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What is diversity and how do you identify it? How does it apply to the status of women?

Diversity refers to the inclusion of lots of different kinds of people. If a company, club, or TV show is diverse, we can identify it by the variety of people it has. When it comes to women, one way to judge their progress is by how diverse certain professions are becoming. The film industry is becoming increasingly diverse, yet the gains women have made in film don't necessarily connect to women in other fields, like fast food.

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Diversity refers to the inclusion of lots of different kinds of people. We can identify a club, organization, or TV show as diverse by the types of people involved in those things. If a TV show has all white characters, we wouldn't identify it as diverse. If a TV show had white characters, Black characters, trans characters, a bisexual character, and a Latinx character, we could identify it as diverse.

When it comes to the status of women, one way to judge the progress and development of humans who identify as women is by how diverse certain professions are becoming.

Let's look at the movie industry. In 2019, 40 percent of the top grossing movies featured a woman protagonist. In 2018, that number was 31 percent. We might say that financially successful movies are becoming more diverse. We might argue that that diversity reflects a continuing improvement for the status of women.

Yet when we talk about diversity and the status of women, we should be careful not to be too broad. Just because women experience success in one field doesn't mean women will see improvement in other areas.

Look at fast food. Over 59 percent of fast food workers are female. We could say it's a diverse industry. Yet it's hard to say women in the industry are thriving. Two out of five female fast food workers have said they experience sexual harassment. More so, many workers have to rely on food stamps or other forms of government assistance since their salaries are so low.

Remember, when we talk about diversity and the status of women, we're not talking about a homogeneous group of people. Diversity isn't always synonymous with improvement. We probably shouldn’t confuse the success of a few women with the success of all women.