News Archive

December 15, 2022

Teen Vogue: TV Diversity Still Has a Long Way to Go, Darker-Skinned Women Still the Most Underrepresented On-Screen

On-screen diversity and representation has progressed so much over the last few decades — but what about the last decade in particular? It seems like the diversity gaps are closing, but more quickly for some demographics than others.

Google Research in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute and the University of Southern California revealed findings from a study on TV representation for scripted television shows from 2010 through 2021, in efforts to shed light on the status of inclusion and representation on TV in the United States and its evolution over the past 12 years.

“To move the needle, we need greater acceleration [of screen time for female characters] to achieve parity with male characters, conscious casting to consider a broad range of skin tones for both live action and animated characters, and more diverse storytellers behind the scenes,” Madeline Di Nonno, President and CEO of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media tells Teen Vogue. “Eliminating unconscious bias starts with a script! When there are diverse storytellers behind the scenes, there will be more diverse and inclusive characters on-screen. It is imperative that creative executives use an intersectional gender lens when evaluating all the characters being shown on screen regardless of whether they are a lead, co-lead, or minor character.”

Read the Full Article at Teen Vogue

October 13, 2022

Licensing International and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media Reveal New Data on Inclusion in the Global Licensing Industry

Licensing International, in partnership with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Netflix, hosted a live event yesterday to announce the results of the 2022 Global Study of Diversity in Licensing. The new data was presented by Madeline Di Nonno, President and CEO of GDI, at the Netflix offices in Los Angeles, California.

The 2022 study, which analyzed findings from two global surveys of Licensing International members, examined the effect the pandemic had on diversity and inclusion initiatives in the industry with a focus on employee retention.

Read the Full Press Release for notable findings or Download the Study.

October 11, 2022

The LEGO Group Invites Girls to Stay Curious in STEAM Subjects on International Day of the Girl

The LEGO Group marks International Day of the Girl with a new campaign to encourage girls to stay curious about STEAM subjects and careers. New and sobering statistics from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and the LEGO Group show girls are still discouraged from STEAM fields from a young age when play is often gender stereotyped.

For example, one statistic in the Geena Davis Institute LEGO Creativity Study shows 80% of boys are encouraged to code at a young age, compared with only 20% of girls*. Furthermore, when asked, children as young as six think girls don’t like science. These misconceptions extend into the teen years and adulthood and contribute to the gender gap within STEAM related careers**.

To help combat these misconceptions, the LEGO Group is launching an online campaign called “Let’s Keep them Curious!” that includes 5 STEAM play activities which aim to inspire parents to continue to nurture girls’ interests in STEAM by exploring fun LEGO brick challenges.

Read the Full Press Release

August 25, 2022

Order Geena’s New Book!

Institute Founder Geena Davis’ hilarious and candid memoir Dying of Politeness is available October 11, 2022 from HarperOne Books! It’s the tale of her “journey to badassery” — culminating in helping to lead the way to gender parity in Hollywood.

Order yours today!

August 15, 2022

Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media to Receive the 2022 Governors Award

(LOS ANGELES – Aug. 15, 2022) — The Television Academy today announced the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, the leading organization on gender equality, as the 2022 Governors Award recipient in recognition of their efforts to promote gender balance and foster inclusion throughout the entertainment industry.

The Governors Award honors an individual, company or organization that has made a profound, transformational and long-lasting contribution to the arts and/or science of television.

Founded in 2004 by Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, the Institute is the only research-based organization working collaboratively within the entertainment industry to create gender balance, advocate for inclusion and reduce negative stereotyping in family entertainment media.

The organization believes representation of characters in media should, in aggregate, reflect the population of the world, which is half female and very diverse. They advise the industry that global culture change is especially important for children who need diverse, intersectional representation in the programming they watch so they are not unwittingly taught to absorb unconscious bias.

“Since 2004, the institute has been fighting for equality and representation, long before it was comfortable to take that stand. The Television Academy is honored to add the organization to the prestigious list of recipients,” said Governors Award selection committee co-Chair Kim Taylor-Coleman. “The institute’s work continues to result in real-world changes that have an impact far beyond the soundstages and locations we show up at every day,” added committee co-Chair Michael Spiller.

“We are incredibly honored to receive this award from the Board of Governors in recognition of our work. We know that in many sectors of our society true gender equality may take many years to achieve, but there’s one space where parity can be reached virtually overnight: on screen,” said Geena Davis, founder and chair.

“Seeing oneself reflected in popular culture is enormously powerful. As we say, ‘If they can see it, they can be it,'” said Madeline Di Nonno, president and CEO.

Their data-driven research, education and advocacy has successfully influenced content creators to reimagine the media landscape to reflect the world we live in. They are the only public data institute to consistently analyze representations of the six major marginalized identities on screen: women; people of color; LGBTQIA+ individuals; people with disabilities; older persons (50+); and large-bodied individuals in global Film, Television, Advertising and Gaming.

