ITV makes diversity pledges and introduces mandatory training on racism

Company has 12.5% of staff who identify as BAME.

McCall: 'This moment is an important catalyst'
McCall: 'This moment is an important catalyst'

ITV has pledged to increase the number of opportunities for black, Asian and minority-ethnic under-represented groups across its business and on screen, including mandatory training on race for all staff and on-screen presenters.

The broadcaster, which currently has 12.5% of staff who identify as having a BAME background, has set out five steps that it will take to "accelerate" the change in diversity and inclusion.

ITV is creating a group diversity and inclusion director role that will be recruited from within and will sit on the management board, reporting to chief executive Dame Carolyn McCall.

This person will lead a new diversity and inclusion team, co-ordinate all of ITV’s D&I activities and play a full role in "overseeing and driving ITV’s financial and operational performance against the company’s strategy".

On screen, ITV is planning to ensure that its shows "better represent contemporary British life". This includes increasing diversity among the broadcaster’s highest-profile shows. ITV will also support talent from BAME backgrounds to help them secure lead roles in its dramas.

To increase diversity and career progression in TV production, the business has set up the "Step Up 60 initiative, which will give 60 people the opportunity to secure their first ITV senior editorial and production role. This could be in directing, writing or producing episodes of drama, factual and entertainment shows.

When it comes to recruitment, ITV has committed to "taking positive action" at entry-level, middle and senior leadership. As a result, it will create up to 20 new positions in middle management and 40 new apprenticeships.

This also includes advertising roles across a range of portals to "ensure diverse pools of candidates" as well as using tools to reduce unconscious bias.

Finally, the broadcaster has pledged to "educate and develop" all employees so that they understand racism and how to create an inclusive culture. This means ITV will begin mandatory race and inclusion training for all staff, including on-screen presenters and commentators.

ITV said that it will report on each of these commitments every year.

McCall said: "This moment is an important catalyst. Currently, around 22% of those seen on ITV come from a black, Asian and minority-ethnic background. Within ITV, 12.5% of our people identify as having a black, Asian or minority-ethnic background. These figures reflect the commitment of people at ITV to make change.

"However, they do not paint the full picture and there’s much more work to be done to improve representation in our leadership roles, as well as the presenters of our highest-profile programmes, the lead actors in our dramas and behind the camera in commissioning and in key editorial roles, like writers, directors and producers.

"We have engaged with and listened to our people, and there is clear commitment to accelerate change by creating more opportunities. Our plan sets out some of the actions which will create more openings for those from a black, Asian and minority-ethnic background to demonstrate their talent."

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