Last week we had the pleasure of attending the Celebrating Women Creators event, organized by Build and Makers.com, focused on the growth of female leadership in the entertainment industry. Katie Couric moderated a panel that featured Katie Dippold, Jenni Konner and Lucia Aniello.
The entertainment industry has recently come under fire for its dismal record on diversity, including heavy criticism for the lack of people of color nominated for Oscars earlier this year. More recently, a report by Slated revealed striking disparities between women and men at virtually all levels of cinema in terms of representation, access to budgets and distribution.
When the moderator brought up the subject of diversity, Jenni Konner (of HBO’s Girls fame) made a strong statement: “ You have to mandate diversity, you can’t leave people to figure it out .” She explained that even if a filmmaker indicates they are open to any race and gender, the existing biases and imbalances in the industry mean that casting agents and recruiters will continue to present imbalanced pools of candidates. She pointed out that mandating diversity will require longer times for hiring and casting, but it’s the only way to make it work.
Read the full Forbes story here.