Ofcom has revealed UK broadcasters are facing a lack of diverse talent, with more people leaving the industry than joining.
The regulator’s five-year look at diversity and equal opportunities in UK broadcasting has found that broadcasters are struggling to retain talent in the aftermath of the pandemic, with more women in particular leaving the industry than joining.
It is calling on broadcasters to collectively place more emphasis on retaining and progressing senior, diverse talent.
As part of its report, Ofcom states that 16 per cent of staff working in TV is from minority-ethnic backgrounds, up from 13 per cent in 2017/18.
The UK’s disabled population is “woefully underrepresented” in the broadcasting industry, says the report. Despite encouraging initiatives in recent years, both TV and radio are still reporting industry-wide representation at 7 per cent, less than half the UK benchmark of 19 per cent in 2020/21.
TV employees are almost twice as likely to have had parents in professional occupations (59 per cent compared to the UK benchmark of 33 per cent) and to have attended private school (13 per cent compared with a UK average of 7 per cent).
Broadcasters have made progress hiring a wider range of talent. But for the first time, more people are leaving the industry than joining, particularly women, while disabled people remain significantly underrepresented. And because companies have focused on entry-level recruitment, there still isn’t enough diverse talent in senior roles,” said Vicki Cook, Ofcom’s director of broadcasting policy.
The full report is available here.