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WarnerMedia diversity report

WarnerMedia: fewer on-screen roles for women in Warner Bros.’ films

WarnerMedia’s Equity and Inclusion report for 2020-21 shows some progress in the company’s effort to build a more diverse workforce and a more inclusive talent-base for its productions. However, representation of women in on-screen roles at Warner Bros. Pictures films has declined.

For WarnerMedia’s total workforce, the numbers were little changed from the company’s 2019 and 2018 benchmarks on gender, race and ethnicity. One of the positive developments reported is that women accounted for more than half of the senior leadership promotions in 2020-21.

On the production side, WarnerMedia has seen overall stronger growth in representation for women and people of color in behind-the-camera roles than it has with on-screen roles. The report stated that while most on-screen diversity improved from 2019, women accounted for 30% of the on-screen roles in Warner Bros. Pictures projects, a decline of 4% from the prior year.

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This came as women were greater represented on-screen across all of WarnerMedia’s U.S.-based productions, with 28%, an improvement of 5% from 2019.


According to the report, the 30,000-person global WarnerMedia workforce is 54% male and 46% female, with that same ratio appearing at the senior leadership level, unchanged from 2018. Women accounted for 48% of management roles and 45% of non-management roles. 

The progress is more obvious when it comes to promotions within the company. The report says that women accounted for 52% of senior leadership promotions in 2020-21, 49% of management, and 44% of non-management elevations.

In terms of race and ethnicity within the WarnerMedia workforce, the numbers are also largely unchanged from 2018, although the percentage of white employees has dropped 3% to 58%. 12% of the total workforce is Black, 12% is Asian American and 11% is Hispanic/Latinx. 

That disparity grows when moving up the leadership chain. In leadership positions the percentage of White employees is higher, at 72%, with 10% being Asian American, only 7% being Black and 6% Hispanic/Latinx. The ratio is similar at the management level: 61% are white, followed by Asian Americans (14%), Black (9%) and Hispanic/Latinix (9%). Non-management roles are 54% white, 15% Black, 13% Hispanic/Latinx and 11% Asian American.

The most progress in new hires and promotions was recorded at the senior leadership level. Notably, the share of hires and promotions within senior leadership going to Black leaders was 12%, five points higher than their share of representation at that level. “This is a start. We’ll keep working across the enterprise to ensure equity at all levels,” Warner Media says.


In terms of on-screen representation, 36% were women, up 2% from 2019, and 29% were people of color, up 5% from 2019. As for behind-the-scenes representation, 28% were women, up 5% from 2019, 29% people of color, up 6% from 2019.


The study found that Warner Bros. Pictures’ on-screen representation was 30% women, down 4% from 2019 while 29% were people of color, up 5% from 2019. Behind-the-camera, 27% women, up 4% from 2019 while 27% were people of color, up 4% from 2019.


In Animation, 4% of animated protagonists in development at Cartoon Network are female, while 52% of lead characters in development at Warner Bros. Animation are female.


As part of its efforts to enable more equity, inclusion and diversity, the company launched this year WarnerMedia Fellows with an inaugural U.S. cohort of 75 SVPs who identify as Black, Asian American, Latinx or multiracial. This six-month program was designed to generate both individual growth and collective transformation by providing executives of color access to resources and information that support their career advancement, increase their visibility to each other and other leaders, resulting in more opportunities to shape the future.

Warner Media also says it’s using the power of its content to open the industry. Through the “Game of Thrones” prequel, “House of the Dragon,” they’re offering two director mentorships, apprenticeships, 10 camera assistant traineeships and three virtual production stage assistant paid placements in the U.K. They’ve also partnered with ScreenSkills in the U.K. to support 20 apprenticeships for production assistants and assistant production accountants.

” Our aspiration is to have the safest, most inclusive sets in the world,” WarnerMedia states. “We’re setting the standard and supporting our productions to ensure talent is the primary predictor of success, everyone on set is treated with dignity, and our sets and stories are as diverse as the people who watch them — establishing equity and inclusion as business imperatives, from pitch to post-production.”

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