Anne Foster has been appointed as the BBC’s Head of Workforce Diversity & Inclusion to help strengthen the BBC’s drive to be the best place to work in the media industry.
Anne joins at a time when the BBC is more diverse that it has ever been - but there is still much more to do, including ensuring greater diversity in leadership.
She will be responsible for implementing strategies which ensure the BBC is a modern and diverse workplace, committed to promoting and ensuring inclusion and valuing diversity at all levels of the organisation.
Anne joins the BBC from Sony Pictures Entertainment where she held the position of Director of Diversity, Leadership and Organisational Development. She was previously Head of Diversity and Inclusion at the House of Commons. She is a member of the Government’s Race Disparity Advisory Group; an Associate of Inclusive Employers; and a member of London South Bank University’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Steering Group.
Bob Shennan, BBC Group Managing Director, says: “I’m thrilled to welcome Anne to the BBC in this new role. She brings with her a huge amount of knowledge and experience and will make sure we go further in building a truly diverse and inclusive workforce.”
Anne Foster says: “I am excited to be joining a creative and diverse organisation like the BBC. I’m passionate about making inclusion an everyday reality for everyone and look forward to championing inclusion and promoting diversity. I’m also looking forward to working closely with June Sarpong. Together I think we can make a real difference.”
The BBC is committed to reflecting and representing the diversity of the UK. We believe the more diverse and inclusive our workforce is, the better able we are to respond to and reflect our audiences in all their diversity.
This appointment builds on progress the BBC has made in improving on and off air representation, although there is still more to do. Earlier this year, Board member Tom Ilube took on the Chair of the BBC’s Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group, supported by Tanni Grey-Thompson and with external advisors including Solomon Elliott, Tanya Motie, Geoff Norcott, Adele Patrick and June Sarpong. The group support and advise the Director-General and the BBC on how it portrays all of the UK’s communities on air, and represents them in its workforce.
The BBC has ambitious diversity targets, such as 15% BAME staff across the BBC and in leadership roles by 2020.
Increasing representation of BAME and women in senior leadership remains a particular priority. Progress is being made but more needs to be done. We have already reached our 2020 targets for BAME staff (15%) at 15.3% and disabled staff (8%) at 10.2%; whilst BAME staff in leadership roles are at 11.5%, up from 10.4%; and women now fill 43.8% of leadership roles at the BBC - up from 42.1%. We have introduced a new target for the BBC Executive Committee and all divisional boards to have two BAME members by the end of 2020.
As the BBC’s Head of Workforce Diversity & Inclusion, Anne will focus on diversity employment matters and develop the BBC’s strategy and policies.