benefits depend not just on encountering unfamiliar situations, but on wanting to learn about and integrate them,” he writes. Galinsky also mentions that the efficacy of these policies must be supported by “incentives and resources to increase and manage diversity.”

The CBS research group recommends several strategies for expanding workplace diversity:

  • Create recruitment and employment policies that ensure unbiased evaluation criteria, like committing to criteria before reviewing candidates.
  • Report hiring and promotion rates to increase transparency and accountability.
  • Establish inclusive mentorship programs that support both minority and majority groups.
  • Create opportunities to learn about other perspectives and cultures.

According to the CBS website, the first course of action to creating a more diverse Hollywood is to invite more diverse members into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. There is already evidence that suggests that this is the direction Tinseltown is heading. For instance, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee recently stepped down—perhaps partially in response to the uproar—and was replaced by former Vice President of Drama Development Channing Dungey, the first African-American woman to ever lead a major U.S. broadcast network. Star Wars: The Force Awakens Director J.J. Abrams remarked recently to E! News, “I think the movies will get better, the stories will get stronger and audiences will respond bigger and that’s good for the bottom line.”

The article is quick to note that diversity within Hollywood’s industrial ranks will not necessarily guarantee that diverse perspectives will crop up more frequently in mainstream movies or that the nominees for the 2017 Oscars will necessarily be more diverse. “Real change requires more opportunities for under-represented groups at every level of film-making,” notes the article on the CBS website.