UK pubcaster BBC has appointed June Sarpong to the new role of director of creative diversity.
Sarpong (pictured) will lead efforts to modernize the BBC, increasing on-air representation and ensuring that content better reflects the public that the BBC is mandated to serve.
As part of her role, she will develop strategies to support both on-air and production talent representation and portrayal across the BBC and its partners. This includes ensuring the BBC commissioning guidelines create an open culture to support and develop new talent and content makers, to be applied to all BBC output and platforms.
Sarpong started her career as a DJ and presenter on MTV and Kiss FM, as well as on Channel 4′s T4 youth strand for 10 years. She has been a panelist on ITV’s Loose Women and on Sky News’ The Pledge.
She is also a vocal campaigner on a wide range of diversity and inclusion issues, including representation in the media.
“As we move on from National Inclusion Week and begin Black History Month, I am particularly humbled to step into the newly created role of Creative Diversity Director for the BBC,” said Sarpong in a statement. “I relish the challenge of working with senior leadership to make the BBC more inclusive and representative of the broad and diverse audience it serves.
“The task is indeed daunting, however being awarded the opportunity to help level the playing field for the next generation of diverse talent, makes the obstacles and discrimination I have personally faced throughout my own career all the more worthwhile. I look forward to collaborating with diversity and inclusion industry stakeholders to find new and productive ways to create systemic change.”
Added Tony Hall, BBC director general: “While we have made significant progress on diversity, we also have to accept that the BBC has much further to go. June’s drive, ambition, and know-how, will help further transform the BBC’s programming to ensure that we truly reflect the public we serve.
“She will have a wide remit to deliver change, and I have no doubt that with her help and leadership, we will deliver it. I am determined that we have a BBC that continues to speak to and for everyone. June will help us achieve that.”
Sarpong assumes the new role Nov. 1.