Broadcasters blasted by Ofcom over the lack of diversity on Britain's TV screens

 
Oliver Gill
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Ofcom said television is "central to the UK’s cultural landscape, society and creative economy" (Source: Getty)

Britain's broadcasting regulator had some stern words to say about the lack of diversity on the UK's TV screens.

In a report released today, Ofcom blasted the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and Channel 5 for under-representing women, ethnic minorities and disabled people.

The regulator also found the broadcasters were failing to monitor the make-up of their staff.

Sharon White, Ofcom's chief executive said the "report paints a worrying picture".

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The report came to five key conclusions:

  • Women are under-represented. Women account for 48 per cent of employees across the five main broadcasters, versus 51 per cent of the wider UK population.
  • Women are even less well represented at senior levels. All of the main five broadcasters have more men in senior roles than women. Channel 5 has the highest proportion of women at senior management level (48 per cent), while Sky has the lowest proportion of senior female employees at 31 per cent.
  • Ethnic minority employees are under-represented. Ethnic minority employees make up 12 per cent of employees across the five main broadcasters, lower than the UK population average of 14 per cent.
  • Ethnic minority representation is even lower at senior levels. Across the BBC only six per cent of senior roles are made up of people from an ethnic minority background, with only ITV having a lower proportion. Sky has the highest proportion of senior employees from an ethnic minority background (up to 15 per cent).
  • Disabled people appear to be significantly under-represented. Just three per cent of employees across the five main broadcasters self-report as disabled, compared to 18 per cent of the UK population.

Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, 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.

“Today’s 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.”

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