Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers
Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers

Announced this afternoon via press release from the Directors Guild of America (DGA), Shonda Rhimes and Betsy Beers of Shondaland will be honored with the Guild’s 2014 Diversity Award

The Award is being given for "their commitment to diversity hiring, their long record of providing jobs and opportunities to women and minorities in DGA-covered categories, and for the example they set for the rest of the industry."

The Award will be presented at the 66th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, January 25, 2014.

The Diversity Award has only been given four times in its history: in 1997 to Bruce Paltrow, John Wells and Christopher Chulack; in 1999 to Steven Bochco; in 2000 to HBO; and in 2005 to Stephen McPherson.

“The DGA Diversity Award is an exceedingly rare honor, given only when we feel strongly that someone is making a real difference in the hiring of women and minorities,” said DGA President Paris Barclay. “In the decade that Shonda and Betsy have been creating and producing buzzworthy television, their record of diverse hiring has been consistently outstanding at a time when very few television series meet that standard. As a result, they have impacted the careers of dozens of women and minorities – they’ve made stars not only in front of, but behind the camera as well. They’re strong and outspoken advocates for diversity throughout our industry, and we are very proud to recognize them with the DGA’s Diversity Award.”

Rhimes and Beers are partners in Shondaland, the production company founded by Rhimes in 2004.

“It has always been important that the world created in my shows look like the actual world that we live in,” said Rhimes. “I am truly honored to be receiving this prestigious award and am thankful for all of the work that the DGA does to promote diversity in our industry.”

Beers added: “I am thrilled and honored to be receiving this award from the DGA... We want to accurately reflect the world in which we live today – and that means ensuring that a diverse workplace exists, both on and off screen.”

The DGA Diversity Award winner is selected by the Guild’s Diversity Task Force and was unanimously approved by the National Board. It will be presented at the 66th Annual DGA Awards on Saturday, January 25, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.