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Diversity Diversity Diversity for Britain

by on 2011/09/13

Mark John Thompson

Mark John Thompson has been Director-General of the BBC since 2004. He was the chief executive of Channel 4. He is Chair of the Creative Diversity Network. He is the highest paid employee of any public-sector organisation in the UK earning between £800,000 and £900,000 per year. In 2009 Thompson was ranked as the 65th most powerful person in the world by Forbes magazine. He is a great supporter of the Jews in Palestine.

Creative Diversity Network Members

The Creative Diversity Network

“Welcome to the Creative Diversity Network

“The Creative Diversity Network will maintain a strong focus on ethnicity, but will have a broader remit than previously to include all aspects of diversity.

This broader focus is reflected in the CDN’s new five-year strategy which provides a clear steer for action across the industry.”

Mark Thompson, Director-General of the BBC and current Chair of the CDN 2011 and 2012

How we work

The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) is a forum, paid for by its member bodies. Its role is to convene and facilitate members to work together to promote, celebrate and share good practice across the industry.

The CDN is not a regulator. In its work to support its member bodies jointly deliver the strategic priorities contained with the CDN Strategy, the network is accountable only to the CEOs of each member body.

The CDN’s mission statement is simple and reflects the collaborative and action focused nature of the network’s activity: “CDN – Taking joint action on diversity”.

The CDN Strategy which was approved in September 2011, sets out five key priorities for the next five years:

  • To make the business case for diversity – including for example, through more intelligent use of industry data and research.
  • Promoting diverse talent – for example through refocusing the Diversity Awards and creating opportunities for talent.
  • Prioritising new aspects of diversity – such as disability, age and gender and a more nuanced approach to ethnicity.
  • Communications – including raising the profile of the CDN and improving stakeholder engagement.
  • Delivery – exploring various options and delivery models to help maximise resources and support CDN activity to achieve real outcomes.

The full strategy document PDF can be downloaded here: The CDN Strategy Document

Read the CDN’s progress report for 2009 and 2010 to find out more (PDF)

CDN Strategy

The Creative Diversity Network strategy was launched on 6th September 2011 and sets out five key priorities for the next five years:

  • To make the business case for diversity – including for example through more intelligent use of industry data and research
  • Promoting diverse talent – for example through re-focusing the Diversity Awards and creating opportunities for talent
  • Prioritising new aspects of diversity – such as disability, age and gender and a more nuanced approach to ethnicity
  • Communications – including raising the profile of the CDN and improving stakeholder engagement
  • Delivery – exploring various options and delivery models to help maximise resources and support CDN activity to achieve real outcomes

The full strategy document PDF can be downloaded here: The CDN Strategy Document

Building on existing work

Work during the first six months of 2011 has focused on building up and enhancing existing CDN diversity initiatives including:

Diversity Pledge

What is the Diversity Pledge?

The Diversity Pledge is a public commitment by independent production companies, in-house producers and other suppliers to take measurable steps to improve diversity in the industry.

The CDN launched the Diversity Pledge with PACT, and the support of the Broadcasting & Creative Industries Disability Network (BCIDN). The BCIDN helps promote real opportunities for disabled people on screen and in production.

The pledge is split into four sections covering different aspects of diversity with practical suggestions on how to improve representation. The approach is flexible – it’s up to individual companies to set their own agenda.

Read the latest CDN Diversity Pledge report (PDF).

Read a list of the companies signed up to the CDN Diversity Pledge (PDF).

What do you sign up to?

  1. Recruiting fairly and from as wide a base as possible and encouraging industry entrants and production staff from diverse backgrounds.
  2. Encouraging diversity in output.
  3. Encouraging diversity at senior decision-making levels.
  4. Taking part in, or running, events that promote diversity.

Help getting started

Pact Diversity Adviser Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams will work with all UK indies to provide support on issues including recruiting and casting people from diverse backgrounds and developing company diversity policies and training.

