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Inclusion Takes Root at Netflix: Our First Report

13/01/2021

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Inclusion Takes Root at Netflix: Our First Report Vern Myers

VP of Inclusion Strategy

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13 January 2021

GlobalUnited States

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The night before my eighth birthday, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated and I saw my father cry for the first time. My family and community were rocked, and I can trace back my calling to work on inclusion and equity to that night. I decided to live King's dream.

I eventually became a beneficiary of that dream, so I made sure it wasn't in vain. For decades, as a consultant, I helped companies remove barriers for people from underrepresented and excluded communities. That path finally led me here to Netflix in 2018, when I joined forces with a company that had so much influence on which stories get told and by who.

We started by listening to Netflix employees about how it was to work here. The company added inclusion as a cultural value in 2017, but here's what we found: we weren't as great as we thought we were, or aspired to be. And over these last two years, our inclusion team has been building a foundation, sowing the seeds for inclusion to take root within the company.

Today, we're sharing what we've been working on with Netflix's first inclusion report. Here, we'll provide a snapshot of representation within the company, how we plan to increase it, and how we cultivate a community of belonging and allyship.

What inclusion unlocks

Let's begin with why inclusion and diversity matter at Netflix. A lot has been written about our culture of freedom and responsibility. Yet the most important thing we've learned is that when you pair that culture with diversity and inclusion - it unlocks our ability to innovate, to be creative, to solve problems. It breaks up group think. It brings different lived experiences and perspectives to a problem, so that we're no longer solving them in old ways. And, we're able to better entertain our current and future members.

Our inclusion strategy team can't do this alone. We need everyone to contribute. Each employee needs to look at every issue, decision, and meeting, inside and outside the company with inclusion in mind. We call this an inclusion lens, where employees ask questions like, whose voice is missing? Who is being excluded? Are we portraying this authentically?

When we get that right (more on that later), magic is possible. We're uplifting stories about Black British lives. We're chronicling the life of a gay man with cerebral palsy on TV, a first. We're moving some of our cash into Black banks. Inclusion is at the heart of so many of these moments, and we've asked employees to tell you how they came together in this video. Please take a look:

Illustrations by Ndubisi Okoye. Featured in order of appearance: Vern Myers, vice president of inclusion strategy; Ted Sarandos, co-CEO and chief content officer; Bozoma Saint John, chief marketing officer; Kabi Gishuru, director of inclusion recruiting programs; Aaron Mitchell, HR director for Netflix Animation; Rochelle King, vice president of creative production; Aaron Lynch, creative marketing manager; Frances Abebreseh, communications manager; Haydn Palmer, creative assistant; Gena-mour Barrett, editorial and publishing manager; and Cole Galvin, director of content acquisition.

The examples in this video only scratch the surface. We'll create more of them if more of our employees come from different backgrounds. As our co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos explains: inclusion on-screen starts with inclusion in our internal community. This report will cover the work we do internally at Netflix, and it starts with being transparent about the numbers.

Representation by the Numbers

Since 2013, we've published diversity data quarterly on our jobs site. Here's the current snapshot:

Women make up half of our workforce (47.1%), including at the leadership level: directors and above (47.8%), vice presidents (43.7%) and senior leadership (47.6%).

Nearly half of our U.S. workforce (46.4%) and leadership (42.0%, director level and above) are made up of people from one or more underrepresented racial and/or ethnic backgrounds, including Black, Latinx or Hispanic, Indigenous, Middle Eastern, Asian, and Pacific Islander backgrounds.

The number of Black employees in the U.S. doubled in the last three years to 8% of our workforce and 9% of our leadership (director level and above).

Data as of October 2020, at approximately 8,000 full time streaming employees. Leadership is defined as employees in director, vice president, and executive officer roles. Illustration by Ndubisi Okoye.We've made good progress over the last three years. You can dig into the trends in the footnotes. But let's be clear, we're not where we want to be and we need to do better. We have a lot of work to do to attract more underrepresented folks to our company. So we've created a team and plan to do that.

Increasing Representation

We rely on every recruiter, every leader, and every employee to invite more voices into Netflix. But it takes coordinated effort to do this well. Kabi Gishuru heads the inclusion recruiting programs team at Netflix, which helps us look at gaps in representation and find ways to narrow them now and in the long term. Some of the highlights of this work:

Hiring more inclusively: Recruiters play a vital role in finding candidates, interacting with them, and advising hiring managers. The inclusion recruiting programs team built a training curriculum to do this more inclusively, with topics like: spotting bias in the interview process, sourcing candidates in non-traditional ways, and helping hiring managers identify the perspectives missing on their teams. More than 200 people o
LINK: https://about.netflix.com/en/news/netflix-inclusion-report-2021...
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