The Creative Diversity Network has appointed Amanda Ariss as Executive Director, and Tanya Mukherjee as Executive Manager of the CDN’s Permanent Executive.
Ariss joins the CDN from the Equality and Diversity Forum (EDF) where she has been Chief Executive since 2008. She is a recognised national executive leader in equality and human rights in the UK, and among other achievements she helped to secure the 2010 Equality Act.
She has previously been Head of Research at the Equal Opportunities Commission, Associate Director at the Audit Commission, and has held various policy roles in London Boroughs and Greater London Councils.
Commenting on her appointment, Ariss said: “Increasing diversity offers big benefits for broadcasters, programme makers and viewers. I’m delighted to be appointed as CDN’s first Executive Director and look forward to helping the industry take big strides forward on this vital agenda”.
The Executive Director will be tasked with managing the development and implantation of the CDN strategy and will establish the CDN as a not-for-profit company.
Mukherjee joins the CDN from ITV where she has been Diversity Partnerships Manager since 2011. She was the ITV chair representative of the CDN in 2013/14. Prior to this she was Script Editor for Southern Star Entertainment in Sydney and held various production roles both in London and Sydney.
Reporting to the CDN Board and funded by CDN members, the new Permanent Executive will drive CDN activities over the next five years and if successful may be sustainable for the longer term. The Executive will be based at Creative Skillset’s headquarters in London.
Both will take up their posts in April.
John McVay, Chief Executive of Pact and current Chair of CDN said: “I am delighted that Amanda and Tanya will be joining the CDN. They bring with them a wealth of knowledge and expertise about diversity and the TV production sector. The establishment of a permanent executive for the CDN will give diversity in the TV industry a real boost”.
Update on CDN activities
Commissioner Development Programme
The CDN recently launched its Commissioner Development Programme which is a pan-industry initiative aiming to widen the diversity of TV commissioning. The programme will see up to eight people working in senior level year-long placements with commissioning teams at the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, ITV and Sky.
Indie Careers Fair
The CDN will be holding its first pan-industry careers fair at Ravensbourne College on 24 June. The day will consist of workshops and panel discussions from key industry figures from both the indie sector and broadcasters. The main aim of the fair is to reach out to those from under-represented groups and to give them a flavour of the diverse range of jobs within the industry, so they will see a career within the TV industry as a viable option.
Project DIAMOND – the CDN’s new diversity monitoring system – is progressing well. The CDN broadcasters have been working hard to finalise the project specification, and will shortly move into the implementation phase to build the new system. A tender document to provide a comprehensive training package for indies to accompany the launch later this year has been issued, and the training provider will be appointed soon. Further details on Project DIAMOND will be announced soon.