The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media announced today that it is the recipient of a $75,000 grant from the Nielsen Foundation to support ongoing research and advocacy initiatives surrounding representation in entertainment and media.

Founded by Academy Award Winning Actor Geena Davis, The Geena Davis Institute has worked to mitigate unconscious bias while creating equality, fostering inclusion and reducing negative stereotyping in entertainment and media since 2004. As a top global research-based organization, the Institute provides direct guidance and thought leadership on increasing representation across gender, race/ethnicity, LGBTQIA+, disability, age, and body type.

“The Nielsen Foundation has been honored to support The Geena Davis Institute’s critical work since 2017 to use data to better understand representation in entertainment and media,” said Andrea Bertels, President and Executive Director, Grantmaking, Nielsen Foundation. “We can’t wait to see how the next phase of research will continue to foster a more inclusive media future.”

The Nielsen Foundation’s mission is to power and advance inclusive innovation and representation in the media and technology industries, particularly through data and research.

“Our research is rooted in our passion for making media more reflective of the diverse world we live in,” said Madeline Di Nonno, President and CEO of the Geena Davis Institute. “We are so grateful to the Nielsen Foundation for recognizing the alignment of our missions and supporting us in these efforts so that we can continue to influence change for years to come.”

The grant will support the Institute’s annual report on representation and inclusion in children’s television and accompanying Symposium events throughout 2024.

Findings from the 2023 report revealed:

Only 44% of leads in new shows being made for kids are female
Only 42% of animated characters are female, compared to 58% male
Lead characters of color are at a record high of 56%

“The findings uncovered by these extensive studies result in significant improvements across media,” said Di Nonno. “This grant will enable us to further explore these topics and strengthen our recommendations for decision makers.”

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