Licensing International to Unveil Findings from Landmark Global Study of Diversity and Inclusion in the Licensing Industry

Research will be used as a baseline to measure improvement within the brand licensing industry and will also inform the development of resources to help companies advance inclusion and diversity in their workplaces.

NEW YORK, NY – Licensing International – the leading trade association for the brand licensing industry – will unveil the findings of the first-ever global study of diversity in the licensing industry in a special webinar Monday, August 3 at 9 am PDT / Noon EDT. The study, which was conducted by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University, was commissioned by Licensing International’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) Committee in February. Licensing International will use the research to benchmark the industry and evaluate progress in the years ahead. The study also serves as the starting point for development of a Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit, providing guidance and resources for companies as they tackle this important issue.

The study is part of the ongoing work of the Licensing International IDEA committee, which is sponsored by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), with additional support provided by Sony Pictures, Sybo Games and USAopoly.

“The findings of this study bear out what I think we all already know – there is work to be done when it comes to ensuring inclusivity and equal representation across our industry,” says Maura Regan, President, Licensing International. “This is a moral and a business imperative. Our goal is to provide the leaders of our industry with the knowledge and tools they need to take action and change the status quo. Sharing the findings of our research is just the first step in that process.”

“We applaud Licensing International for taking a leadership role by committing to this groundbreaking research, which can serve as a blueprint as they build a more inclusive and equitable environment for their members,” said Madeline Di Nonno, CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media. “Given the global reach and impact that the licensing industry has on consumers, and particularly children, embracing and building a culture of cultural equity and inclusion will drive relevant strategies around product development which will ultimately benefit our global society.”

Licensing International member companies from around the world participated in the study, and their responses were combined with supplemental research and data analysis by the Geena Davis Institute. Key learnings include:

  • 30.2% of survey respondents report that their organization has a D&I program.
  • 17.8% of small organizations (1-50 employees) have a D&I program, compared with 67.5% of large organizations (501+ employees).
  • In the U.S., people of color account for 38% of the population, but only 13.5% of CEOs among member organizations.
  • Women make up 51% of the global population, yet 24% of member organization CEOs are female, compared with 76% who are male.

The full results will be presented by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University in a free webinar Monday, August 3 at 9 am PDT / Noon EDT. The event will also include a discussion about the path forward with experts and corporate leaders. Licensing International’s new Diversity & Inclusion Toolkit will be made available after the event and is also being shared with a number of other related trade associations.

Formed last June, the Licensing International IDEA committee, chaired by Jamie Stevens, Sony Pictures Entertainment EVP of Consumer Products and Licensing, also plans to launch a diversity recruitment program that will attract and grows a diverse talent pool to brand licensing right out of college. Through partnerships with universities, Licensing International aims to develop and implement a targeted internship program, formalized mentorship opportunities and quarterly speaker series.


About Licensing International
Licensing International is the leading trade organization for the global licensing industry. Licensing International’s mission is to foster the growth and expansion of licensing around the world, raise the level of professionalism for licensing practitioners, and create greater awareness of the benefits of licensing to the business community at large. Founded in 1985, Licensing International members in over 40 countries enjoy access to an array of benefits. Visit for more information.

About the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media at Mount Saint Mary’s University
Founded by Academy Award winning actor Geena Davis, the Institute works collaboratively within the entertainment and media industries to achieve systemic cultural equity and inclusion onscreen. We are the only research-based organization examining representation of six identities: gender, race, LGBTQ+, disability, age, and body size. Read more information on our research tools, trainings and impact.

Media Contact
Licensing International
Nicole Silberstein