Half of UK broadcasters’ employees now based outside of London

Dec 15th '23

Around half of TV and radio broadcasters’ employees are now based outside of London, but more needs to be done to increase diversity in senior roles, according to Ofcom’s latest study on the make-up of the industry.


Ofcom’s seventh annual equity, diversity and inclusion in broadcasting report also shows that women, disabled workers and people from minority ethnic backgrounds are continuing to leave the industry in disproportionate numbers.


Location, location, location

For the first time, thanks to a new approach to data collection, Ofcom is reporting on the diversity of a range of broadcasters by geographic area, giving us the clearest picture to date of who is working in the UK broadcast industry and where.


Data from the UK’s broadcasters, which includes the BBC, Sky and Global, shows that almost half (44%) of TV employees in the UK and over half (54%) of radio employees are now based outside London. One in six (17%) broadcasting employees are based in the north of England.


Challenges retaining diverse talent

Women and people from minority ethnic groups are well represented in broadcasting as a whole.    However, this is not the case at senior levels, where the numbers of women (TV 42%, radio 36%)   and people from minority ethnic groups (TV 13%, radio 7%) are below the working population averages of 48% and 14% respectively.


Despite recruiting higher proportions of people from underrepresented groups, broadcasters continue to struggle to retain these staff, who are disproportionately likely to leave their jobs.


Employees with disabilities are still underrepresented at all job levels across the industry. At just 10% in TV and 8% in radio, both are well below the UK average of 16%. At senior levels, people with disabilities make up just 8% of senior managers in both TV and radio.


People from working-class backgrounds are also underrepresented in the whole broadcasting sector. Across TV and radio, just over a quarter (28%) of employees are from a working-class background, below the population average of four in ten (39%).


Change must come from the top

While many broadcasters have a wide range of initiatives to support diversity across their organisations, without ample influence from senior leadership, it is harder for them to genuinely drive meaningful change. A lack of diversity at senior levels may also compound this.


Additionally, data collection must remain a top priority for broadcasters. The findings show that those organisations with advanced data collection practices tend to have more representative workforces.


Source: Office of Communications (Ofcom)


About Ofcom 

Ofcom is the regulator for the communications services that we use and rely on each day.


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