THE EVOLUTION OF OFCOM
Having been an unwritten target within UK broadcast for nearly 20 years, increased diversity attempts have been made with the establishment of different governing bodies. In 2005, the Broadcast Training and Skills Regulator was introduced, which
was renamed the Broadcast Equality and Training Regulator (BETR) in 2009. This was then dissolved by Ofcom in 2010, and in 2016 the issue of workforce diversity was written into the renewal of the BBC Charter. As part of the Charter renewal, Ofcom
became the newly established external regulator of the BBC for all aspects of its work – including that of diversity, both on- and off-screen. Block’s report aims to uncover what Ofcom is actually doing – and whether it is legitimate.
The future of diversity regulation in the UK broadcast industry – models and ownership
BAMEci Wb Wss
2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Twmf: Total of white (male and female) workers in the broadcast industry W: All women Wmm: Women middle management Wss: Women senior staff Wb: Women board and non- exec dir (NEDs) BAMEci: BAME across creative industries BAME: All BAME in TV BAMEmm: BAME middle mgmt BAMEss: BAME senior staff BAMEb: BAME board and NEDs
WHO’S REGULATING REGULATION?
This chart provided by the report draws from three specific time periods of data gathering in the UK – 2010 data is from the last report of BETR. The 2011-2016 period is data requested of the ONS by the Greater London Authority (GLA) and DCMS data. The final period (2016/17, 2018, 2019) takes information from Ofcom’s diversity monitoring. In its reports, Ofcom takes the national figure of 12% BAME in the UK workforce as its datum line. In the creative industries (particularly in London), this is closer to 20%. Block emphasises how the data needs to
be treated with caution, as all three periods use different definitions of the composition of the industry. Data from the 2019/20 report has not been included in this chart, as it is a subset of the industry. Although the Ofcom 2019/20 report refers to progression in the representation of those drawn from minority ethnic groups (MEG) to senior management (at 8%), it fails to expand on the significant data gap of 18% not collected, not reported within this cohort. Given that this is from companies with 100 or more staff, it would be expected that they have
effective workforce HR systems for data gathering. Block emphasises how this matter requires more investigation. He also stresses three key areas of improvement: 1. Steps need to be taken to produce clearly delineated data models for the creative industries. 2. Ofcom should partner with the ONS to produce an annual definitive industry benchmark data set for film, TV, radio and AV. 3. All research needs to validate labour market data on the creative industries, by triangulating third- party findings with ONS data.
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