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New advisory group to monitor diversity at the BBC

Members will challenge the corporation on inclusion.

Director-general Lord Tony Hall has welcomed the work of the group. (Anthony Devlin/PA)
Director-general Lord Tony Hall has welcomed the work of the group. (Anthony Devlin/PA)

A new group will monitor diversity at the BBC to ensure the broadcaster represents “stories, faces and voices” from all UK communities.

The Diversity And Inclusion Advisory Group will challenge the corporation over representation in the general workforce and on-screen.

In March, the BBC billed itself as “more diverse than ever” and was hitting its BAME diversity targets.

Group members will now meet to continue driving the BBC towards “where we need to be”, according to the chairman of the new panel.

The Diversity And Inclusion Advisory Group is intended to advise the BBC on fulfilling its purpose to represent the nations, regions and communities of the UK.

Sky’s The Pledge panellist June Sarpong will be among the members advising the BBC.

Director-general Lord Tony Hall said: “The BBC must represent the widest range of stories, faces and voices on screen, on air and behind the camera.

“The combined knowledge, experience and skills of our new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group will provide a fresh perspective on our ambitions.”

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BBC director-general Lord Tony Hall has welcomed the work of the group (Ben Stansall/PA)

In a March announcement the BBC revealed it was meeting its 2020 diversity targets for disabled, LGBTQ+ and BAME staff. Figures revealed the broadcaster now has the highest proportion of black, Asian and minority ethnic staff in its history.

The corporation said that more needed to be done to increase diversity in leadership roles. The BBC has said greater representation will lead to greater creativity.

The new group, a revamp of the Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group previously operating at the BBC, will aim to increase the representation of communities on air and otherwise on the payroll.

Tom Ilube, who has been named chairman of the group, said: “I want to support the BBC’s ambition to be the most creative broadcaster in the world.

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June Sarpong will join the group (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

“To do this it needs to truly reflect the diversity of all its audiences, both on screen and behind the camera.

“The new Diversity and Inclusion Advisory Group will have some very honest and open conversations about where we are now and where we need to be.”

Two roles – director of creative diversity and head of workforce diversity and inclusion – have been advertised by the BBC to help with the new group’s efforts.

The group includes external members comedian Geoff Norcott, co-founder of the Glasgow Women’s Library Adele Patrick, The Student View’s Solomon Elliott and former BBC executive Tanya Motie.

It will also include three internal BBC staff as members and Lord Hall will regularly attend meetings of the group, which has been set up with the initial intention of running for two years.

PA

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