Analysis: Diversity and Inclusion in the Media Industry

Analysis: Diversity and Inclusion in the Media Industry

FEBRUARY 21, 2019

On the occasion of the upcoming Academy Awards, ISS ESG takes a deeper look at the current state of corporate management regarding harassment, diversity and inclusion in the media industry, based on ISS-oekom Corporate Rating sand ISS-ethix’s Norm-Based Research. Are media companies showing an “Oscar-worthy” performance or are they more likely to receive a “Golden Raspberry?”


  • Diversity and inclusion are widely acknowledged by investor and industry initiatives (such as the Responsible Media Forum and SASB) as material issues for the media sector.
  • The industry’s average diversity management performance is slightly better relative to most of other relevant industries (defined as those for which SASB considers diversity and inclusion to be material). However, in absolute terms, there is still much room for improvement.
  • In fact, the share of media companies facing ongoing discrimination-related allegations is particularly high. Following #MeToo, the industry seems to be under particular scrutiny.
  • The absence of measurable progress towards more effective diversity management continues to pose material financial risks for media companies and their investors – both in the short term and in the long term.
  • Responsible investors are well advised to continue monitoring and engaging with media companies on these issues as part of their own risk mitigation efforts.

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