In a briefing on Tuesday, the BBC revealed that the corporation has failed to achieve its target for increasing its percentage of Black, Asian and minority ethnic leaders for 2020.
The failure to hit the target was confirmed as the broadcaster unveiled its annual report, with new Director-General Tim Davie telling the press that the organisation acknowledges that it must “do better on diversity,” the Huffington Post confirmed.
The 2018 edition of the document, looked at reflecting the ethnic diversity of the UK within the BBC workforce. In the initial document, it pledged to increase BAME representation amongst its leadership by 2020.
It also committed to appointing at least two BAME members to its senior leadership groups by the end of 2020 – an announcement that was made alongside the appointment of June Sarpong at the BBC’s first Director of Creative Diversity.
In the 2018 edition of the report, the BBC addressed its need for progress: “Whilst there has been significant progress across the diversity agenda, it’s taking too long to see the change that we expect within our workforce.
"If we are to build an organisation that attracts the very best talent and properly reflects those who pay for it, now is the time to take bolder steps to achieve our goals. It’s time for a concerted effort across the BBC to make significant change.”
The most recent annual report - which covers April 2019 to March 2020 - did show overall improvement, stating that there has been an increase in levels of trust and ‘perceptions of the accuracy and impartiality’ of BBC News, with a higher proportion of people choosing BBC News as the source they trust most. However, BAME groups have reported lower levels of BBC usage than their white counterparts.
“I think the BBC, like many big media organisations, is diverse at sort of entry level. But certainly not diverse enough in terms of mid-level and senior leadership, not at all. I think anybody would agree and accept that,” Sarpong told The Media Show.
“If you look at the targets that we’ve set ourselves, we’re not hitting them in the way we would like and so there’s a concerted effort being made to try and address that.”