The BBC wants to boost the careers of its ethnic minority staff and provide more opportunities, in a new move designed to eradicate all-white top job shortlists. This change aims to create a positive image of the taxpayer-funded broadcaster.
Now, in a bid to create a positive image and place them higher up the chain, a minimum of one black or ethnic minority job candidate must be included in all shortlists put together from a selection of applicants who apply for posts above a certain grade.
This new directive will apply to middle and senior ranked posts, including presenters, producers and editors.
As part of this initiative, BBC managers will be fully trained in all aspects of cultural awareness. Currently, there are no black people among the top 96 leaders in the corporation, but with this initiative, it is hoped that this will be addressed.
Pledge for more ethnic staff to take on interviewing
The BBC has also pledged to place more ethnic minority staff into interviewing roles and set up various action plans for all its divisions which have less than 10 per cent of people who identify as black, Asian or minority ethnic.
The training will cover a range of topics including the reluctance of groups of people from certain backgrounds to put their hands up in meetings. These workshops will be in addition to ‘unconscious bias’ training.
A report on career development at the corporation discovered that some black and minority ethnic employees felt excluded and isolated. The findings also suggested that they had to forego promotions due to favouritism.
The BBC Director-General, Lord Hall of Birkenhead, said all the proposals outlined in the report would be taken up and acted upon.
People from ethnic minorities make up only 6 per cent of senior posts at the BBC – that’s according to OFCOM.
Of all the main broadcasters, only ITV was shown to have a lower proportion. Only 13 per cent of the BBC workforce in 2015 were from ethnic minority backgrounds. This gradually improved, rising to 14.8 per cent this year. However, it should be pointed out that a high proportion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds have roles at BBC World Service.
Last year, it was revealed that there were no black or ethnic minority personalities in the top 20 rich list at the corporation.
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