BBC taking ‘immediate action’ to increase senior level BAME representation

The broadcaster’s plans include the celebration of diverse talent with a creative festival planned for May 2020

BBC PLANS TO IMPROVE REPRESENTATION : June Sarpong will curate the broadcaster's Creative Diversity Festival

THE BBC has announced that it is taking “immediate action” to increase the numbers of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in senior positions.

The broadcaster has outlined several new measures it will introduce to develop a new generation of leaders, including the appointment of two new advisers to every key BBC leadership group.

At least one of the advisers will have a deep understanding of issues affecting those from a BAME background.

Existing BBC staff will be chosen for the positions and will manage them in addition to their regular roles.

In addition to the introduction of new advisers, the BBC will also stage the Creative Diversity Festival in May 2020.

Curated by June Sarpong, who was appointed as director of creative diversity at the BBC in October, the event will celebrate the “vibrancy, innovation and leadership” of BAME talent working in the UK’s creative industries.

Sarpong, whose role involves leading the corporation’s new drive to modernise and transform its culture, said: “These bold inclusive steps are part of a much wider long-term effort by the BBC to ensure that all talent regardless of background can progress and contribute to the best of their ability.

“The Creative Diversity Festival will leverage the convening power of the BBC to bring together the best BAME creatives with the industry as a whole and deliver real results and change – it will be a vibrant event where ideas from BAME talent can be bought and sold. I look forward to working with people across the creative industry to help make inclusion the norm.”

Dedicated HR resources will be allocated to support and develop BAME staff in their applications for senior roles, following on from a similar initiative credited for helping improving the representation of women in leadership positions

The BBC has also committed to having at least two BAME employees on each senior leadership group by the end of next year.

Director-general, Tony Hall, said: “Diversity of thought is so important to us. We can’t be the creative, inclusive organisation we want to be if we’re not representative of the whole of the UK. We’re making some good progress, but we want to do more, particularly in relation to senior leaders across the organisation. So we’ve decided to take immediate action to promote a generation of talented leaders who’ll bring the diversity of thinking we need.”

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