“When I look on my social media—and I'm following so many people from the disability community—[these creators] are so amazing, and they have phenomenal content and skills producing that content,” she said. “And creators are an essential element of what we do in marketing today. If you’re building brands in the era of platforms, there is no way you can do it without influencers or creators.”
In both the U.S. and the U.K., the number of people with disabilities working in production is far less than the portion of the population they represent. According to a 2021 report from the Creative Diversity Network, which Unilever cites in its Inclusive Production Toolkit, just 6% of production crew members across the U.K. are people with disabilities, despite making up 18% of the country’s total population.
And in the U.S., where people with disabilities comprise about 26% of the population, one in three of them feel underrepresented in the media, and over half feel misrepresented, per a 2022 Nielsen study.
“It is so important that everybody recognizes themselves in the stories that we absorb on TV, in advertisements and online,” said Henry Smith, co-founder and CEO of Taste Creative, an Australian film producer that partners with creators with disabilities, in Unilever’s Inclusive Production Toolkit. “When people with disabilit[ies] regularly do not see people that look and sound like them, they are subconsciously told that they do not fit and do not matter.”