Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Immediate Action

The BBC's internal report on BAME Career Progression and Culture has already driven one big change at the BBC. Published today, it states that "There are no BAME employees on the Executive Committee".

But lo, on 18th June, the website of the BBC Executive Committee was 'updated'. Where there used to be 10, there are now 15. New members are Kerris Bright, Chief Customer Officer; Glyn Isherwood, Director of Finance and Operations; David Jordan, Director of Editorial Standards & Standards; John Shield, Director of Communications and now with added Corporate Affairs; Clare Sumner, Director of Policy; and behold, Gautam Rangarajan, Director of Strategy. 

The report requires there to be 2 BAME members of the Executive Committee by the end of 2020; will that extra position be achieved by addition or replacement ?

Other recommendations accepted by the DG include a Rooney rule that there must be at least one BAME candidate shortlisted for all jobs at Career-Path-Framework-Not-Really-A-Grade 'E' and above (HR Directors will need to sign off cases where there is no credible internal candidate); that there must be significantly more BAME staff on interview panels (The report suggests that there are only 15 regular BAME interviewers at present); that the Divisional Senior Leaderships Teams should have at least two BAME members by the end of 2020; and that all team managers go through a sheep-dip Cultural Awareness course, on top of the compulsory Unconscious Bias course. 

In the body of the report are some emerging problems.
  • Diversity within diversity is an issue; only 43 of 307 Grade 10 and above BAME employees are black
  • Of the top 96 leaders at the BBC, six (6.3%) are non-white men, there are no non-white women and there are no black men or women.
  • BAME employees reporting into the Executive Committee make up 7.5% of their combined direct reports. Over half of the Executive Committee members have no BAME direct reports. 

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