BECTU and the Writers Guild are to boycott the broadcasters’ Project Diamond diversity initiative.

The two organisations say the move is a response to the refusal of broadcasters to publish equality monitoring data for individual programmes or series.

Project Diamond was launched by the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) last year on behalf of the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky.  It plans to publish broadcaster diversity data for key for genres and job grades in production.
However, BECTU says that its black members’ committee believes this will fail to bring about any significant improvement in the under-representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) workers in television.

Gerry Morrissey, head of BECTU, said: “Project Diamond must publish the equality monitoring data by production so that we can identify who has a diverse crew, and can learn from their example, and who does not, so we can work with them to improve.”

Ellie Peers, WGGB Acting General Secretary, commented: “WGGB actively supported the project but now withdraws this support because programme-level data collected by Project Diamond will not be shared, even in confidence, with recognised trade unions."

The unions say they will not be suggesting that the equality monitoring forms should not be completed.

A spokesperson for CDN defended the decision not to publish data for each programme: “CDN and all the broadcasters have examined closely over the past few months, BECTU’s proposals and have come to the conclusion that given the considerable legal complexities and practical constraints involved we are unable to provide the data they’ve requested.

“Safeguarding privacy and data security are paramount concerns for Diamond.  The collective legal view is that releasing the data BECTU have asked for, even on a confidential basis, could put this at risk.  We have offered BECTU a place on the Diamond Production Users’ Group, which will play an influential role in shaping Diamond as we move forward, which they’ve decided to decline, and have offered to share the CDN Diamond reports with them in advance of publication.”

Staff Reporter

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