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BBC Studios sets D&I targets for new commissions; publishes UK Pay Gap Report

BBC Studios has laid out an on- and off-screen diversity and inclusion commitment for new commissions as the company reported a narrowing pay gap for women, Black, Asian and minority ...
November 30, 2020

BBC Studios has laid out an on- and off-screen diversity and inclusion commitment for new commissions as the company reported a narrowing pay gap for women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff and employees with disabilities in its 2019/20 UK Pay Gap Report.

Effective immediately, a minimum of 20% of on-screen talent and production teams on all new BBC and third-party UK commissions must have a BAME background, a lived experience of disability or be from a low-income background.

The studio also committed to appointing an individual from one of those backgrounds to at least one senior role on scripted and unscripted production teams.

Those conditions — which BBC Studios called an “Inclusion Rider” — will apply to every new commission from the business’s scripted and unscripted teams, including the Natural History Unit, factual entertainment and entertainment.

LGBTQ+ talent also form part of the on-screen Inclusion Rider commitment but not off-screen teams as BBC Studios Production has already exceeded this target, the company stated.

Other efforts include funding a new year-long Trainee Assistant Producer Programme and establishing a mentoring program with ScreenSkills for under-represented talent at the assistant producer or script editor level and above.

Elsewhere, the company’s UK Pay Gap Report found the median pay gap between men and women tightened slightly to 9%, down from 10.3% in the previous year and 14.1% in 2018

Women now make up 52.3% of the studio’s top earning employees, and 34.4% of its lowest.

The pay gap for BAME employees fell to 6.6% from 10.2% in 2019 and 8.5% in 2018. BAME staff comprise 10.9% of BBC Studios’ top earners, and 15.5% of its lowest.

The studio’s median disability pay gap decreased to 6.3% from 8.6% in 2019 and 12.4% in 2018. Disabled employees represent 7.4% of the top earners, and 11.9% of the lowest.

Despite a shortening pay gap for women, disabled staff and BAME employees, the report found BBC Studios’ median LGBTQ+ pay gap increased to 5.6% from 2.2%.

LGBTQ+ staff represent 12.6% of the studio’s top earners and 17.1% of its lowest.

For the first time, the report disclosed bonus pay gaps by ethnicity, disability and sexuality, in addition to gender.

The BBC Studios median gender bonus pay gap is 38.9%, an increase from 34.7% in 2019. The median bonus pay gap for BAME staff is 1.1%; while the median disability bonus pay gap is 13.6%.

The bonus pay gap for LGBTQ+ employees is -12.3%.

Starting in 2021, BBC Studios will integrate pay gap data from broadcaster UKTV, which it acquired in 2019.

The studio attributed the reduced figures to various initiatives underway around investing in future leadership, specialist training and flexible working.

It also implemented the Career Path Framework, a pay and grading structure designed to offer staff greater clarity about their position in the business.

Other efforts include providing more defined career progression opportunities, and increased transparency in how the business manages pay.

BBC Studios plans to publish its diversity and inclusion plan — which will set out targets,  leadership objectives and further initiatives –  in January 2021.

Tom Fussell (pictured), BBC Studios Interim CEO, said in a statement: “While the progress made in our pay gaps shows that BBC Studios is moving in the right direction, we know that there is still more to do to narrow the gaps and improve diversity across the business. Nevertheless, this year’s results show that by investing in long-term operational and cultural transformation we can drive change.”

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