The position of Pact Diversity Advisor, which is partly funded by the BBC and Channel 4, is seen as critical to helping boost social awareness in the independent sector and help production companies deliver on the CDN Diversity Pledge – a forum to ensure the broadcast industry accurately reflects Britain’s increasingly multicultural society.

How to contact Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams: email Joyce Adeluwoye-Adams or telephone 07957 332 171.

Broadcasters are committed

“The Diversity Pledge demonstrates major broadcasters’ absolute commitment to diversity. We hope the Pledge encourages the UK independent production sector to produce more output that truly reflects the richness of modern Britain.”
– Mark Thompson, BBC Director-General

The BBC, Channel 4, ITV, Sky and Turner expect their suppliers to sign up to the initiative and it’s anticipated other CDN members will do the same.

The Editorial Specification forms for the BBC, Channel 4, ITV and Sky will ask if a company has signed up to the Pledge.

Diversity Genius

What is Diversity Genius?

An impressive 305 production companies have signed up to the CDN Diversity Pledge. To help existing signatories and future ones drive the pledge forward in their organisations, the CDN has launched a top tips toolkit, Diversity Genius.

The Diversity Genius builds on the work of the CDN Diversity Pledge, offering helpful aide memoires, suggested actions to help production companies with the constituent actions within the Pledge, and comprehensive lists of talent and training schemes from which indies can look to recruit diverse up-and-coming talent.

The Diversity Genius guide urges production companies to think of diversity in much more broader terms than just ethnicity, asking them to also consider disability, sexuality, age, gender and class when casting or crewing up.

The toolkit encourages monitoring, and emphasises how accurate data is one of the most powerful tools in helping address diversity in the industry. Among the suggested actions for production companies are; participation in the Skillset census, filling out broadcasters’ production monitoring forms, as well as developing their own in-house monitoring forms to track progress internally. Information gathered through monitoring of this kind can build on and strengthen the effectiveness of the CDN Diversity Pledge and help to provide a more comprehensive picture of the diversity within the production sector.

Diversity Action Plans

Each CDN Member has committed to a number of actions to address the issue of the lack of representation at all levels within their own organisations. The individual Diversity Action Plans (DAPs) cover actions around:

  • Senior management
  • Production staffing
  • On-screen portrayal
  • Recruitment
  • Training

The DAPs are all available to open as PDFs.

Going Up

Senior Mentoring Scheme 2011

It’s clear that Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) and disabled groups are currently under-represented at senior levels in the UK broadcast industry. This scheme aims to provide these diverse communities with the support, encouragement and guidance that all talented people need to reach the most senior roles in the industry.

Specifically, the programme has been designed to focus on four areas:

  • Overcoming barriers to progress
  • Developing confidence
  • Enhancing skills
  • Looking at ways to take career, educational and professional development forward

Who’s it aimed at and what are we looking for?

The scheme is aimed at senior BME and disabled applicants who can bring new ideas and perspectives, and who will challenge the way we think. Applicants in non-production roles from outside the broadcasting industry are also invited to apply.

We’re looking for senior, high-flying people with a genuine passion for broadcasting and the talent to achieve big things.

Applicants must be eligible to work and remain resident in the UK for the duration of the scheme.

What happens on the scheme?

Successful applicants are teamed up with one of our volunteer mentors for 12 months, starting in May 2011.

During the year, each applicant will meet up with their mentor a number of times to discuss where they are, where they would like to be in their career and how to get there. Each mentoring relationship is very much an individual experience.

What about funding?

This scheme is purely voluntary, so there’s no specific financial support available. Those chosen for the scheme will need to ensure that they can fund their own travel to meetings and to resource their own time.

How to apply

Applications for this year’s Senior Mentoring Scheme closed in April 2011, and successful applicants started in May 2011.

