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Facing the challenge of diversity and inclusion

The media and entertainment industry’s opportunities to improve its diversity and inclusion (D&I) have come into sharper focus in recent years, thanks in no small part to the efforts of industry advocacy groups as well as observers, such as UCLA’s Ralph J Bunche Center for African American Studies, and the USC Annenberg School for Communications and Journalism, which measure the makeup of our industry and propose paths to improvement.

One of the reasons our industry is so closely watched on this issue is also one of the main reasons it’s so gratifying to be a member of our industry community: simply put, the media and entertainment industry has a profound influence on the cultures that it serves. This influence means every gain the industry makes in matters of diversity and inclusion has the real potential to reverberate through society in ways large and small, while at the same time, making our companies richer, stronger and more competitive. That’s a power we all enjoy; and with it, as they say, comes great responsibility.

We’re excited about the momentum we’ve observed in addressing D&I within the media and entertainment companies we connect with. We see organisations large and small making a serious commitment to diversity and inclusion and taking meaningful steps to improve from within. Among the most fundamental actions companies are taking as part of their D&I initiatives: company-wide educational efforts that support a more inclusive, aware and culturally responsive workplace. Employee development programmes that help unleash every worker’s growth potential and support their long-term success. And implementing formal hiring practices and programmes that ensure outreach to and provide opportunities for people from underrepresented communities.

These and other company-focused efforts present a number of paths that we as individuals can take to support and champion D&I within our own organisations. Beyond that, there are things we can best accomplish by coming together as an industry community, not only by creating awareness and inspiration for the work that needs to be done, but by generating funding and support for organisations that focus their expertise and resources on helping underrepresented communities succeed.

This is the valuable role that events like the 4K 4Charity Fun Run at NAB 2017 undertake to support D&I in our industry. We’re grateful to see our industry’s forward thinking in action as prominent industry leaders step up such as HBO; Comcast and The Weather Company, an IBM Business.

Support for increased diversity and inclusion and the 4K 4Charity Fun Run is also driven by leaders including Aspera, an IBM company; Dolby Laboratories; Verimatrix; Accedo; Irdeto; ChyronHego; SVG and the National Association of Broadcasters for their sponsorship as well as media partners NewBay.

The generosity of our sponsors and participants will benefit Mercy Corps and Women Who Code in their charitable work protecting, educating and inspiring underserved communities around the world. With 100 percent of individual registrants’ contributions dedicated to these worthy organisations, we hope you’ll add your support to this vital cause.

You can take action by signing up today to join your fellow professionals for a fun and energising experience in support of this important cause. And why not invite your colleagues and co-workers to join you in a corporate team or as part of a Fun Run challenge?

For more information about the run or to learn more about supporting as a sponsor or group, please reach out to Kate Incerto, 4K 4Charity Fun Run manager at [email protected]. We hope to see you on the course and appreciate your support for a more diverse, more inclusive industry.

By Nancy Garcia, community and diversity programme manager, Elemental