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Leicestershire Centre for Integrated Living

TV industry must improve representation of disabled people

Date: 3/6/2015
Summary: Creative industry bodies are calling for the TV industry to “urgently look into” improving the representation of disabled people in response to figures showing fewer than half as many disabled people work in TV compared to the wider workforce.

The Creative Diversity Network, whose members include the BBC, Channel 4, Sky and ITV, and industry body Creative Skillset said recently published data from the latter’s workforce survey showing only 5% of people working in the TV industry consider themselves disabled, compared to a rate of 11% across the workforce as a whole.

The study also found that while 6% of independent production staff described themselves as disabled, the figure fell to 4% for those working in terrestrial TV and just 3% for those working in satellite or cable.

The chairman of Creative Skillset’s TV skills council Andrew Chowns said: “The TV industry has much work to do to create a truly diverse and representative workforce. The progress that has been made in recent years to encourage more BAME and women professionals must be extended to people with disabilities.”

The survey also found variation between genres, with news employing a far higher proportion of disabled people (7.6%) than daytime and factual, which both had under 4% of working staff describing themselves as disabled.

Creative Diversity Network chair and CEO of independent producers’ trade body Pact John McVay said: “TV can’t afford to miss out on the talent and skills of disabled people. Although we still have work to do to get more BAME people into TV, I’m determined that CDN will also be at the forefront of the drive to attract more disabled people.”

Source The Guardian

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