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BBC commits to BAME representation at senior levels

December 5, 2019

The BBC has said it is stepping up its commitment to rapidly increase BAME representation at senior levels of the organisation and develop a new generation of talented leaders.

Every key BBC leadership group is to appoint two new advisers, bringing with them fresh talents, backgrounds, perspectives and insights. At least one of the appointments on each group will be expected to have a deep understanding of BAME issues. The BBC is the first UK public service broadcaster to adopt this approach, marking a significant step forward for the industry.

The BBC said the change will enable the broadcaster to nurture and develop new leaders to extend the range of thinking. The appointments will come from within the BBC, and the roles will be for 12 months, alongside people’s existing jobs.

The BBC has previously committed to having at least two BAME members on every senior leadership group by the end of 2020. Several leadership teams have already achieved the target for BAME representation, including the Executive Committee, Radio & Education and Finance, and there is still more to come.

Director-General, Tony Hall, said: “Diversity of thought is so important to us. We can’t be the creative, inclusive organisation we want to be if we’re not representative of the whole of the UK. We’re making some good progress, but we want to do more, particularly in relation to senior leaders across the organisation. So we’ve decided to take immediate action to promote a generation of talented leaders who’ll bring the diversity of thinking we need. The changes we’re making will help shape a culture of creativity in this organisation that will make us second to none – a culture that can seize the opportunities of our rapidly changing world. We need people from different backgrounds with different ideas and approaches who feel confident and empowered to work together to help shape our vision for the future.”

In May 2020 the BBC will also lead a celebration of BAME talent with the Creative Diversity Festival, curated by Director of Creative Diversity, June Sarpong. The event will recognise the vibrancy, innovation and leadership of BAME talent within the UK’s creative industries.

Sarpong commented: “These bold inclusive steps are part of a much wider long-term effort by the BBC to ensure that all talent regardless of background can progress and contribute to the best of their ability. The Creative Diversity Festival will leverage the convening power of the BBC to bring together the best BAME creatives with the industry as a whole and deliver real results and change – it will be a vibrant event where ideas from BAME talent can be bought and sold. I look forward to working with people across the creative industry to help make inclusion the norm.”

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