Reprinted from The Los Angeles Times by Wendy Lee on May 5, 2021.
“In late 2017, ICM Partners CEO Chris Silbermann announced an audacious pledge: achieve gender parity in leadership positions and on the board by 2020,” writes Wendy Lee in The Los Angeles Times.
“It was part of a larger industry-wide effort called ’50/50 by 2020,’ championed by prominent ICM client Shonda Rhimes and others in the wake of Hollywood’s reckoning over sexual harassment.
“’Companies work best when … there is a balance of men and women in positions of leadership and positions all across the company,’ Silbermann said during a 2018 policy summit. ‘We can’t be a company of a bunch of guys who look like me.’
“Last year, ICM, which represents such stars as Samuel L. Jackson, Spike Lee, Regina King, Michael Keaton and Wanda Sykes — declared victory, telling Variety that at least half the agents promoted to partner status since 2017 were female. In March, the agency said that 15 of its 23 departments are run or co-run by women.
“But more than 30 former and current ICM employees said in interviews that the company tolerated a hostile work environment, where women and people of color were subjected to harassment, bullying and other inappropriate conduct. Since 2017, nearly a dozen women reported allegations of mistreatment by male agents and managers companywide to ICM Partners’ human resources department or senior leaders, according to interviews with the women and those with direct knowledge of the incidents. …