New Adobe Study Points Out the Creative Industry’s Diversity Problem

November 3, 2017

10:50 am

Diversity concerns plague the tech world in flavors ranging from sexism to racism to ageism. But in order to understand and address any of it, leaders in the tech community must be willing to take a hard look at the facts rather than repeat buzzwords they know people want to hear. That’s why diversity studies — and the broader context they offer — are useful.

Diversity in the Creative World

A new study, out today from Adobe, takes a look at the creative side of the business world. Turns out it’s got some impressive diversity problems of its own.

“The study found that only 55 percent of respondents classified as people of color agreed with the statement that ‘People I work with value my contributions,’ compared with 63 percent of white respondents. Meanwhile, 63 percent selected ‘strongly agree’ to the statement ‘I can be myself at work,’ compared with 70 percent of white respondents,” Ad Week reported on the survey’s findings.

But more troubling is the institutional disinterest in aiding individuals of color across the board.

“Sixty-five percent [of people of color] cited ‘Lack of sponsorship from a senior-level advocate’ as a barrier to advancement, compared to 53 percent among white respondents, while 62 percent cited a lack of support from management, compared with 49 percent among white respondents,” Ad Week added.

Why Context Matters

You’ll need to understand these structural issues in order to grasp why diversity isn’t just a meaningless politically correct term. Out of this context, calls for Affirmative Action-esque pushes to give people of color or other minorities a leg up seem unfair and even discriminatory. Within this context, however, that course of action becomes more clear: It’s a tangible action aimed at righting an already lopsided system. Only with the full context of an industry’s current state can we identify the right response, and hopefully many more surveys like this Adobe one are on their way.

Image: WOCinTech

Read more about the march towards tech diversity here at TechCo

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Adam is a writer with an interest in a variety of mediums, from podcasts to comic books to video essays to novels to blogging — too many, basically. He's based out of Seattle, and remains a staunch defender of his state's slogan: "sayWA." In his spare time, he recommends articles about science fiction on Twitter, @AdamRRowe

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