June Sarpong sets out her vision for Creative Diversity at the BBC

The BBC has committed to hardwire diversity and inclusion throughout the BBC, focusing on inclusion during creative decision-making, production values and content.

June Sarpong, the BBC’s director of creative diversity, has laid out several initiatives within the BBC’s Annual Plan, ensuring that diversity and inclusion is a top priority.

SCHEME

The initiatives, which have been welcomed by OfCom, include:

  • Establishing guidance and tools to help the BBC’s creative staff and industry partners ensure diversity and inclusion is at the heart of production;
  • Launching a framework for auditing, setting targets and evaluating results within production to underpin the BBC’s broader Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) policies;
  • Bringing the broadcasting industry together with audiences through the Creative Diversity Festival.

“The BBC’s ambition is to lead the way on diversity,” commented June Sarpong.

“But it’s very important we work and learn from others – both within the broadcasting industry and in the wider world.

“The steps we have announced today aim to set a gold standard, which we will share with anyone who wants it.

“My vision is for the work, insight and application of the BBC’s Creative Diversity team to flow through the veins of the entire industry.”

STRATEGY

The Creative Diversity Unit will publish a new strategy over the summer to support these initiatives.

Later this year the BBC will also publish a detailed Diversity Commissioning Code of Practice report at the same time as the Annual Report and Accounts, and later a new workplace D&I strategy, to cover the period from 2021 to 2023.

Speaking of the initiatives, Vikki Cook, Ofcom’s director of content and media policy, added: “Diversity is crucial to authentic storytelling, and we’ve been urging broadcasters to widen their pool of creative talent to ensure audiences of all backgrounds are reflected both on and off-screen.

“We’re encouraged by the BBC’s vision for creative diversity and inclusion and look forward to seeing how its strategy progresses.”

TOOLKIT

Similarly, a toolkit has been introduced for BBC creative staff and industry partners in a bid to further inclusion and diversity in future BBC works.

From renewing the methods in which the BBC creative teams search and source new talent; further strengthening culture of listening and responding; understand and appreciate the value of diversity; empowering everyone in the BBC to know they have the power to share their stories and be heard; be rewarded and sponsorship to aid career development.

ELEVATE

The BBC is also preparing to launch BBC Elevate: a concerted drive to support disabled production talent into roles, which grow their careers and accelerate change across the industry.

The initiative is an extension of the BBC’s internal development programme for disabled staff, to include freelancers and suppliers, and aims to create a greater pool of off-screen disabled talent regularly working across broadcasting.

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