It seems that at least in the UK radio does take the issue of diversity seriously releasing their latest report on it whilst admitting they still have room for improvement. It it not surprising to see that “Ethnic minorities, disabled people and women in senior roles remain under-represented in the UK radio industry.” In some way it is also a broader reflection of society and in some workplaces in the western world where organisations face similar issues.
It is good to see that some progress has been made in the last year on improving diversity. It is also heartening to see that this report acknowledges that initiatives to tackle the lack of diversity have made ‘significant strides’ in the last year whilst been realistic in saying that it takes time to “bring about culture change.”
Ofcom’s who have the role of holding broadcasters to account on their arrangements including arranging promoting equal employment found in their study that “Women continue to under-represented at senior levels” whilst “men occupying 63% of senior positions.” Whilst with disabled people only “six percent of radio employees self-defined as disabled in 2018” and “representation of employees from minority-ethnic backgrounds” is only 7%.
With such low figures especially around disabled and ethnic minority representation in the radio industry there is still a lot of work to be done in this space to improve these figures. There are a lot of challenges in this and organisations like Bauer still have a lot of work to do to improve this. With clear targets, a management driven diversity agenda and other suggestions for improvement by Ofcom in time we should see a positive change in these statistics in the radio industry. More importantly we should diversity be radically improved in the years ahead if the radio industry is willing.