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Latest Ofcom data reveals broadcasting industry must do more to attract and retain diverse talent

Ofcom’s latest report on equality, diversity and inclusion in television and radio published this week reveals some gains in workforce diversity since last year’s report, but significant areas of concern remain for an industry that is struggling to retain talent.

The report is based on workforce diversity data collected from eight of the UK’s largest broadcasters, that represent around 90% of UK broadcasters’ employees, including the BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Paramount, Bauer, STV and S4C

Representation of minority ethnic groups has increased to 15% of workers across the broadcasters’ workforces, exceeding representation in the UK working age population (13%).

Representation in senior roles also increased to 9%, yet significant improvement remains necessary to make positions of seniority fully accessible.

However, the report outlines disappointing levels of diversity amongst deaf and disabled people, making up just 9% of all workers and 8% of senior managers, in comparison to 21% of the UK working age population. This is just a 2% increase from Ofcom’s five-year review of Diversity and Equal Opportunities published in September 2021. Levels of representation of those from working class backgrounds also remains low.

Issues of retention amongst diverse talent and the freelance workforce also remain prevalent, with the Film and TV Charity’s Absent Friends report highlighting its effects on the workforce.

From next year Ofcom will expand the breadth of data it collects annually from broadcasters to help it promote equity, diversity and inclusion across the industry. Bectu

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