InterMedia, the Creative Industries’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) network group, celebrated its first birthday on Thursday 26 September with an event at BBC White City.
Jo Welch from Creative Skillset and Stonewall’s Sarah Foster shared the achievements of the network’s first year and how it is working to achieve fair representation of LGBT people across the Creative Industries.
Baylen Leonard (BBC Radio 2) and Lucio Buffone (Planet Rock, Capital), who co-author the weekly podcast homoLAB alongside Amy Lamé, were joined by Jen Brister (BBC 6 Music) to chair a discussion around the portrayal of LGB people in the UK media.
Gary Townsend, Executive Director and Diversity Champion at Creative Skillset, said: “InterMedia has gone from strength to strength over the past twelve months and we are delighted to see how the network has developed in this time. We are proud to have started InterMedia with Stonewall, and look forward to driving forward initiatives that forge fair representation across the Creative Industries and celebrating many future anniversaries of this important network in the years ahead.”
Sarah Foster from Stonewall said: “We’re delighted to support InterMedia as a fantastic example of cross-industry working. We know that lesbian, gay and bisexual employees who feel supported at work are more creative and productive and that what happens off camera has an impact on what we see on screen. Far too many gay people still feel they aren’t depicted fairly —recent YouGov polling commissioned by Stonewall found that more than half feel there is too little portrayal of their lives on television. Half think the portrayal we do see is unrealistic. InterMedia is an important step towards supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people who work in the media industry, as well as improving representation on screen.”
Adrian Ruth, Spark Programme Director and Chair of BBC Pride said: “It’s been brilliant helping to establish the InterMedia network, seeing it grow and flourish. BBC Pride has always been about making connections across the BBC and it’s been great to be able to extend that right across the industry.”
InterMedia was set up by Creative Skillset’s LGBT employee group Powwa (Part of who we are) and Stonewall in September 2012 to provide a space for LGBT people in the Creative Industries to meet and network. The group has enjoyed a successful first year which saw membership increase to over 250 people and now has groups on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter for people working in the Creative Industries to join and find out more.
Jo Welch, Diversity & Inclusion Manager at Creative Skillset, said: “Many media and creative companies may be perceived as LGBT friendly, but often the sector’s informal image and practices still don’t make the workplace an easy place for LGBT people to come out and network. This is the reason InterMedia was established one year ago and we are delighted to see how it has developed in this time.”
Over the last twelve months InterMedia has held gatherings at ITV, Warner Bros., Channel 4, MTV, and the BBC. Most events have discussion panels or speakers which are focused on LGBT life in the media, while some are just networking sessions.
Creative Skillset is committed to promoting diversity across the Creative Industries. Its diversity and equality strategy aims to address barriers to inclusivity where they arise, and imbalances in the representation of people through disability, ethnicity, age, class, gender and LGBT influences.