BBC Diversity and PACT host joint event to launch strategy

Both the BBC and Pact recognise the value of diversity in programme making. We both want to do more to open up the industry to people of all backgrounds.Bal Samra, BBC Group Commercial Director
Date: 08.07.2016     Last updated: 11.07.2016 at 13.40
Category: Corporate
The BBC Diversity and Inclusion Team and Pact hosted a joint event today Friday (8 July) at the BBC Radio Theatre in London for commissioners, key suppliers (production companies) and talent.

The aim of the day was to inspire, inform and educate whilst also celebrating the fantastic diverse content the BBC and independent production companies have produced over the last 18 months.

The event explored what the BBC is doing as part of its diversity & inclusion strategy and accompanying targets and outlined expectations of content suppliers around diversity, both on and off-screen. The BBC is committed to working with its suppliers to achieve its aims.

Key note speakers attending included Charlotte Moore, BBC Director of Content; Bal Samra, BBC Group Commercial Director; and Laura Mansfield, MD, Outline Productions and Chair of Pact Council. As well as speakers there were jointly-produced masterclasses and panel discussions as well as takeout resources and toolkits to create diversity strategies.

Bal Samra said: “Both the BBC and Pact recognise the value of diversity in programme making. We both want to do more to open up the industry to people of all backgrounds and believe this can best be achieved through working together. Today is an important opportunity for us all to talk through how we are going to manage the challenges together and most importantly, find solutions to enrich the content we make which has diversity at its very core."

Laura Mansfield said: “Pact welcomes the BBC’s approach to working closely with suppliers on diversity, and the acknowledgement that there isn’t a one size fits all approach. That each genre - in fact each production - has to respond to the challenges in ways which work for them and acknowledging the gaps and barriers they face to come up with solutions for making our workforce and content more diverse.”

The BBC outlined its expectations of suppliers as follows:

  • All BBC content suppliers to have a Diversity & Inclusion Policy.
  • Editorial Specification Form redesigned to ensure dialogue between supplier and commissioner at the beginning of the creative process, not in the edit.
  • On new commissions, suppliers to provide details of planned measures to increase diversity both on- and off-screen.
  • All BBC commissioners to use DIAMOND data to encourage ongoing dialogue and focussed activity around Diversity and Inclusion with suppliers by 2017.

The BBC also outlines the support it offers independent production companies in order to diversify content and workforce including:

  • TV Diversity & Inclusion Development Fund to support new and emerging talent, both on and off-screen. Details on the commissioning website.
  • A pan-industry database providing access to diverse freelance talent - launching at Edinburgh.
  • Networking events for suppliers to meet diverse talent - the first of these is a factual networking event in September.
  • Continuing to diversify commissioning teams through the BBC Assistant Commissioner Scheme (recruitment for the next starts in October).
  • New Expert Talent Search - to expand the pool of BAME and disabled experts.
  • Ongoing support from our TV diversity lead & disability lead.

BBC Press Office