Creative Diversity Network (CDN), the industry body aimed at increasing diversity in UK TV, has published the sixth annual report analysing data gathered through its Diamond diversity monitoring system.
Diamond: The Sixth Cut reveals areas of concern particularly in off-screen and senior roles. Women are making fewer contributions than they were four years ago, with the decline driven by a reduction in senior roles, where the number of female writers and directors remains very low. Disabled people and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic minority individuals are still under-represented in all senior roles and craft roles generally remain very segregated.
With the exception of Commissioning Editor, people who identify as Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic are under-represented in all senior roles compared to population estimates (13%), and in particular, Series Producer (5.5%) and Head of Production (7.4%). South Asian representation off screen at all levels has fallen to 2.4%, less than half the UK population figure (4.9%).
Men remain dominant in most senior roles – in particular Director (74.5%) and Writer (67.3%). The number of women in senior roles has dropped again over the past year, from 46.8 to 45.4%, continuing a decline from 50.4% in 2018-19. The sharpest decline in female contributions coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic and the first lockdown. The representation of males in senior roles has remained relatively stable during this period, suggesting that men were less likely to be leaving the workforce during the pandemic, and that women have failed to return to senior roles.
The number of disabled people in senior roles remains very low, and at a similar level to four years ago, and the overall proportion of on-screen contributions made by disabled people has not increased over this time.
Television remains younger skewing, with over-50s under-represented both on-screen (27%) and off-screen (21.9%), well below the UK population (36%) and workforce (31%) estimates.
During the same time, there has been some progress in some areas, such as a rise in off-screen contributions made by disabled people, the over 50s and people who identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic. Contributions by people who identify as transgender have also doubled over the last three years.
Diamond: The Sixth Cut contains analysis from more than 1.1m individual contributions to content commissioned by six broadcasters (and broadcast between 1 August 2021 and 31 July 2022 – a 30% increase on the sample collected for 2020-21. This is the first time that UKTV data has been included in the report.
Deborah Williams, Executive Director, CDN said: “Six years of Diamond reporting and analysis highlights stubborn areas across the industry, particularly in senior roles. It’s clear that despite the initiatives that our members and the wider industry have put in place, there still remains a lot of work to be done to tackle systemic inequality across the sector.”
“It’s really great to be including data from UKTV for the first time in Diamond: The Sixth Cut. Their joining, together with the significant rise in the amount of data collected highlights its value as our industry’s most authoritative diversity monitoring system, which is being used by many stakeholders in the UK, as well as being a model for organisations around the world.”
“As indicated in the findings of this report, there is potential for a deeper dive into the impact of Covid-19 and lockdown and the possible contribution it played to the limited progress we are seeing across several groups including women and disabled people in senior roles and in many off-screen roles.”
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