Radio industry lagging behind on ethnic diversity

13 Jun 2018  |  Scarlett O'Donoghue 
Radio industry lagging behind on ethnic diversity

New data from Ofcom has this week revealed for the first time the scale of the diversity challenge within the UK radio industry.

Ofcom's report, Diversity and Equal Opportunities in Radio, surveyed nearly 9,000 employees across 16 companies and focuses on three of the main radio broadcasters: the BBC, Bauer and Global.

The study reveals that ethnic minority groups represent only 6% of the radio workforce, falling below the UK population average of 14%, with the BBC reporting the highest rate of the three broadcasters at 8%.

According to the report, there is no representation by anyone from an ethnic minority background at board level, and the role within the industry with the lowest representation of ethnic minorities is sales at just 3%.

Meanwhile, the radio industry's female workforce is in line with the UK population at 51%, with Global recording the highest proportion at 57%, followed by Bauer at 54% and the BBC with 49%.

However, the figures also show that only 37% of women occupy senior management roles within the industry, whilst male employees account for 62% of senior management and 81% of board level roles.

Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, said: "Our radio industry must reflect the breadth of modern society and offer listeners engaging shows that speak directly to their lives and experiences. And to do this effectively broadcasters must take further action to attract a wider range of talent, both on and off air."

As too many broadcasters are failing to address the diversity issue within the radio industry, companies are increasingly expected to regularly measure and monitor the make-up of their workforce, and chief executives are accountable for setting and delivering diversity targets.


How the UK press reacted to May's historic defeat IPA Bellwether: industry reaction IPA awards New Year's Honours News UK combines print and digital commercial teams Advertising bosses outline strategies to cope with Brexit

Related articles

Diversity challenges // Christmas conundrum // OOH shoot-out The curious case of adland's missing men BBC pay gap: diversity as big an issue as gender
Leave a comment

Thank you for your comment - a copy has now been sent to the Newsline team who will review it shortly. Please note that the editor may edit your comment before publication.


17 Jan 2019 

Data from Mediatel Connected
Find out more about the UK's most comprehensive aggregator of media data.

Arrange a demo

Newsline Bulletins

Receive weekly round-ups of the latest comment, opinion and media news, direct to your inbox.

More Info