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Ofcom’s latest diversity report finds fewer women in the TV industry

Women continue to be under-represented in technology and engineering roles

Ofcom has published its third annual study of diversity in the UK TV industry.

The report found that there were fewer women working in the industry in 2018/19 than in the previous year. Women made up 45 per cent of the workforce across the five main UK broadcasters in the last year, down a percentage point when compared to 2017/18.

The report also found women continue to be under-represented in technology and engineering roles, though there has been a slight improvement for women in this area (up from 25 per cent in 2017/18 to 27 per cent in 2018/19). Women are also under-represented, although to a lesser extent, across creative and content production roles (43 per cent).

However, the proportion of women at senior management level has increased slightly from 41 per cent to 42 per cent across the industry.

As part of its report, Ofcom has recommended that broadcasters should improve evaluation of the process and impact of female-focused diversity initiatives to improve the rate of progression for women into senior leadership roles. It also suggests they should develop targeted measures to improve representation of women in tech/engineering roles as well as creative and content production roles.

The report also tracks companies’ progress in improving the representation of workers including women, disabled people and those from minority ethnic backgrounds.

The report found that:

  • Television workers are twice as likely to have attended private schools;
  • Only a minority come from non-professional family backgrounds;
  • Although broadcasters are collecting better information of the makeup of staff, there has been no discernible change in the TV industry’s diversity profile; and
  • Disabled people remain greatly underrepresented, as are women and minority ethnic groups at a senior level.

The full report can be read here.