Diversity report shows work needed off-screen

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Giri Haji The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) has today published the third report from its Diamond diversity monitoring and reporting project.

The data gathered for the report represent more than 600,000 contributions by individuals working on and off-screen on qualifying television content produced for the five main Diamond broadcasters (BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Channel 5/ViacomCBS and Sky) and broadcast between 1 August 2018 and 31 July 2019.

The results show that in some areas, progress has been made – women are now represented in line with the working population on and off-screen and BAME onscreen representation is higher when compared to the UK national population. 

However, the report’s findings suggest there is much work still to be done: the two groups mentioned above are absent from many senior creative roles; BAME individuals are under-represented in off-screen roles, and the over 50s are largely under-represented across the whole industry. 

Employment of disabled people is still an area which clearly leaves much room for improvement: the overall national figure for working-age disabled people is 17%; the Diamond report reveals that disabled people are only making 5.2% of contributions off-screen and 7.8% on-screen. 

Deborah Williams, CDN executive director said: “Diamond: The Third Cut provides a comprehensive and robust insight into diversity in the UK television industry. 

“The 30,000 individual submissions this year provide invaluable information which broadcasters and producers are using to set, adjust and monitor their own diversity initiatives. While this third report does present examples of good progress, there are many areas where more needs to be done. 

“The opportunity to share broadcaster comparisons for the first time makes it clear that many of the trends are due to systemic structural barriers and processes long embedded in the industry as a whole. 

“That is why collective, sustained and large-scale action is required if we want to make significant change.”

Giri/Haji image via BBC.