AIM/PAR Diversity Survey: Women Make Major Gains as Workplace Representation for People of Color Declines

Crowded video screen with diverse multinational people on it.
Eighteen organizations representing 69% of the industry workforce took part in the WICT/NAMIC PAR Survey. (Image credit: iStock/Getty Images)

Workplace representation for women in the cable and communications industry has increased since 2019 while the representation of people of color fell in that period, according to a joint NAMIC and WICT diversity employment study released Tuesday.

The executive summary of the 2022 AIM/PAR Workplace Diversity Survey — unveiled at a Town Hall meeting in New York in conjunction with the WICT Leadership Conference and the NAMIC Conference — reflects the impact of the pandemic as well as social-justice movements in the country since the last survey was conducted in 2019, the organizations said. 

Also: Departing Kaitz Foundation Head Michelle Ray on Diversity Efforts: ‘There’s Always Going to Be More to Do’ (Q&A)

The 2022 survey — which generated participation from 18 organizations representing 69% of the industry workforce — reported that female representation in the workforce increased by 5 percentage points since the 2019 tally, even as women overall were significantly more impacted by the pandemic in terms of employment. Overall, women made up 51% of the workforce at programmer companies and 31% of the overall MSO workforce, according to the survey.

Women also comprised 47% of all new hires in participating media, entertainment and technology companies, up 1 percentage point from 2019. Women and women of color saw increases in professional, manager and executive/senior manager roles, according to the survey. People of color were promoted (14%) and transferred within (8%) the surveyed organizations at slightly higher rates than overall rates within the industry. 

“Despite the Great Resignation and she-cession, our industry has created environments where women are able to thrive, while also highlighting challenges to overcome,” WICT Network president and CEO Maria E. Brennan said. “As we continue to navigate new ways of working, we will use this data to help companies strengthen their practices to ensure that women remain on a trajectory to achieve parity with men.”

The industry employment and representation picture for people of color was not as positive. People of color experienced a 7 percentage point reduction in workforce representation, dropping to 37% from 44% since the 2019 survey. The biggest losses were employees at the junior level professional and manager ranks at cable MSOs, while people of color found employment gains among participating content companies, according to the survey. 

National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) president and CEO A. Shuanise Washington told Multichannel News that she hopes the participating companies will learn from the results and find ways to attract and recruit people of color to their companies. 

“Once they look at their individual results, they will do an internal assessment of what happened, and whether there are things that they could be looking at more intentionally as it relates to people of color,” she said.

Washington added that the results of the survey are vitally important to the industry's ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. “The fact that this industry measures itself is critical — I don’t know any other industry that does that,” she said. “What gets measured gets done and we always need to be focused on that.” 

The AIM/PAR survey is administered by PwC and funded by the Walter Kaitz Foundation, which holds its annual fundraising dinner Wednesday night at the Marriott Marquis. ■  

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.