The Institute shares their studies and best practices directly with content partners, which has powered significant change in content development at major networks, studios, production companies, guilds, agencies and corporations. Changes included an increase in female and diverse characters, the aspirations/occupations of female characters and their dialogue, and story development.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media was chosen by the Television Academy Board of Governors and will receive its Emmy statuette during the Emmy Awards ceremony on Monday, Sept. 12.

Previous recipients of the Governors Award, which debuted in 1978, include Debbie Allen, Tyler Perry, Star Trek, American Idol, William S. Paley, Hallmark Cards Inc., Masterpiece Theater, Comic Relief and PBS.

Read the Official Press Release

June 23, 2022

Announcing #GirlsLeadSTEM – A New, Collective Voice for STEM Equity

While women have made gains in STEM career fields (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), persistent gaps remain. The U.S. continues to fall short in empowering young women to lead the way, especially those who have been historically under-represented. Until now.

We are thrilled to announce that in October 2022, #GirlsLeadSTEM, a new national, multi-sector effort will elevate the diverse voices of young women and girls in STEM. Together, we will celebrate the girls who lead their STEM journeys and empower them to raise their voices to inspire each other and share their perspectives on what’s needed to close the gaps in STEM equity.

Throughout October, we will lead a social media campaign to amplify the diverse voices of girls involved in STEM projects and fields from across the U.S. Join us at

Get involved today:

  • Sign up to receive our monthly #GirlsLeadSTEM newsletter and stay informed!
  • Participate in #GirlsLeadSTEM month by sharing content using our hashtag. Contact us for Participating Partner guidelines.
  • Provide direct support for #GirlsLeadSTEM. Contact us for more ways to amplify the effort.

About #GirlsLeadSTEM
#GirlsLeadSTEM is the brainchild of a coalition of STEM champions committed to advancing gender and racial equity in STEM, including advocates from the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, Intel Corporation, Lyda Hill Philanthropies, STEM Next Opportunity Fund, Techbridge Girls and the National Girls Collaborative Project. Visit:

June 22, 2022

Mars Announces Progress in Drive to Increase Representation throughout Global Advertising

Mars, Incorporated has published key findings of a comprehensive audit of representation in its global advertising. Mars – the global pet care, food and confectionery business known for its suite of iconic brands like Pedigree, Ben’s Original, M&M’S, Royal Canin and Snickers – has partnered with the Geena Davis Institute (GDI) on Gender in the Media since 2018 to help the business measure representation and address bias in its marketing.

Madeline Di Nonno, President & CEO, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, said: “We are proud of our partnership with Mars and their commitment to taking a systematic approach to instituting diversity, equity and inclusion across their iconic brands and being transparent and accountable. There is more for the industry to do, but having data and insights, to measure and establish goals, is critical for progress.”

The research found that the business has made positive progress to increase representation and more specifically, female characters in its advertising, who made up 45% of characters last year. This is an increase of 11 percentage points since Mars first started auditing gender representation in 2018. The report also included other key statistics, so please see Mars’ press release for details.

Read the Full Press Release

May 03, 2022

Spellcheck for Bias receives Honorable Mention in Fast Company’s 2022 World Changing Ideas Awards

We’re excited to be recognized with our partners NBC Universal and USC Viterbi School of Engineering for Spellcheck for Bias. The media and entertainment category of Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Awards honors movies, books, videos, and other projects that expose issues or create actionable change.

Spellcheck for Bias, a collaboration between the Geena Davis Institute and the University of Southern California’s Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL), analyzes film and television scripts, manuscripts, and advertising briefs to create a breakdown of characters and dialogue.

By using Spellcheck for Bias to flag stereotypes, tropes and casting opportunities pertaining to Latino characters, NBC Universal was able to make adjustments to 20 percent of the scripts it tested during the tool’s pilot phase over the past year.

Read the Full List of Honorees

March 25, 2022

Discovery+ Empowered Women, Empower Women Event

Registration is now open for “Unapologetically You”, part of the Empowered Women, Empower Women series. This special event takes place online March 31, 2022 at 8am PT / 11am ET. Come join our panel, Tia White, Lisa Garnett-Willis, and the Institute’s Madeline Di Nonno, trailblazing leaders in technology and media as they unpack the journey to showing up unapologetically as their whole selves.

“Unapologetically You” is such a liberating sentiment. Showing up as our whole, authentic self. Living this sentiment, however, is much harder to achieve. We are explicitly and implicitly given queues on what ‘fits’ and is celebrated, the result of which is often internalizing these messages and shrinking parts of us that don’t fit the archetype. So, how do we overcome this and recognize those differences as our superpowers? Those are the questions we’ll explore during “Unapologetically You”, a conversation about the journey and impact of bringing your authentic self to work.

Register to Watch the Event Online

March 09, 2022

EDI Insights With #RaiseTheGame: Gender & Inclusion In Video Games

EDI Insights with #RaiseTheGame – a new series facilitated by the pledge aims to spotlight some of the academic and research work being done around EDI (Equality, Diversity & Inclusion), speak to the people behind such projects and have open discussions with industry professionals not only about the applications of use around such research but all things EDI related as well. The Geena Davis Institute’s President & CEO, Madeline Di Nonno, joined the first session on February 9, 2022.