WarnerMedia Equity & Inclusion
diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) as moral and
business imperatives. As
a company of storytellers and journalists, we have
a responsibility to make sure we have a collection
of voices and people whose stories reflect —and
connect with— the global audiences we serve.
We use our global position in media and entertainment to push for and co-create a more inclusive industry. As corporate citizens, we know we must maximize our considerable resources in storytelling to address inequities that exist in our society head on with compassion, urgency and specificity.
In 2018, WarnerMedia was the first to announce a production Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy. Since then, partnering with production companies, networks, guilds, unions, talent agencies and others in the industry, the company works to ensure that there is greater inclusion of underrepresented groups including women, people of color, the LGBTQIA community, and those with disabilities both in front of and behind the camera. In 2019, we released our first DEI report.
early 2020, a key differentiator for
WarnerMedia’s DEI strategy was created when
Haubegger, WarnerMedia’s Chief Equity
& Inclusion Officer and
Global Head of Communications & Marketing, assembled
her team of best-in-class senior professionals from
our industry. The team’s focus was
build upon the company’s equity mindset by
implementing a comprehensive strategy to address
all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion across
our workforce, programs, content, suppliers and
leadership team includes three Equity & Inclusion
Horne, who works to align our diversity investments
and programs, collaborating with all WarnerMedia
business units on existing initiatives, as well
as expanding our efforts in new areas; Samata
who is responsible for building innovative tools
and global systems across the company to help facilitate
the advancement of diversity in our storytelling;
Shelton, who works closely with the Human Resources
team and our business units to root our inequities
and create consistent measurements, practices, and
systems to achieve our workforce goals.
weeks after Haubegger announced her leadership team
and explained the mission of the Equity & Inclusion
Team, the world changed again. The death of George
Floyd pushed racial tensions in America from a simmer
to a boil. That’s when WarnerMedia
Jason Kilar, less than a month in his new
role, committed the organization to openly and intentionally
address the collective social trauma and listen
to our Black colleague’s experiences. Equity
& Inclusion modified its 2020 programming and
worked with Kilar to create a tailored framework
to support this effort.
kicked off this commitment with Kilar’s town
hall event entitled “Listen Understand &
Act: A Conversation on Race”, leveraging voices
from the academic, therapeutic, and social justice
arenas and most importantly, from
our employee base. The open dialogue during the
town hall allowed co-workers to share experiences
in a deeply honest and personal manner and encouraged
these types of conversations to continue.
Listen Understand Act (LUA) platform is
now a company-wide initiative and series that also
the workforce with tools, information and support,
including facilitated listening sessions, fostering
a pathway for honest and supportive connections.
started with small groups led by organizational
psychologist and thought leader John Amaechi
Kira Banks, a psychologist who worked with the
City of Ferguson, MO, after the Michael Brown shooting
in 2014. The response has been incredible. Within
a short time, these Listening Sessions, were being
conducted across the entire organization—
from the writers’ rooms to our talent in front
of the camera and crews behind-the-scenes.
the Listening Sessions, participants are
to “learn out loud” without fear of
reprisals, and without putting the onus on the only
person from an underrepresented group to speak representatively
for their entire demographic. Moreover, in growing
recognition of identity as a partisan issue, additional
Listening Sessions were held for employees with
professional guidance to learn how to navigate
hyper-polarized election and work across differences.
The success of the facilitated listening sessions led to the creation of a series called Equity Mindset for Creative Leaders to raise awareness about potential inequities on productions that could shape content.
key learning from WarnerMedia’s work in 2020
is that empathy must be the linchpin of our enterprise
inclusion efforts. True equity needs focused attention
on addressing people’s needs. The transforming
of our workforce and culture requires a strategic
investment in diverse creatives and storytellers.
An open environment where people can exchange ideas
and tell more authentic stories would also have
to be cultivated in order to resonate with our global
As Warner Media looks forward to 2021, we believe the efforts in 2020 have established a listening culture that will continue to grow. Equity and inclusion remain key to innovation, creativity and more representative storytelling. WarnerMedia unequivocally stands with marginalized communities. We recognize that racism, inequality, violence and hatred are real, and those realities impact every one of us. As storytellers, as journalists and as citizens, we have a unique responsibility to deepen our individual and collective understanding, as well as to act. We prioritize equity, breaking barriers and a human-centered approach.
As industry leaders, we are determined to set the standard for empathy and transparency. We use our position in the global media ecosystem to make the industry more inclusive and representative, while recognizing that work is never complete.
For more information visit www.warnermedia.com/