Latinos remain overrepresented in the media industry and are more likely to hold service roles, according to the Government Accountability Office’s (GOA) latest report on Latino representation in film, television and other publishing entities.
GOA’s 2021 study found that Latinos make up 12 percent of media workers and 4 percent of industry management, despite making up 18 percent of the total U.S. workforce.
This latest report, released Wednesday, provides a broader analysis of data on Latino representation in the media industry over the past decade and offers solutions that federal agencies can take to help increase diversity in the industry. The Latino population in the media industry grew by 1% from 2010 to 2019, compared to a slightly higher 3% representation in all other sectors, according to the report.
“This invisibility means that Americans do not know who Latinos are or how we have contributed to our nation’s success. This year’s report will be a call to action for greater representation of Latinos in the media and to allow the Latino narrative to finally become part of the broader American narrative,” said Representative Joaquin Castro of Texas, who led the congressional effort to investigate the state of diversity in the media.
The findings, released Wednesday, are part of the second part of the GAO report. Last year, the agency released its first report, in which researchers analyzed Hispanic representation by media industry and profession. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus asked the GAO to investigate the matter in 2020.
The initial report, Castro said in a statement, “sparked a national spotlight on the industry’s failure to recruit and retain talented Latinos.”
The media industry is responsible for informing the American public and influencing the way we think about the world and other people, making it essential that society represents diverse viewpoints from top to bottom, the report says.
Media companies also have a financial incentive to promote representational parity.
A Nielsen report last month revealed that Latino viewers spent more time behind the camera and in front of the camera on shows that featured Latino representation.
When Latinos find work in the media industry, they are often segregated into service roles. 19% of Latinos working in the media are service workers, compared to 3% in senior management roles, the report said.
Latinos have even greater disparities in industry representation. The only roles where men are overrepresented are news analysts/journalists and writers/authors, with men outnumbering men by just 1% in both sectors, according to the report.
A small group of industry group researchers and representatives, union members and members of Hispanic nonprofits identified in the report several challenges Latinos face in obtaining jobs in the industry (such as financial and educational barriers), but most stakeholders said it is limited. access to professional networks in particular had adverse effects.
The federal government’s enforcement of anti-discrimination and equal employment opportunity laws may also be to blame, researchers say. The report makes recommendations that federal agencies can take to mitigate this disparity, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filing discrimination reports with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which can conduct inspections and remove penalties from previously flagged companies. former agency