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BBC Makes Diversity a Priority, Pledges Half Its On-Air Roles and Workforce Will Be Female By 2020



We already know that the BBC makes awesome television like Doctor Who, Sherlock, and Orphan Black. Now, they’re giving us a reason to love them more by making the conscious decision to prioritize gender parity and racial diversity both in their content and in their workforce.

Last week, the BBC rolled out a diversity package wherein they pledge the following by 2020:

  • half the on-air talent on their TV and radio programs will be female
  • half of their 21,000-person workforce, including leadership positions, will be female
  • 15% of their workforce and leadership would come from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds
  • BAME people will the same percentage of on-air and leading roles
  • in addition, disabled and LGBTQIA people would each make up 8% in these categories

According to The Guardian, culture minister David Lammy thinks it’s about time, saying, “despite good intentions, rhetoric has not been matched by real progress.” The Guardian also reported that it was recently revealed that up until now the BBC has struggled to meet the diversity numbers they’d already set for themselves.

Still, the BBC seems hopeful, and like they are truly trying to make a change, saying in a statement that their workforce will be “at least as diverse or more diverse than any in the industry” and meet “on-screen targets that cover a much wider range of diversity than any in the industry.”

Here’s hoping they make good on their promises. If this succeeds, it would be a great model for other networks to follow.

(image via BBC)

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Teresa Jusino (she/her) is a native New Yorker and a proud Puerto Rican, Jewish, bisexual woman with ADHD. She's been writing professionally since 2010 and was a former TMS assistant editor from 2015-18. Now, she's back as a contributing writer. When not writing about pop culture, she's writing screenplays and is the creator of your future favorite genre show. Teresa lives in L.A. with her brilliant wife. Her other great loves include: Star Trek, The Last of Us, anything by Brian K. Vaughan, and her Level 5 android Paladin named Lal.