Diversity – or lack thereof – is all over the news these days. And the picture does not look good.
Diversity in corporate America: A new study says companies that have women executives are more profitable – and yet few companies do. Less than 5 percent of 21,980 firms surveyed had a female CEO. Also, the consulting firm Accenture is making waves by releasing internal data on company demographics (half of its employees are white, 64 percent are men) and announcing a plan to pay bonuses for helping recruit minorities.
Diversity in government: A new report criticizes the Federal Reserve for being too white and too male. It says 83 percent of the Fed’s board members are white. Current Chairwoman Janet Yellen is its first female leader.
Diversity in politics: The campaigns of Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have been sparring over female supporters, as controversial comments by Madeleine Albright and Gloria Steinem about female Sanders supporters made headlines. Now the race is “about to get racial,” as the candidates compete for nonwhite voters in primary states with a lot of them. That’s seen as Clinton’s strong suit, though Sanders just got a couple of endorsements from prominent black intellectuals.
Diversity in Hollywood: The #OscarsSoWhite controversy rages on, with a very white photo op and an offer to boycott the Academy Awards by nominee Sylvester Stallone. A new study found an increase in female characters in 2015 movies, to 22 percent (think “Star Wars,” “Mad Max” and “The Hunger Games”) but no bump up for women of color. Meanwhile, Samantha Bee takes on diversity in late-night TV, which is usually very white and very male.
Diversity in the media: The new breed of digital news organizations seem vexed by the same problem that dogs their legacy forebears: They’re mostly white, according to a story in the International Business Times, which is itself 75 percent white. But Fusion, apparently, is an exception.
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How America is failing at diversity just about everywhere
Will Evans is a senior reporter and producer for Reveal, covering labor and tech. His reporting has prompted government investigations, legislation, reforms and prosecutions. A series on working conditions at Amazon warehouses was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and won a Gerald Loeb Award. His work has also won multiple Investigative Reporters and Editors Awards, including for a series on safety problems at Tesla. Other investigations have exposed secret spying at Uber, illegal discrimination in the temp industry and rampant fraud in California's drug rehab system for the poor. Prior to joining The Center for Investigative Reporting in 2005, Evans was a reporter at The Sacramento Bee. He is based in Reveal's Emeryville, California, office.