Survey Finds Severe Lack of Diversity in U.K. Senior TV Leadership Jobs
12th October 2020

Even as the U.K. celebrates Black History Month, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people are seriously underrepresented in senior TV leadership jobs, a survey conducted by the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) has found.

The data shows that while on-screen representation of BAME people is improving, contributions to programs made by BAME people working behind the camera fall below 10% in most senior roles. Just 2.4% of production executives, 4.4% of series producers, 8.3% of heads of production and 9.3% production managers identify as BAME.

Some 12.8% of the U.K. population is classified BAME. Only camera operators came close to this numbers, with 12.5% BAME people represented in this role.

The survey also finds that in spite of the success of recent shows like the BBC’s “Noughts & Crosses” and “I May Destroy You,” Sky’s “Save Me,” and ITV’s “Unsaid Stories,” only 1.6% of writers working in U.K. TV identify as Black — compared to 3% of the general population.

Fewer than 5% of roles in costume and wardrobe, hair and makeup, and set design are filled by those from a BAME group, and fewer than 10% of program contributions in sound and post production, the survey found.

The figures are culled from a deep-dive into BAME data collected by CDN’s Diamond diversity monitoring and reporting system, used by all of the U.K.’s main broadcasters. It is based on 30,000 survey responses from workers in the U.K. television industry.

“In spite of advances, it’s clear from the Diamond data that the U.K. TV industry has a long way to go before it is genuinely representative of its viewers, and particularly in the off-screen and senior working opportunities it offers to people from different ethnic backgrounds,” CDN chief executive Deborah Williams said.

“While we applaud the efforts broadcasters and producers have made to improve on-screen representation, the industry must match this by taking meaningful and sustainable action to increase off-screen diversity,” Williams added.

CDN members include Sky, ITV, Screenskills, BBC, S4C, Channel 4, BAFTA, Channel 5/ViacomCBS, ITN, PACT and UKTV.

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