ViacomCBS Networks U.K. has announced several steps that will actively strengthen its diversity and inclusion drive. The company is implementing a ‘no diversity, no commission’ content policy for its suppliers, and will extend the Creative Diversity Network’s Diamond diversity data monitoring across all its pay TV brands, in addition to ViacomCBS-backed public service broadcaster Channel 5.
In February, the Diamond report noted that while there was an uptick in on-screen representation of BAME and transgender people, off-screen contributions were below the national average.
ViacomCBS is creating a new position within its commissioning team that is responsible for identifying and developing diverse talent on and off-screen, at all levels. This role will help launch and run a ‘New Faces, New Voices’ diverse contributors search to improve on-screen representation.
The company’s new ‘Promotion Opportunity Project’ will identify and support several Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) mid-level freelancers, with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills on a primetime commission, while a BAME talent sponsorship program will pair senior leaders with diverse talent.
The existing inclusive leadership and unconscious bias training for senior management will continue. The company has committed to diverse talent pools for every vacancy and is evolving its internship scheme to provide entry level and mid-level fast track positions into leadership. It will also publish its Ethnicity Pay Gap report in the U.K. annually.
“Society is now at an inflection point on the issue of systemic racism and as individuals, as a company, we all have a part to play in righting centuries of wrongs,” said Maria Kyriacou (pictured), president of ViacomCBS Networks U.K. & Australia. “For too long, the TV industry has been a relatively closed shop and if we are to be of continued relevance to the audiences that we serve, then this must change.”