BBC surpasses 2003 ethnic recruitment targets

BBC director general Greg Dyke’s vision of a “hideously white” corporation faded a little this week after the broadcaster announced it met its 10 per cent target for recruiting ethnic minority staff last year.

Emboldened after surpassing the 2003 target by 0.02 per cent – adding around 650 non-white staff over four years – the BBC has raised the proposed level for staff from ethnic backgrounds to 12.5 per cent by the end of 2007.

Within the new target, 7 per cent of senior management will be from ethnic minority backgrounds, the corporation said this week, up from 4 per cent last year exceeded by 0.38 per cent.

The new target was announced by Dyke a week after the appointment of Andrea Callender as the BBC’s new head of diversity.

But it also comes days after Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality, told Tribune that the BBC’s current recruitment policy often produced “a racist outcome”.

“Why is it that, among Greg Dyke’s 20 most senior executives, there still isn’t one from an ethnic minority? In terms of proportion of employees, ethnic representation remains way below what it ought to be,” he asked.

However Dyke, speaking at a BBC and Arts Council England event this week, said: “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.”

By Wale Azeez

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