Creative industries' initiatives

One of the best ways broadcasting companies can inform and build on their own initiatives is through considering, and learning from, the policies and schemes implemented by other broadcasters and companies in the creative arts sector.

Listed below are some recent examples of diversity strategies.


In April 2016 the BBC published its Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for 2016 to 2020. By 2020, the BBC intends to have:

  • a workforce at least as diverse, if not more so, than any other in the industry;
  • met stretching new portrayal targets that cover a much wider range of diversity than any other broadcaster, with a bigger impact for audiences across a wider range of programmes; and
  • made diversity something that everyone at the BBC understands, and all those who make programmes for the BBC support.

In order to achieve these goals, the BBC strategy sets out a number of initiatives including workforce targets, new partnerships, a commitment to new diversity commissioning guidelines, internal training, and investment in a variety of schemes to develop talent.

In January 2015 Channel 4 launched its 360° Diversity Charter setting out its five-year diversity plan of action. In 2016 it published its 360° Diversity Charter: One Year On Report, which was launched in Parliament with a keynote speech by actor Idris Elba. You can watch the full speech below, or read the transcript. Channel 4 also announced that 2016 would be its 'year of disability'.

The Channel 4 Charter contains details of 30 significant activities, amounting to £5m of investment. These include new casting initiatives for diverse roles and for actors with disabilities; a programme to increase the number of female drama directors; diverse writer schemes; and commitments focused specifically on recruitment, mentoring and training in diversity.

Channel 5 works with a number of partners, actively seeking to attract individuals from all sections of their communities. These partners include Ethnic Media Group, Business Disability Forum, Race for Opportunity and Stonewall.

The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) is a forum, paid for by its member bodies. It brings together organisations which employ and/or make programmes, across the UK television industry, to promote, celebrate and share good practice in diversity. The current members of the CDN are BAFTA, the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5/ Viacom, Creative Skillset, PACT, ITN, ITV, Media Trust, S4C, Sky and Turner Broadcasting.

One of the key initiatives developed by CDN is Project Diamond (Diversity Analysis Monitoring Data), a new industry-wide diversity monitoring system created by the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky, and supported by PACT and Creative Skillset, through the CDN. It will provide detailed, consistent and comprehensive monitoring and reporting of diversity. At a time when challenges relating to diversity are growing in prominence, Diamond will allow us to answer the key questions “Who’s on TV?” and “Who makes TV?” with greater confidence and precision than ever before. TV needs diversity at its core in order to reflect society, enhance creativity and thereby increase the UK's world-class programming.


ITV’s responsibility strategy includes ‘People’ as one of its three key pillars. Featured within this are four commitments to portray and reflect the diverse make-up of modern society, across programming, the workforce, culture, and access to programmes and services.

Having set out its commitment to diversity, ITV gives details of the social partnership framework that it has set up with programme suppliers in its Corporate Responsibility Report 2015. This framework was introduced into the programme-commissioning process in 2014, to enable an open dialogue about diversity at the start of the commissioning process.

ITV is also involved in initiatives such as Original Voices with Creative Skillset, and WriterSlam with TriForce Creative Network; these help it to access writers who represent, and understand, the communities reflected in their programmes.


In August 2014 Sky became the first broadcaster to set ambitious new targets for Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people, to make up 20% of actors in on screen roles; at least one senior internal role in Sky’s original entertainment productions team, and 20% of writers on all team-written shows across all new, non-returning Sky Entertainment productions.

In September 2015 Sky launched its Women in Leadership programme, which includes a range of plans to help Sky reach its aim to achieve a better gender balance and, in time, achieve a 50/50 split in senior management.

Sky notes that through initiatives like internships and the MAMA Youth partnership, it is helping to broaden access to work opportunities for disabled, BAME and economically disadvantaged people.


S4C has published its 2016 to 2020 Diversity Action plan, and in June 2016 published its Diversity, Equality and Equal Opportunities Policy, setting out the basic principles that the organisation considers important in order to ensure fairness and equality. S4C has also set out its commitment to Equality and Diversity.

The production sector

The Producers' Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT) has worked closely with Ofcom and other partners to identify barriers to diversity and to develop practical solutions to those problems, for each of our stakeholders.

PACT has developed its own diversity site which features a diversity toolkit for production companies. Broadcasters should encourage their industry partners to use this, to improve their own practices.

Many production companies are already working hard to improve fairness; for example,Sugar Films and Betty.

Training schemes

A wide range of training schemes and organisations are available to help you develop your workforce.

Creative Skillset works with the UK’s screen-based creative industries to develop skills and talent, from classroom to boardroom. You can find more information on the diversity projects Creative Skillset is working on here, or browse its work here - in TV and Radio.

Another organisation which can help you to develop the skills of your staff or freelancers is the Indie Training Fund, whose partners include broadcasters, PACT, the Creative Diversity Network, Creative Skillset, BECTU and many other industry bodies. The Indie Training Fund is also providing training for the BBC, ITV, Sky and Channel 4.

If you're interested in setting up internship opportunities at your company, to attract new talent, you may want to consider working with Creative Access, which provides opportunities for paid internships in the creative industries for young people of graduate (or equivalent) standard from under-represented black, Asian and other non-white minority ethnic backgrounds (BAME). Creative Access aims to improve the candidates' chances of securing full-time jobs and, in the longer term, aims to increase diversity and address the imbalance in the sector.

The MAMA Youth Project (MYP) aims to equip people aged 18 to 25 with the skills and experience to secure long-term, fulfilling employment in the TV and media industries.