BBC hits staff ethnicity targets

The BBC has announced that it has met and slightly exceeded the target set in 2000 to have 10% ethnic minority staff by the end of 2003.

As a result nearly 650 more people from ethnic minority backgrounds now work at the BBC compared with four years ago.

The corporation also met a target for 4% of senior managers to be from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The BBC has now set new targets, to be reached by the end of 2007, for 12.5% of the staff and 7% of senior management to be from ethnic minority backgrounds.

BBC Director-General Greg Dyke said: "Soon after I took over as Director-General we set some new employment targets which were central business objectives which were one of the measures the success of directors and managers would be judged on.

"To achieve these targets we've made big efforts across the BBC - there's been a quite a significant culture shift - and I'm pleased to announce that we've hit the targets."

He added: "I'm absolutely convinced that it was only by setting targets and regularly monitoring our progress towards them at the BBC Executive Committee - and by regular I mean every three months - that we were able to meet them.

"Abstract commitments to diversity don't, in my experience, actually change much in large organisations. You only do that by real figures and regular monitoring."

Greg Dyke was speaking at an event to raise awareness of a joint BBC and Arts Council England initiative named 'Roots'.

Eleven Roots co-ordinators are working with local artists and communities to encourage, promote and support a wide range of culturally diverse arts work across BBC English Regions - through local radio, regional television and online.

Explaining the new levels, Greg Dyke added: "We want to keep the momentum up and experience has taught me that the only way to do this is to set new targets.

"But it's not completely straightforward. A large proportion of our staff are based in London, and London has a far higher proportion of people from ethnic minority backgrounds than the rest of the UK. We've decided to set new targets above the national average, but below London's ethnic minority population.

"Our intention is that by the end of 2007 - another four year period - 12.5% of our staff as a whole and seven per cent of our senior managerial staff will be from an ethnic minority community. We feel that this is an appropriate middle way."

Between 2003 and 2006 Arts Council England will invest £2 billion of public funds in the arts in England, including funding from the National Lottery.


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