Netflix’s Diversity Crusade Seems to be Working

Netflix Diversity BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of Deadline.

The past year was not only marked by the devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was also twelve months in which the struggle to finally dismantle systemic racism intensified as it had not been seen since the Civil Rights struggle.

The clamor of the people in the streets was not only reduced to the Black Lives Matter movement against police violence, but also to holding accountable those who have the power of fair representation on the platforms.

And there is no one bigger at this point than Netflix.

After expanding diversity in front of the cameras, the streaming giant has put all its effort into ensuring a “culture of freedom and responsibility” that guarantees inclusiveness in its workforce.

In its latest 2021 inclusion report, Netflix states that “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.”

According to their current snapshot of diversity data, women make up half of Netflix’s workforce (47.1%), including at the leadership level: directors and above (47.8%), vice presidents (43.7%), and senior leadership (47.6%).

Similarly, nearly half of its 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.

Netflix’s number of Black employees in the country doubled in the last three years to 8% of its workforce and 9% of its leadership (director level and above).

This goes along with its overall growth, which has improved immeasurably since 2017. They had 3,300 full-time employees during that year, and last year they were up to 8,000 employees. 

However, the report isn’t reflective of the diversity or representation in Netflix’s content. 

Though last year’s civil unrest caused by the death of George Floyd forced the platform to quickly put together a  specific genre named ‘Black stories,’ Netflix has renewed their commitment to increasing diversity by creating inclusion teams as well as increasing its recruiting efforts. 

Netflix wants to prioritize its inclusion efforts in the Hispanic and Latinx community in the future. Outside of America, the company continues to expand its inclusivity efforts by building teams that measure inclusion. These tools are meant not just for hiring purposes but also for retention, promotion, tenure, and compensation. 

Though the numbers do not look as significant for the Latinx community, it is a big step up for Black employees. Even more impressive is that the diversity teams they have corrected were created before 2020, a year where companies could no longer look away from their lack of internal problems and systemic racism. 

Let’s hope for more inclusivity for the next three years to come.