BBC launches diversity consultation

The BBC has launched a consultation with its staff and the general public to gauge opinions about its ongoing diversity work.

The consultation, which will be carried out by consultancy Perceptor Solutions, will run for eight weeks, closing on 7 January 2011.

Responses will help to formulate equality and diversity objectives and will feed into the BBC’s new diversity strategy, to be published in April 2011. Every division of the BBC will then be responsible for taking action to meet these priorities.

The consultation builds on a number of studies the BBC has carried out over the past two years to better understand the diversity of UK audiences. These include the portrayal of lesbian, gay and bisexual people, disabled people and the “nations and regions”.

Amanda Rice, the BBC’s head of diversity, said: “For the BBC, diversity is about having the most talented staff from the broadest range of backgrounds and making original programmes which reflect the diversity of UK audiences. We want to consult with you on the BBC’s ambitions for diversity and to ask you what you think of our plans.”

The public sector equality duty contained within the Equality Act emphasises the importance of public bodies consulting with service users around their plans to advance equality practices within their organisation.

The BBC’s diversity policies have often been a cause of controversy, going back to when former director-general Greg Dyke branded the Corporation as “hideously white”.

In June, it emerged that almost half of the places on a BBC journalism trainee scheme have gone to candidates from ethnic minorities since its launch in 2007.

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