22 September 2020
UKTV is joining the Creative Diversity Network (CDN), the organisation leading efforts to increase diversity on and off screen within the UK's television industry. UKTV is also becoming a 'Diamond broadcaster' - collecting and reporting diversity data through the ground-breaking monitoring system already used by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and ViacomCBS.
UKTV joins CDN as the organisation enhances its delivery agenda with a new set of initiatives and interventions under the banner of 'Keeping Diversity on the Agenda', alongside Doubling Disability, its existing production-based initiative to double the percentage of disabled people working off-screen in UK television as monitored by Diamond.
Diamond is the first measurement tool of its kind anywhere in the world. It provides the best source of industry-wide on and off-screen data allowing broadcasters to monitor, measure and report on how UK television is performing on diversity.
CDN's members recently committed to increasing the frequency of information published as part of Diamond data sets to highlight how broadcasters are meeting relevant internal targets, to ensure more transparency and accountability to employees, suppliers, contractors and the public more widely about progress. CDN is also undertaking a "deep dive" into cross-industry BAME data and the representation of different ethnic groups across genres and roles.
In addition to UKTV's commitment to the CDN, the broadcaster works directly with every one of its suppliers before production starts, to explore how representation can be improved both in front of and behind the camera. This is followed up with a review, after production, of how the indie has got on in delivering on its commitments, allowing all parties to call out talented individuals who've worked on the production and ensure that their careers continue to thrive.
Last year, UKTV also announced a partnership with Film London's Equal Access Network and launched its All Voices initiative, which aims to give underrepresented groups meaningful employment on multiple UKTV Original productions. The initiative provides work in paid, full-time roles for all levels of experience, from new entrants and mid-level professionals struggling to stay in the industry, to returners to work. This is combined with longer term mentorship and a programme of events and training that is available to a wider group of people, to offer a structured way for underrepresented groups to build career momentum.
Deborah Williams, Executive Director, CDN says:
We are thrilled to have UKTV join the board of CDN as we continue to expand our activities. Its commitment to Diamond will contribute to our collective ability to provide definitive statistics and analysis of how our industry is performing. I'm looking forward to working with Richard and the UKTV team to help make sure that diversity is central to the post-Covid 19 recovery and that everyone who works in, wants to work in, or watches UK television knows that equality, diversity and inclusion are critical to the future of television.
Richard Watsham, director of commissioning at UKTV added:
We've made some progress in this area but it's not enough. Alongside expanding our All Voices initiative, joining the Creative Diversity Network is an important part of our commitment to help drive change throughout the industry. We've been tracking diversity through our own, bespoke reporting system over the last three years, but it's imperfect. So, I'm pleased that we can now take advantage of the industry leading Diamond and hope that by joining, we can encourage further take up of this important data tool.
The Creative Diversity Network exists to inspire, encourage and support the UK television industry to expand diversity and inclusion. It is a UK television industry body, paid for by its members who are: BAFTA, BBC, Channel 4, ViacomCBS, ScreenSkills, Pact, ITN, ITV, S4C, Sky and UKTV.
UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 25 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.
UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.