22 September 2017

Ofcom Study Uncovers the Scale and Nature of the Diversity Challenge Facing the TV Industry

Ofcom has called on broadcasters to improve the diversity of their employees, as a major study of diversity in television by the communications regulator finds that women, ethnic-minority groups and disabled people are all under-represented in the industry.

Ofcom’s report, Diversity and equal opportunities in television, uncovers the scale and nature of the diversity challenge facing the TV industry, with a focus on the five main broadcasters – BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky and Viacom (owner of Channel 5).

The report found that women made up 48% of the total workforce – compared with 51% across the general population. Women are even less well represented at senior levels, with all of the broadcasters having more men in senior roles than women. Viacom (Channel 5), had the greatest percentage of women in senior roles at 48%, compared to Sky who had the least at 31%.

Those from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background made up 12% of workers, and disabled people just 3%, despite accounting for 14% and 18% of the general population respectively.

Among workers aged over 50, there are 50% more men than women, while Ofcom said many older people, especially women, think they are represented negatively on screen.

Ofcom’s Chief Executive, Sharon White said: “Television is central to the UK’s cultural landscape, society and creative economy, and we believe that creativity in broadcasting thrives on diversity of thinking. (The) report paints a worrying picture, with many broadcasters failing properly to monitor the make-up of their employees. We’re announcing a range of measures to help close the gap between the people making programmes, and the many millions who watch them.”

Read more about the report here.

Download the report here.