The BBC has been striving to foster an inclusive culture, and in 2018, it undertook a number of actions to get a sense of how staff from different socio-economic backgrounds felt about working for the BBC.
Alongside some deep-dive analysis of their socio-economic diversity data, the corporation organised meetings where senior leaders met with staff from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The focus groups were run by participating staff to create an open and comfortable environment for discussion. Staff were asked about their experience working at the BBC, progression opportunities, the inclusivity of the culture and what improvements could be made to the workplace culture.
They found that staff had often felt the need to assimilate to fit in and to progress. The initiative resulted in a set of recommendations, written into an executive report for the leadership board, to help increase the diversity of the workforce and to improve the culture and career progression opportunities.
Although it has been challenging to enact all of these points quickly, a key recommendation was to create a Real Action in Socio-Economic Diversity (RAISED) Staff Network, which has already made a cultural difference by giving staff a platform to voice and share experiences. The recommendations have also fed into the new D&I Plan which now includes socio-economic diversity.
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