Ofcom diversity report highlights need for better monitoring

Equity welcomes Ofcom's third report on diversity in TV broadcasting. Whilst we note marginal improvements in the employment of senior BAME staff, the overall picture, and particularly for disability, remains poor. Once again Ofcom acknowledges a failure on the part of the broadcasters to properly monitor its freelance workforce, leaving Equity with no authoritative sense of workforce diversity on and off screen.

Ofcom Chief Executive Sharon White, said, “…while broadcasters are working harder to gather meaningful figures on people in the industry, across the six characteristics that we monitor, only sexual orientation has seen an increase in firm numbers. Many aspects of the industry are still not reported on in detail.”

John Barclay, Equity’s Head of Recorded Media, said, “it is disappointing that again there is incomplete and therefore inaccurate data which means that it is difficult to hold the broadcasters to account for the diversity of their freelance workforce”.

Equity is committed to working with the broadcasters, the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) and indeed the wider audio visual industry to ensure that finally our great TV industry reflects on screen our rich and diverse country. Equity will soon publish its own programme-level TV monitoring data revealing poor levels of on-screen diversity. Combining this data with the latest Ofcom report, we seek constructive dialogue with UK broadcasters on how we can better monitor the freelance workforce and through this improve on-screen diversity.

The full report can be found on Ofcom's website here.