ITV announces Diversity Acceleration plan 

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ITV has outlined its plans to accelerate change in diversity and inclusion on screen and across ITV by creating more opportunities for those from Black, Asian, minority ethnic and other underrepresented groups.  Over the next 12 months ITV will increase investment in this area and this plan will deliver measurable change across all levels and parts of ITV.

The first move is to create a new role of Group Diversity and Inclusion Director, which will sit on ITV’s Management Board and report to CEO Carolyn McCall.  The new Director will head up a new Diversity and Inclusion team and will lead and coordinate all of ITV’s diversity and inclusion activities as well as playing a full role in overseeing and driving ITV’s financial and operational performance against the company’s strategy.  The role will be advertised internally with an appointment expected to be made in the next few weeks.

ITV’s plan has come out of extensive engagement and discussion over the last few weeks with ITV’s leadership team and Embrace, ITV’s network for colleagues from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background, together with its Inclusion and Diversity Council, which brings together the Chairs of all of ITV’s staff networks.  While the plan has a focus on supporting those from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background, ITV remains committed to its other diversity targets and activities – particularly on doubling disability and improving social mobility.

There are five key areas of action, each of which has a detailed series of supporting activities and each of which is illustrated by lead commitments outlined below, which will be delivered over the next 12 months:

1. Increasing diversity on ITV’s Management Board and senior leadership teams

  • creating a new role of Group Diversity and Inclusion Director as well as creating a number of opportunities for new senior leaders in commissioning and production

2. Commissioning to ensure ITV better represents contemporary British life on screen within the next 12 months

  • increasing the diversity of presenters of ITV’s highest profile programmes as well as the lead actors in ITV dramas by backing and supporting the careers of talent from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to land lead roles

3. Improving diversity and career progression in TV production

  • ITV’s ‘Step Up 60’ initiative will provide the chance for at least 60 people to step up and secure their first ITV senior editorial and production roles, including directing, writing or producing episodes of ITV’s new and returning drama, factual and entertainment shows

4. Recruitment – taking positive action at entry level as well as middle and senior leadership

  • up to 20 new opportunities in middle management and 40 new apprenticeships
  • positive action campaign to support under represented candidates
  • commitment to advertise all permanent roles and to advertise externally across a wide range of portals to ensure diverse pools of candidates
  • use of a variety of candidate selection and assessment tools to reduce unconscious bias

5. Educating and developing ourselves so everyone understands racism and their role in creating an inclusive culture

  • mandatory race and inclusion training for all staff and on-screen presenters and commentators
  • inclusive leadership training for all managers
  • Race Forward development programme which enables minority ethnic talent progression and inclusive culture change

ITV will report on progress on each of these commitments every year.

ITV is also establishing a Cultural Advisory Council – a group of independent external advisers who will advise, challenge and counsel ITV on all of its inclusion and diversity activities.

The new Group Diversity and Inclusion Director will lead and coordinate all of these activities through a series of action plans which will be developed and delivered by teams across ITV.  All parts of ITV will support this activity.  Each division will publish its targets and results and all managers will have Diversity and Inclusion objectives as part of bonus criteria – the Management Board and Commissioning Editors have this already.

ITV will continue to engage with and listen to its networks and people across ITV to deliver and evolve its plans.  ITV will also continue to work with others in the sector like BAFTA, CDN, Creative Access and Screen Skills to contribute to changing the industry and wider society and will engage with partners and others in its supply chain to encourage and share best practice.

Carolyn McCall, ITV CEO, said: “This moment is an important catalyst.  Currently around 22 per cent of those seen on ITV come from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background.  Within ITV, 12.5 per cent of our people identify as having a Black, Asian or minority ethnic background.  These figures reflect the commitment of people at ITV to make change.

“However, they do not paint the full picture and there’s much more work to be done to improve representation in our leadership roles as well as the presenters of our highest profile programmes, the lead actors in our dramas and behind the camera in commissioning and in key editorial roles, like writers, directors and producers.

“We have engaged with and listened to our people and there is clear commitment to accelerate change by creating more opportunities.  Our plan sets out some of the actions which will create more openings for those from a Black, Asian and minority ethnic background to demonstrate their talent.

“We want a culture where everyone feels comfortable being themselves and we will listen actively to the lived experiences of colleagues so that we continue to build a fully inclusive culture. I know that everyone across ITV will put their weight and energy behind making that happen.”


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