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Update on our work to promote diversity in TV and radio

Published: 2 November 2022
Last updated: 16 March 2023

Ofcom has today announced we are expanding the breadth of data we collect annually from TV and radio broadcasters to help us promote equity, diversity and inclusion across the broadcasting industry.

This follows a five-year review of progress, which identified where we could help drive further improvements so that the sector truly reflects the diverse audiences it serves.

With greater numbers of people leaving the TV and radio industry, the progress made in recent years to increase diversity will not be sustainable - unless greater efforts are made to retain, and not simply attract, a diverse range of employees at all levels.

Our approach, therefore, has a firm focus on driving equity and inclusion, and helping broadcasters to embed diversity at all levels of their organisation. Today we’re announcing a series of changes to the way we gather diversity information from broadcasters, as well as refreshing our industry guidance to reflect the latest best practice.

From Spring 2023, we will launch a new data collection toolkit for broadcasters. It includes:

We are also today publishing our report on the diversity of workforces in television and radio 2021-2022. This includes high-level diversity data, provided voluntarily, from eight of the largest broadcasters. It reveals that across the eight broadcasters’ workforces:

  • overall representation of minority ethnic groups increased to 15% of workers. This exceeds representation in the UK working age population (13%) but remains below that for major cities in which a number of these broadcasters have a strong presence (London at 37% and Manchester at 28%). Representation of people from minority ethnic backgrounds at senior management level also rose to 9%, although continued improvement is needed;
  • disabled people continue to be significantly underrepresented, making up only 9% of all workers and 8% of senior managers, compared with 21% of the UK working age population; and
  • people from working class backgrounds are underrepresented. Thirteen per centof employees attended private school, compared 7% of the UK working age population, and 62% of employees had parents in a professional occupation when they were aged 14, against the UK benchmark of 33%.

For the first time this year, we are able to publish some diversity workforce data broken down by geographic area. The BBC has supplied data for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, which shows that 81% of the BBC’s workforce are based in England, compared to 8% in Scotland, 7% in Wales and 4% in Northern Ireland. The report also looks at the makeup of the workforce in each area. We strongly encourage other broadcasters to follow the BBC’s lead in providing this data by location.

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