Guidance: Equity, diversity and inclusion in broadcasting

This guidance sets out recommendations to help broadcasters develop their equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) arrangements.

Guidance: Equity, diversity and inclusion in broadcasting (PDF, 225.2 KB)

Canllawiau ar degwch, amrywiaeth a chynhwysiad i ddarlledwyr (PDF, 246.7 KB)

Broadcasters have to make arrangements to promote equality of opportunity in employment between men and women, people of different racial groups, and for disabled people. They also have to put in place measures for training and retraining. These are conditions of their Ofcom licence.

When developing and reviewing their arrangements, broadcasters must have regard to Ofcom’s guidance, which we are now updating to take into account the findings of our diversity and equal opportunities in UK broadcasting. Our review suggested that broadcasters have generally focused on external, early career recruitment in order to diversify the pool of people joining their workforce. This is an important step and has led to greater diversity across a number of characteristics, but progress appears to have been confined to more junior roles.

Our review also highlighted that with greater numbers of people leaving the industry, progress will not be sustainable unless greater efforts are made to also retain a diverse range of employees at all levels. To help achieve this, we consider that broadcasters must foster a culture that builds inclusion into the core of their organisations. This can range from greater progression opportunities and better training for mid-career level employees, to senior recruitment drives. Importantly, it also includes looking again at internal practices and policies more generally, to ensure that they are not unintentionally re-enforcing inequalities.

We have placed additional emphasis on the importance of making workplaces more inclusive by having arrangements in place that embed inclusion in the organisation’s culture, promote progression and training, and focus on retaining talent.

Equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) can be successfully achieved in various ways and we understand that broadcasters are at different stages of their EDI strategies. We encourage them to think creatively and collaboratively about ways to deliver EDI within their organisations. We do not want broadcasters to limit themselves to the recommendations in the guidance, but use it as a point of reference and inspiration.

How the guidance links to our qualitative data collection

In previous years we have asked broadcasters to provide qualitative assessments of their equal opportunities arrangements. This provided them with an opportunity to demonstrate the progress of their EDI thinking and implementation and to evidence how they were meeting their licence conditions.

This year we are introducing a new qualitative data tool, which will take the form of a maturity model and will help both Ofcom and broadcasters to better assess the efficacy of their arrangements. We have published information about the tool and our reasons for introducing it. Our updated guidance provides the framework for the questions in the qualitative EDI maturity model.

Broadcasters will use the data tool to assess how developed and successful their EDI arrangements are. They will be able to see how their arrangements compare to our recommendations and highlight where their policies differ or go beyond our guidance. Ofcom will be able to use the data tool both to help assess compliance with licence conditions and to track progress in the industry over time in a transparent and measurable way.

Changes to the guidance

The guidance has been expanded to include new topics and areas of focus for EDI and while much of previous substance has been retained, a lot of the content has been reworded and reformatted.

The substantive changes have been made to reflect our emphasis on inclusion and give broadcasters more detailed recommendations on the kind of arrangements we would like to see in place.