Challenges to Advancement in the BIPOC Community

There is no denying that the BIPOC community is underrepresented in the industries that drive the creative economy, even as the United States becomes more diverse than ever. Statistically, only 18% of arts and design jobs and 21.3% of business and management jobs are held by people of color. Yet, there is no support system in place for people of color to learn about the creative industries as a viable career choice—to be encouraged, trained, or mentored—from the earliest stages of education to college preparation to entering into the workplace.

As a result, there is limited understanding of the careers that drive the creative economy and equally limited exposure to BIPOC leaders within the myriad creative industries. Further, the affordability of attending institutions that prepare people for such careers, which are concentrated in expensive cities and metro areas, is a practical concern for many BIPOC students considering a college education; many think that building a career in the creative industry is a luxury. The same is true among BIPOC professionals already in these same fields—affordability and financial support, as well as representation, are the top themes that are identified when asked about the challenges they face.

FIT can better serve BIPOC individuals and drive innovation in the creative industries by tackling diversity issues across the whole career life stage. We will build a pipeline and encourage BIPOC youth to explore the creative industries; nurture their precollege development, college education, and early career; and create pathways for success that lead directly to executive experience and senior management.

FIT has the intellectual capital, the reputation, and the industry network to help transform the pathway to success in the creative industries and ensure that opportunities are equitable for all those who want to pursue a successful career. That is the promise and opportunity of the Social Justice Center at FIT.