In the first of a new series, Bella Lambourne, HR and Operations Director for Endemol Shine UK, gives us her view on the state of diversity in the industry.
We are set for a busy and exciting year ahead here at Endemol Shine UK. As a company it is our aim to ensure that diversity is at the heart of everything we do. However, we still believe a huge importance must be placed on initiatives, partnerships and practices to guarantee that the industry represents those from all social backgrounds.
We fully support the rollout of Diamond which we hope will revolutionize how we monitor diversity both on and off screen and we hope it will bring real change in the television industry as a whole. Training has begun for many of our staff on how to implement the practice and we are looking forward to launching this across our productions in the next few months.
With the imminent launch of Diamond we thought we would take this opportunity to share with you our activity in a number of other schemes.
Focusing on entry level is our partnership with Mama Youth. Last year we sponsored eight young people through a training period and two month paid placement with ourselves. It’s great to hear that half of those that took part are now working on productions here at Endemol Shine UK and we are confident the other brilliant trainees will follow suit either here or at other production companies. We have a networking event planned for June and will be partnering again with Mama Youth on their next cohort joining later this year.
Last year we made significant changes to our work experience practice to alleviate the geographical/financial and connectivity barriers. Each year we now offer 40, centrally funded, two-week work experience placements at the weekly London living wage. These will be allocated primarily to those who have come to us on their own initiative and who don’t have pre-existing connections . We have so far allocated 10 of these in addition to the 8 Mama Youth roles.
Meanwhile we are continuing with our established mentoring schemes and the Executive Producer fast track programme as well as holding back a discretionary diversity fund for any opportunities such as job shadowing or training.
We are continuing with our partnerships with cross-industry schemes such as Creative Access and Arrival Education as well the Creative Diversity Network and the PACT Indie Diversity Scheme, to name but a few.
Diversity is vital for the growth in creativity for a television industry that represents all parts of the UK, and the CDN has an active role in helping independent production companies make the changes needed. We look forward to continuing to work with them on many more important initiatives though out this year.