17 December, 2018
While progress is apparent on-screen, changes seem to be happening more slowly behind the camera
The Creative Diversity Network (CDN), a forum which brings together member organisations across the UK TV industry, and creates a common standard for monitoring diversity across all the main broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Viacom/C5 and Sky), published on 12 December 2018 the second edition of its Diamond report (Diversity Analysis Monitoring Data) collecting actual diversity data from individuals who have a role in making television, both on- and off-screen, as well as data on the extent to which those surveyed perceived representation of the protected characteristics on-screen. The Project “Diamond” is an end-to-end process for collecting and reporting diversity data, including gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
While the first edition of the Diamond report was published in 2017 and was based on less than 6,000 contributors, the current edition gathers data from more than 20,000 people. Increasing this raw data naturally allowed more accurate conclusions on representation and on-screen diversity, getting closer to the broadcasters’ objective.
Methodology: Diamond gathers "Actual diversity data" from all the individual contributors who have completed an online diversity form and across all the contributions made from those who have completed an online diversity form. Diamond also collects “Perceived diversity data”, which is the information provided by production companies on how an audience might perceive those who appear on screen. More information on the methodology used is available here.
The headline findings of the second edition of the Diamond report are the following:
Gender (females): overall, females are already well represented in TV productions. However, there is underrepresentation in comedy and in on-screen contributions in entertainment programmes. Although most commissioners of content are female, there is less representation by females at senior level compared to their representation across all off-screen roles.
Gender identity (transgender): on screen, those who are transgender are under-represented across the sector and across most genres. The exception is in their contribution to factual and in entertainment.
Age (50+): over 50s are generally under-represented in the sector, both on- and off- screen. The exception is for drama (off-screen) and entertainment and leisure (on-screen). People over 50 are under-represented in senior roles, including commissioners of content.
Ethnic origin: those who are black, asian or minority ethnic (BAME) are over-represented on-screen but under-represented off-screen. They are also less represented at senior level compared to their representation across all of screen roles.
Sexual orientation: those who are lesbian, gay or bisexual (LBG) are over-represented in the sector and across all genres, particularly off-screen.
Disability: disabled people are noticeably under-represented across the sector and all genres. They are also less represented at a senior level compared to their representation across the sector as a whole.
Additional EPRA Background: The crucial need for data was identified as one of the main key issues during both sessions of the annual Working group on Diversity in the audiovisual sector held by EPRA throughout 2018. During her keynote address held on the occasion of the second session of the group in Bratislava, Deborah Williams, who is Executive Director of CDN, shared the way in which the latter succeeded in filling the data gaps. More information could be found in the summary of the discussions held during the session.
Source: Creative Diversity Network Website