Posted on June 25, 2018

BBC to Boost Diversity by Ending Shortlists with No Black Candidates

Adam McCulloch, Personnel Today, June 22, 2018

The BBC plans to increase the proportion of black and ethnic minority staff with its announcement that all shortlists for posts, above certain grades, will include at least one non-white candidate.

The new protocol will apply above the broadcaster’s band E – to middle and senior-ranking posts – including editors, producers and presenters. The organisation’s executive committee and divisional leadership teams will also have at least two people from ethnic minority backgrounds by 2020.

Currently there are no black people filling the 96 highest ranked leadership roles at the BBC.

All leadership and development programmes will be expected to have considerable ethnic minority representation as part of their overall cohort and accountability for diversity and inclusion targets, and ethnic minority career progression will be included in senior leadership team objectives and progression reviews. These measures, the BBC states, will help build a “sustainable BAME mid and senior leadership pipeline”, backed by “robust succession planning” across the organisation.


Cultural awareness training will be made mandatory for all team managers, says the report, on top of the current compulsory unconscious bias programme.

Suki Sandhu, CEO & Founder of INvolve, a recruitment and diversity specialist, called on other companies to follow the BBC’s example: “We are delighted to see the BBC leading the charge on banning all-white shortlists. While their track record hasn’t always been perfect, it’s clear they’re leading the way in addressing bias — we need more companies to put their money where their mouth is and actively work to effect positive change.


BBC director-general Tony Hall was keen to state the report’s ambition. He said the plans included “a range of proposals which we believe will transform the BBC. {snip}


The BBC already has a diversity and inclusion policy in place that includes 15% targets for the percentage of black and ethnic minority staff in leadership roles by 2020.