We believe there should be a better representation of the UK’s diverse society in the television and broadcast industry.
Diversity isn’t only about ethnicity, it’s also about gender, sexuality, disability and social background. Having a diverse crew, production or workplace is a major driver of creativity, diverse ideas and output.
There’s often a significant under-representation of diverse communities in our industry and CDN members individually run initiatives to provide opportunities for people to gain the necessary experience, advice and training to get their foot on the ladder.
Thinking differently about your recruitment strategy or the places you advertise for people can lead you to connect with an untapped source of talent.
Consider models of successful projects such as The Hatch – Shine Group’s social enterprise production company – and Endemol’s Success For Life which actively seek to work with young people from diverse or socially disadvantaged backgrounds.
Try to identify shows to nurture diverse talent onscreen or share resources to provide offline training as Channel 4 did with new presenters for the Paralympics, or the specific training provided on the BBC’s Women’s Expert Days. Commit to finding diverse talent such as E4 and Big Talk Productions did with Youngers, or ITV’s Original Voices, aimed at finding new writing talent for Emmerdale.
Smaller organisations can utilise social media, such as Twitter and YouTube, and the online community groups in our Useful Links section to connect with talent or candidates at a grass root level and run small-scale initiatives which still have a big impact.
Wider entry level schemes, apprenticeships and specific positive action initiatives have led to greater access for diverse talent, but progression is still a real issue so providing development and networking opportunities can help address this to some extent.
We all need to attract and develop people with a wider range of backgrounds and attitudes because they help realise our ultimate ambition and keep our eyes on the prize: creative world-class content for the digital age.