CDN Awards 2011

This year’s CDN Awards will take place on Tuesday 6th December 2011 at Media City Studios in Media City, Salford. This provides an ideal opportunity not just to showcase what is on offer at Media City but also to spotlight a focus on diversity outside London recognising and celebrating the vibrancy and creativity of the North West (this year). Naturally CDN North is playing an important part in shaping this year’s Awards.

The number of awards has increased to 10 with more focus on content and output. The 2011 event will also see the first ever CDN Fellowship Award. We are currently in the process of finalising the hosts for the Awards and intend to build on the successful event delivered by Channel 4 in 2010 by further refining the format.

Nominations for the awards will open in August and run through to the beginning of October.

In general each award will be judged by a separate jury. The two exceptions to this are the Drama Award which will be called the Radio Times Drama Award and the readers of Radio Times will vote for their favourite TV Drama from a short list compiled by industry professionals. The CDN Fellowship Award will be decided by the members of the CDN Steering Group.

Read the full award categories, entry forms and notes to entrants [Word document].

The Diversity Award categories

Production Industry Awards

    1. Best Breakthrough Talent – an award for the brightest new diverse talent to break through with groundbreaking, thought-provoking television that reflects contemporary Britain.
    2. Company of the Year – an award for the independent company or in-house production unit who has most effectively embraced diversity into their business. This can apply to creative output, off screen recruitment, work culture, and any community outreach programmes
    3. Community Engagement Award – an award for an individual, company or organisation operating/working in the wider community (i.e. outside the broadcaster and indie sector) in a way that helps the broadcasting industry with its diversity ambitions in the areas of creative output, off-screen recruitment, and training.
    4. CDN News Award – this award recognises initiatives in UK network newsrooms that contribute to real institutional change on the issue of diversity. The initiatives must have been in place 12 months prior to the deadline date of 2nd October 2011.
    5. The CDN Fellowship – an award for an individual, company, or organisation who has demonstrated a sustained, long-term, and significant commitment to diversity but who does not have diversity as their core role.

Content Awards

  1. Best Nations &anp; Regions Portrayal – an award for a programme that accurately reflects a locality or community and significantly adds to the understanding and awareness of a nation, region or local issue.
  2. Best Comedy & Entertainment Programme – an award for a comedy/entertainment programme that authentically portrays contemporary British society in an effortless, natural and inclusive way.
  3. Radio Times Drama Award – an award for a drama programme that authentically portrays the diversity of contemporary British society in an effortless, natural and inclusive way.
  4. Best Factual Programme – an award for a programme that has changed public perceptions and/or raised awareness of a diverse topic or issue, an under-represented group(s), or given a voice to an under-represented group or community.
  5. Diversity Innovation Award – an award to recognise outstanding achievement in the development of new technologies across all platforms (e.g. online, mobile, gaming etc), and outstanding creativity in exploiting these developments in new forms of, and enhancement of, content with a diversity remit.

Notes for all entrants

    • Entrants must complete all relevant parts of the entry form and submit it to the CDN.
    • The deadline for all entries is midnight on Sunday 2nd October 2011
    • There is no charge for entries.
    • Please send completed entry forms to email awards at the CDN.
    • Correct entry information is the responsibility of the entrant. The CDN cannot take responsibility for errors that are the result of incorrect information on the entry form.
    • The CDN will take all reasonable care of received entries, but cannot accept responsibility for non-receipt, loss or damage.
    • In the event of any queries, please contact awards at the CDN.
    • Please post/courier any DVDs to:

Nick Sammons, Acona Partners LLP, Watergate House, 13-15 York Buildings, London WC2N 6JU

