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BBC Unveils Ambitious New Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

BBC Unveils Ambitious New Diversity and Inclusion Strategy

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

The plans set out how­­­­­­­ the BBC will do even more to reflect the public it serves.

By 2020, the BBC says in a press release that it 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 programs
– made diversity something that everyone at the BBC understands, and all those who make program for us support.

In addition, to reflect the lives of all their audiences, the BBC 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 their content reflects the public they serve.
– develop industry-leading diversity commissioning guidelines in consultation with the independent production sector and in-house production, using their position in the industry to ensure that anyone who makes programs for them shares their values and commitments.
– continue to invest in and develop new talent through the Assistant Commissioner Development Program and Diversity Creative Talent Fund.
– create a center of excellence for the commissioning and development of diverse programs and program-makers based in Birmingham.
– listen to their 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.
– set new 2020 workforce targets to ensure their 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 their successful apprentice programs
– 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 anonymized application for the recruitment of all their core roles.
– embed diversity and inclusion throughout the BBC with diversity objectives and unconscious bias training for all managers and interviewers.
– continue and develop their successful employee development programs, such as the BBC/Clore Leadership program, Creative Access Internships and Extend – which will now see 10% of places on all of the BBC’s training schemes ring-fenced for disabled people.
– launch a new partnership with job centers across the UK to ensure all roles are advertised to those who need them most, including a guarantee that 25% of all our work experience applicants will be sourced from the job-seeking pool.- Ensure that partners of the BBC we will continue to work with theirindependent Diversity Advisory Panel of highly regarded experts, who advise and support their work, but also challenge them where necessary and hold them to account.

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.”

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

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

If you’d like to read the full strategy document the BBC released today, click here.

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