Media Unscripted Congress special: DEI in modern media

At the 44th FIPP World Media Congress earlier this month, Media Unscripted Host, Charlotte Ricca, spoke to a number of the event’s speakers about one of the key themes to come out of this year’s event: diversity, equality, and inclusion in media. The special episode of the FIPP Media Unscripted podcast, produced in partnership with PressReader, is now available on general release.

In a packed-out episode, Ricca hears the views of four female industry executives who spoke at the event:  

  • Yulia Boyle – FIPP Chair and National Geographic Partners Head of International Media, Image Collection & Business Affairs
  • Nkiru Balonwu – Founder and Creative Director of The Africa Soft Power Project
  • Tanya Isler – Director of Global Licensing, Netflix
  • Erica Lovett – Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Cartier North America

Providing an earnest assessment on where DEI in the industry is at today, FIPP Chair and National Geographic executive, Yulia Boyle, explained some of the steps that the association itself is taking to achieve more equal representation.

“As part of the BBC 5050 tracking scheme, we’ve already been able to achieve greater representation editorially, both in terms of female contributors and the subjects we cover,” says Boyle. “So we know that progress is also achievable at board level. FIPP’s board is still 78% male, and by 2024 I have made it my objective to double the number of females on that board.”

“This may seem like a little bit of a mathematical approach perhaps, but it’s also a deliberate approach, and if we don’t take it nothing will change. It’s also important to point out that this is not simply a box ticking exercise – there are economic benefits to companies engaging with more diverse consumer bases, and we’re leaving money on the table by not doing so.”

Nkiru Balownu, Founder and Creative Director of The Africa Soft Power Project, echoed the need for more deliberate action:

“From a female perspective, I don’t want to say we have it worse on the continent, because you and I both know that in terms of gender equality around the world, women still have to work harder to get the same as men. So being deliberate about changing that is really important.”

“Looking at DEI more specifically from an African perspective, to this day some people seem to forget that Africa is not a country, it’s a continent. Even on my way here, coming through Schiphol Ariport, I saw a bin saying ‘Donate your plastic bottles here so that Africans can have clean water – that really bugs me and that is NOT how I want to see the continent represented!”

It’s a fabulous episode delivered straight from the heart of Congress, and it’s now open to all here.


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