BBC launches ambitious new diversity and inclusion strategy

The BBC has a breadth and scale that is unique in the UK’s media, and that means what we do has real impact. So I want us to make sure we are leading by example, working with and learning from others in the industry, and using our influence to bring about real change.Tony Hall, Director-General, BBC
Date: 28.04.2016     Last updated: 28.04.2016 at 09.57
Category: Corporate

The BBC has today launched its ambitious new strategy that will hardwire diversity and inclusion into everything the Corporation does, on- and off-air.

The bold plans – themed around our audiences, our people and our partnerships - build on the significant progress already made, and set out how­­­­­­­ the Corporation will do even more to reflect the public it serves.

By 2020, the BBC intends to have:

  • a workforce at least as diverse, if not more so, than any other in the industry
  • met stretching new portrayal targets that cover a much wider range of diversity than any other broadcaster, with a bigger impact for audiences across a wider range of programmes
  • made diversity something that everyone at the BBC understands, and all those who make programmes for us support.

Tony Hall, BBC Director-General, said: “We have made some excellent progress to date on diversity and social mobility – and we should celebrate that – but we can, and must, do more. At its very core, our purpose is to represent everyone and give opportunities to people from all backgrounds.

“The BBC has a breadth and scale that is unique in the UK’s media, and that means what we do has real impact. So I want us to make sure we are leading by example, working with and learning from others in the industry, and using our influence to bring about real change.”

Tunde Ogungbesan, BBC Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Succession, said: “We want diversity and inclusion to be business as usual at the BBC and at the heart of everything we do on- and off-air.

“That’s why I believe diversity includes everyone. The BBC belongs to everyone in the UK, whatever their background, so everyone at the BBC has a responsibility to ensure that we represent, and are representative of, the public we serve.”

To reflect the lives of all our audiences, we will:

  • set challenging new on-air portrayal targets for disabled people, women, ethnic minorities, and LGBT people, which go wider and further than ever before, to ensure our content reflects the public we serve.
  • develop industry-leading diversity commissioning guidelines in consultation with the independent production sector and in-house production, using our position in the industry to ensure that anyone who makes programmes for us shares our values and commitments.
  • continue to invest in and develop new talent through the Assistant Commissioner Development Programme and Diversity Creative Talent Fund.
  • create a centre of excellence for the commissioning and development of diverse programmes and programme-makers based in Birmingham.
  • listen to our audiences in new and different ways, and open up the discussion for a greater range of voices to influence through audience panels from under-represented groups.

To make sure our people truly represent the modern UK and set them up for success whatever the background, we will:

  • set new 2020 workforce targets to ensure our employees and leadership teams are at least as diverse, if not more so, than any other in the industry
  • focus on social inclusion by gathering socio-economic information from all new employees and creating a sustainable and diverse talent pool for the future by expanding our successful apprentice programmes
  • set new standards in the media industry on new recruitment and selection practices which drive the attraction, selection and retention of the best creative talent whatever their background, including extending anonymised application for the recruitment of all our core roles.
  • embed diversity and inclusion throughout the BBC with diversity objectives and unconscious bias training for all managers and interviewers.
  • continue and develop our successful employee development programmes, such as the BBC/Clore Leadership programme, Creative Access Internships and Extend – which will now see 10 per cent of places on all of the BBC’s training schemes ring-fenced for disabled people.
  • launch a new partnership with job centres across the UK to ensure all our roles are advertised to those who need them most, including a guarantee that 25 per cent of all our work experience applicants will be sourced from the job-seeking pool.

We cannot do this alone, so with our partners we will:

  • continue to work with our independent Diversity Advisory Panel of highly regarded experts, who advise and support our work, but also challenge us where necessary and hold us to account.
  • work with the rest of the broadcasting industry through the Creative Diversity Network to deliver DIAMOND, the diversity monitoring database system, that will allow us to measure our progress against our objectives on and off air in an open and transparent way.
  • work collaboratively with all our production partners, asking them to put diversity at the heart of their work and to support us in the delivery of our diversity strategy.
  • continue to work together with organisations beyond the broadcast industry to provide new insight to audiences (eg Black Cultural Archives), to break down barriers to working in the sector (eg Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust, job centres around the UK) and to make our services as accessible as possible (eg RNIB). We will also seek to establish new partnerships with organisations that can help us make a difference.

These announcements will build on a package of measures announced by Tony Hall since he became BBC Director-General in 2013

Since then the BBC has delivered:

  • A female presenter on half of BBC local radio breakfast shows – up from less than 20 per cent in 2013
  • The Assistant Commissioner Development Programme, BBC/Clore Leadership Programme, and Creative Access Graduate Trainee Interns, which have already brought new ideas and talent from a diverse range of backgrounds to the BBC.
  • The £2.1 million Diversity Creative Talent Fund, which has resulted in the development of 17 presenters, the development of 13 scripts and working with 10 new writers from black, Asian and other ethnic minority backgrounds.

Notes to Editors

The full strategy document is available here.

The new targets for 2020 are as follows (the 2017 targets were announced in 2014):

Workforce (All staff and Leadership levels)

 

2017 Target

2020 Target

Women (all staff)

n/a

50%

Women (leadership)

n/a

50%

Disability (all staff)

5.3%

8%

Disability (leadership)

5%

8%

Black Asian and ethnic minorities (all staff)

14.2%

15%

Black Asian and ethnic minorities (leadership)

10%

15%

LGBT

n/a

8%

 

Onscreen Portrayal

 

2017 Target

2020 Target

Women on screen, on air and in lead roles

n/a

50%

Disability on screen and in some lead roles

5%

8%

Black, Asian and ethnic minorities on screen, on air and in lead roles

15%

15%*

LGBT on screen and in some lead roles

n/a

8%

*Includes lead roles in addition to overall portrayal

BBC Press Office