According to a report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, Latino representation in the media industry is low and has increased by only a small amount in recent years. Representative Joaquín Castro, who requested the report along with other members of the Hispanic Caucus, said the findings call for intervention at the federal level.
The report estimates that from 2010 to 2019, the percentage of Latino media workers increased from 11% to 12% – compared to an estimated increase of 15% to 18% for Latino workers in other sectors.
According to the 2020 census report, Latinos make up 18.9% of the US population, and the report estimates that they comprise about 17% of the civilian workforce.
The term “media worker” includes people who work in television, film, news and other publications, including actors, camera operators, and journalists.
“It is worrying that we are still talking about this issue of underrepresentation of Hispanic media,” Sonia Perez, CEO of Latino non-profit advocacy organization Unidos, said in a press conference on Wednesday.
The film, television and news industries have been criticized over the years for their lack of diversity in their workforce, including discrepancies in gender equality and access to management opportunities.
The report found that between 2015 and 2019, Latina women made up an estimated 3% of the media workforce, compared to 7% for Latino men.
Looking at similar data sets, the report found that while Latino workers make up an estimated 19% of service workers in the industry, they comprise only an estimated 4% of senior and executive management employees.
“The media industry is failing the Latino community at a time when Hispanics are in many ways the future of the country,” Perez said.
Castro, a Texas Democrat, told CBS News that most of the solution should come from the government and companies that have been resistant to diversifying their workforce.
“There should be a strong discrimination enforcement from the federal government and from corporations,” Castro said.
The report recommends that the Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) share data about allegations of discrimination against media companies and ensure that local unions share the demographics of their members. .
“My office is sending a letter to the FCC and EEOC asking them to move quickly to implement the recommendations,” Castro said.
Such calls for diversity are expected to increase as the Latino population in the US continues to grow. According to a forecast by the US Census Bureau, by 2060, Latinos will make up 28% of the population.
“This is a community that not only deserves to be invisible, but cannot really afford to be invisible to the country,” said Representative Castro.