JUNE SARPONG has been appointed as the BBC’s new director of creative diversity.
The broadcaster, writer and campaigner will lead a renewed drive to further transform and modernise the BBC and its culture, the corporation said. She will work to increase representation and ensure that the BBC’s content reflects the public it serves.
Sarpong will take up her new role from November 1, and will attend the BBC’s Executive Committee.
“As we move on from National Inclusion Week and begin Black History Month, I am particularly humbled to step into the newly created role of Creative Diversity Director for the BBC. I relish the challenge of working with senior leadership to make the BBC more inclusive and representative of the broad and diverse audience it serves,” Sarpong said as her new role was announced today.
She added: “The task is indeed daunting, however being awarded the opportunity to help level the playing field for the next generation of diverse talent, makes the obstacles and discrimination I have personally faced throughout my own career all the more worthwhile. I look forward to collaborating with diversity and inclusion industry stakeholders to find new and productive ways to create systemic change.”
As the BBC’s Director of Creative Diversity, June Sarpong will focus on improving the BBC’s on-air talent portrayal and commissioning. She will develop strategies to support both on-air and production talent representation and portrayal across the BBC and its partners. This includes ensuring the BBC commissioning guidelines achieve real change and creating an open culture to support and develop new talent and content makers, working across all BBC output and platforms.
A regular on Sky News’ The Pledge, Sarpong started her career as a DJ and presenter on MTV, Kiss FM and worked for 10 years on Channel 4’s T4 youth strand. She has also appeared as a panellist on ITV’s Loose Women.
Since 2010, she has built a reputation as a leading campaigner on a wide range of diversity and inclusion issues. She is a passionate advocate for change in the workplace and a champion for greater representation throughout the media.
Tony Hall, director general of the BBC, said he was delighted that Sarpong was joining the corporation.
He said: “While we have made significant progress on diversity, we also have to accept that the BBC has much further to go. June’s drive, ambition, and knowhow, will help further transform the BBC’s programming to ensure that we truly reflect the public we serve.”
The announcement of Sarpong’s appointment comes as the BBC deals with the fallout from its initial decision to uphold a complaint against BBC Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty over her on-air comments about Donald Trump’s racist tweets.