• Wednesday, August 17, 2022


BBC unveils plans to become ‘the most inclusive and diverse’ workforce in the media

(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images).

By: Pramod Thomas

THE BBC on Wednesday(24) announced the 2021-23 diversity and inclusion plan to become the most inclusive and diverse workforce in the media sector.

Under the plan,the broadcaster wants to create a more diverse leadership team, boost career opportunities for people from all backgrounds, overhaul recruitment processes and increase accessibility for disabled staff.

Besides, there will be an increase in the number of apprenticeship places offered in the coming years.

The BBC will overhaul its recruitment, including an outreach programme focused on engaging communities that are underrepresented in the BBC’s workforce. It will develop a diverse senior leadership including the introduction of a high potential leadership programme with significant diverse membership.

According to the new plan, an inclusive behaviour training and toolkit will be developed to tackle non-inclusive behaviours among all staff and leaders, and improve listening and decision-making on issues related to diversity.

The new plan will enable the BBC to meet the 50:20:12 workforce targets -50 per cent women, at least 20 per cent BAME and at least 12 per cent disabled employees-in the next three to five years.

“We must – from top to bottom – represent the audiences we serve. We have made some big improvements, but we want and need to go further,” said Tim Davie, the BBC’s director-general.

“This plan will ensure we are a modern, progressive, welcoming organisation where our staff are supported to deliver outstanding creative work and background is no barrier. Having the right mix of people, ideas and experiences at the BBC will mean we continue to provide world-class content for everybody.”

The new plan is delivered by the BBC’s Workforce Diversity & Inclusion team, led by Anne Foster, head of workforce diversity & inclusion, who joined the BBC in October 2019.

Foster said: “I am passionate about working to create a BBC that reflects the diversity of the UK and is somewhere people feel proud to work.

“Every aspect of our plans are shaped by extensive consultation with staff to ensure we can lay a strong foundation for a modern, transformed BBC.”

The BBC’s creative diversity report 2020 published last December, led by the BBC’s first director of creative diversity June Sarpong, focusses on better representation on screen and in content production.

Next month, the BBC will be speaking to the industry on how it can support the broadcaster’s commitment to spending £100 million of its TV commissioning budget and £12m of its Radio commissioning budget on diverse content.

It will host an industry day on 17 March to outline the criteria which will define how production companies and programmes makers can qualify for this ring-fenced commissioning spend.

The BBC Studios also published a plan to ensure an inclusive culture and generate creative ideas which authentically reflect modern Britain.

It includes on-screen initiatives such as the inclusion rider for all new BBC Studios productions, and a new year-long Trainee Assistant Producer Programme (TAPP) to develop the next generation of content-makers, a statement said.

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