Licensing International has embarked upon the first global study on diversity in the licensing industry.
The first-of-its-kind initiative forms part of an ongoing diversity and inclusion effort spearheaded by the industry trade body’s new Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility (IDEA) committee.
The goal of the study is to collect and analyse global data to understand the current level of diversity in the licensing community and establish a benchmark for accountability and growth. From the study, Licensing International plans to develop a best practices tool kit for its members, to help them recruit, grow and retain staff with diverse experiences and attributes.
“Prioritising diversity and inclusion is instrumental to the current and future success of our industry, or any industry for that matter,” says Maura Regan, president of Licensing International. “We’re proud to bring a focused effort to improving our talent mix, starting with this study to show where the licensing industry stands and where there are opportunities for growth.”
The Licensing International IDEA committee, chaired by Jamie Stevens, Sony Pictures Entertainment EVP of Consumer Products and Licensing, also plans to launch a graduate recruitment drive in the hopes of attracting and growing a diverse pool of new talent. Through partnerships with universities, Licensing International aims to develop and implement a targeted internship programme, formalised mentorship opportunities and quarterly speaker series.
“Leading such an important initiative on behalf of the global industry is an honour for me,” says Jamie. “More of the same is what hinders businesses from evolving and reaching full potential; recruiting and fostering talented professionals of all backgrounds - race, gender, religion and orientation - brings multiple perspectives to the table and yields more creative and compelling ideas.”
Licensing International plans to share its findings with the industry at a workshop this June.