Just as identity-hidden recruitment practices can result in a more diverse workforce, identity-hidden script submissions can result in a more diverse field of material for consideration – and counteract the potential bias of readers.
When preparing script submissions for readers, remove cover pages – or block out certain details, including name and representation / WGA status. Likewise, when reviewing resumes or other personal submission materials, block out gender, age, education, and years of experience, which research has shown are unhelpful in predicting employee performance.
Samantha Bee, along with executive producer Jo Miller, used a blind application process to staff the writers’ room of her late-night show Full Frontal with Samantha Bee. This method resulted in a 50 percent female and 30 percent BIPOC writing staff with varied experience levels. The show has climbed 71 percent in its ratings among adults 18-34 and 92 percent among 18-49-year-olds in its first year, and it enjoys a 100 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes.Read More
In the 1970s, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (TSO) was made up of almost all white male musicians. The TSO recognized that they had a diversity problem, so in 1980, they changed their hiring tactics when auditioning prospective members.
“They put a screen in front of the actual people who were looking to hire people in this orchestra, so all they heard was the music that was being played–-and the decisions they made from that hiring method meant that an all-white male orchestra moved to half-female, half-male, and with a lot more diversity,” says Azmat Mohammed, director general of the Institute of Recruiters.“They got a brilliant result in terms of the sound they wanted for their orchestra and, at the same time, the diversity, which clearly was an issue and which is how they ended up with an all-white male orchestra in the first place, was diverted.”
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