Specific notes for entrants to Content Awards

    • The programme entered must have been transmitted in the UK on terrestrial, cable, satellite or digital channels prior to the deadline of 2nd October 2011.
    • The judging panel will not consider entries that were first transmitted over 12 months prior to the closing date of 2nd October 2011.
    • Programmes entered must be original commissions, produced in the UK, or in the case of international co-productions, must have had their first transmission in the UK.
    • Entrants must complete relevant sections of the entry form and submit along with DVDs of the programme before the deadline date. Late or incomplete forms will not be considered. DVDs arriving after the deadline will disqualify the entry.
    • The deadline for all entries is midnight on Sunday 2nd October 2011.
    • A detailed, written synopsis of the entered programme must be included or attached to the entry form.
    • The synopsis must also demonstrate how the programme meets the judging criteria, particularly considering off-screen diversity.
    • All content should be submitted as a full episode or programme and not a montage.
    • Each entry must be submitted with time code. Please provide two copies of the DVD, both with time code.
    • For each programme submitted, please specify the time code for up to two clips which must be no longer than 5 minutes each. These clips will be used in the first stage of judging.
    • Please be aware that if your entry is shortlisted, you will need to submit a master copy of the full programme/episode.
    • By entering programmes into the Diversity Awards, you are consenting to the CDN using clips of the programme on the CDN Awards night.
    • DVDs will not be returned unless specifically requested.
    • Please post/courier any DVDs to:

Nick Sammons, Acona Partners LLP, Watergate House, 13-15 York Buildings, London WC2N 6JU

Judging Criteria for Content Awards

  • The CDN Diversity Awards seek to recognise and reward programmes that are reflective of contemporary Britain and embrace diversity, in all its forms, both on- and off-screen.
  • When watching programmes, judges will bear in mind the different strands of diversity as well as the representation within these strands.
  • The strands of diversity to consider are: Race/ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexuality, faith, regionality, and social class.
  • The diversity of representation within these strands will also be considered by the judges; for example there are some ethnic minority groups that are more starkly under-represented than others, such as those of Chinese or South East Asian origin. This This is also the case in other strands such as sexuality where lesbians are much more heavily under-represented when compared to gay men.
  • Judges will effectively be looking beyond ‘obvious’ diversity and for ‘diversity within diversity’ in programmes that are truly breaking new ground.

Full award categories, entry forms and notes to entrants

Open the full award categories, entry forms and notes to entrants [Word document].

Useful links

Here are just a few useful links to help you get started in the media, whatever your interests:

  • Pact, the UK trade association representing and promoting the commercial interests of independent feature film, television, digital, children’s and animation media companies.
    https://www.pact.co.uk/Homepage/Our_Work/Diversity/
  • Disability Positive Jobs helps equality become a reality for disabled workers and employers.
    www.disabilitypositivejobs.co.uk
  • DV Talent specialises in TV production training – including shooting and directing, production management and editing (Final Cut Pro and Avid). Many of our courses are 70% Skillset subsidised.
    www.dvtalent.co.uk/training.html
  • The BBC and diversity.
    www.bbc.co.uk/diversity/
  • BBC Outreach – through volunteer schemes, outreach work, open centres and roadshows, the BBC is creating new ways of connecting with communities, particularly those that are underserved and isolated.
    www.bbc.co.uk/outreach/
  • Channel 4 Talent Development Schemes – you can get the support and space you need to make that crucial next step for a career in the industry.
    www.channel4.com/4talent/national/opportunities/schemes
  • For anyone considering a career in Broadcast Journalism, with advice and guidance on the skills and knowledge you need to work as a journalist.
    www.bjtc.org.uk/
  • The National Council for the Training of Journalists delivers journalism training schemes in the UK.
    www.nctj.com
  • Production Base is the insider’s network for film, television and commercial production
    www.productionbase.co.uk
  • Skillset is the sector skills council for creative media. It supports skills and training for people and businesses to ensure the UK creative media industries maintain their world class position
    www.skillset.org/careers/diversity
  • Screenwriting Goldmine is a site that aims to encourage aspiring screenwriters and act as an authoritative centre for good screenwriting practice. The site contains free advice, tips, news, celebrity audio interviews and an active and supportive forum.
    www.screenwritinggoldmine.com
  • Read real life stories about 12 Muslim women who have broken through barriers to work in jobs which are a little bit different.
    www.ourchoices.org.uk
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