The television series It’s a Sin charts the lives of a group of gay friends living through the AIDS crisis in 1980s London. The show is heartbreaking, joyous and illuminating all at once. Released in 2021, it has quickly became Channel 4’s most streamed box set ever; more than 19 million people have watched it.
Russell T Davies, who wrote It’s a Sin, says a large part of its success was down to the decision to cast only gay actors in the lead roles (many were also relative newcomers). As Davies told the showbiz website Deadline: “There it is, staring you in the face: A gay, out cast. And I absolutely think you could feel it. I think you can feel that rising off the screen.”
One of those actors, Omari Douglas, explains what it was like to be part of that team. “There was definitely this raw energy that came from the fact that, for so many of us, it was our first experience. It contributed to this sort of liveliness and willingness to just chuck ourselves into it.”
When the stakes are high, inclusion is the solution
CMI has discovered some remarkable stories of organisations embracing different perspectives – and supercharging performance.
Diverse teams, incredible performances
The debate about diversity and inclusion can sometimes feel a bit dry and remote, but the story behind It’s a Sin takes us to the real point: if you want to draw out the best from your team, your project, your organisation, then allow your talent to express itself fully. Because if you do create an environment in which everyone feels free to be themselves, the results will be incredible.
- Companies with greater gender diversity on their executive teams are 25% more likely to experience above-average profitability*
- When it comes to racial and ethnic diversity, the most diverse companies outperform the least diverse companies by 36%*
- There is a strong correlation between diverse management and innovation, according to global analysis by Boston Consulting**
- Organisations with greater gender diversity are 1.4 times more likely to have sustained, profitable growth***
Sources: McKinsey*; Boston Consulting**; PwC***, The Everyone Economy, CMI, 2022
For this launch edition of CMI’s new digital magazine, we’ve travelled across the global economy conducting an in-depth investigation. We’ve talked to managers and leaders working in entertainment, financial services, public service, consumer goods, mining, retail, crypto-currencies and more. Again and again, we’ve found the same phenomenon in action: organisations that embrace diversity and inclusion are seeing incredible results flowing from that commitment.
CMI’s 75th anniversary report, The Everyone Economy, made the argument for equity, diversity and inclusion; this edition tells the stories of managers and leaders unleashing new levels of performance. Imagine if this was applied across the economy and society…