The BBC has set out its plan to be the industry “gold standard” for workplace diversity and inclusion.

The corporation says the  2021-23 Diversity and Inclusion Plan will create “a more diverse leadership team, boost career opportunities for people from all backgrounds, overhaul recruitment processes and increase accessibility for disabled staff.”

At the heart of the plan is a significant boost in the number of apprenticeship places offered in the coming years.

Measures in the plan include:

  • The biggest ever growth in entry-level opportunities with the boost in apprenticeship places also being offered at mid-career level.
  • An overhaul of recruitment, including an outreach programme focused on engaging communities that are underrepresented in the BBC’s workforce.
  • Developing a diverse senior leadership, including the introduction of a high-potential leadership programme with significant diverse membership.
  • New inclusive behaviour training and toolkit to tackle non-inclusive behaviours among all staff and leaders, and improve listening and decision-making on issues related to diversity.
  • Improved accessibility, including increased consultation with disabled staff when making decisions around policies, working practices and the BBC’s services.

The proposals follow a review of the BBC’s working practices, including consultation with staff  – from entry-level positions to senior leaders – as well industry experts and agencies representing diverse groups. The proposals also build on the progress and achievements made over the last four years through the previous diversity and inclusion plan.

The new plan will enable the BBC to meet the 50:20:12 workforce targets – announced in September 2020 – in the next three to five years. That’s 50 percent women; at least 20 percent black, Asian or minority ethnic; and at least 12 percent disabled employees.

Tim Davie, the BBC’s Director-General, says: “We must – from top to bottom – represent the audiences we serve. We have made some big improvements, but we want and need to go further.

“This plan will ensure we are modern, progressive, welcoming organisation where our staff are supported to deliver outstanding creative work and background is no barrier.

“Having the right mix of people, ideas and experiences at the BBC will mean we continue to provide world-class content for everybody.”

The new plan is delivered by the BBC’s Workforce Diversity & Inclusion team, led by Anne Foster, Head of Workforce Diversity & Inclusion.

Anne Foster says: “I am passionate about working to create a BBC that reflects the diversity of the UK and is somewhere people feel proud to work.

“Every aspect of our plans are shaped by extensive consultation with staff to ensure we can lay a strong foundation for a modern, transformed BBC.”

Jon Creamer

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