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Ofcom report finds poor levels of diversity in UK broadcasting sector

The recent Ofcom review of Diversity and Equal Opportunities in the UK broadcasting sector presents a disappointing lack of diversity, with deaf and disabled people in particular being severely under represented. Broadcasters across the country must make a collective effort to increase representation and retain diverse talent at both entry and senior level.

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs says: “Ofcom’s five-year review of Diversity and Equal Opportunities in UK Broadcasting paints a picture of an unrepresentative sector that is seriously struggling to retain talent. The lack of diversity amongst senior roles remains significant, and due to burn out and long hours culture more people are leaving the industry than joining, resulting in a skills shortage across the UK.

The report demonstrates a significant lack of diversity amongst senior roles, with disabled people in particular being greatly underrepresented. Shockingly, the report reveals that representation of disabled people in TV and radio is at 7%, less than half the UK benchmark of 19% in 2020/21. Worse still, this is projected to fall further over the next five years. This is unacceptable, and the industry must take decisive action to increase disabled representation at all levels.

Bectu’s Unscripted branch have joined forces with Deaf and Disabled People in TV to campaign for increased levels of representation in TV for deaf and disabled people. I urge all broadcasters to read the key findings of the Disability by Design report and engage with deaf and disabled workers on the steps needed to increase representation.”

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