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Diversity in Commercial Radio


Commercial radio’s mix of music, news, travel and local information is listened to by 36 million people each week.  With such a diverse audience it is important to understand the make-up of our industry.

In their 2015 Employment Survey the sector skills body Creative Skillset found that across the whole radio industry 46% employees are women and Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) employees make up 9%.  This compares to 10.9% BAME employees in the rest of the UK workforce.

The diversity of output is important and specialist music stations now play a bigger role than ever in making available an unprecedented volume and breadth tracks with choice from dedicated Asian stations like Sunrise and Panjab Radio to London Greek Radio and Capital XTRA.

According to the latest* RAJAR figures, our sector reaches 60% of the BAME audience, compared to a 45% reach by BBC services.  It also reaches 66% of listeners considered to be in a lower socio-economic classification (C2DE), compared to 56% reached by the BBC.  In addition, a quarter of local commercial radio listeners (7 million) do not tune in to any other type of radio service.

However, there is recognition from the commercial radio sector that more could be done to encourage greater diversity within our industry and so Radiocentre is helping to drive a positive change.

Creative Access

Creative Access 2017

Our most recent Creative Access Radio Masterclass was held on June 2017. Panellists included (pictured, from right to left): Jagruti Dave (Producer at LBC), Asheesh Sharma (Asian Network), Yasmin Evans (1Xtra host), Keturah Cummings (BBC Content Producer), Pandora Christie (Kiss FM DJ).

Radiocentre has been working closely with Creative Access to try and improve representation of young people from BAME backgrounds.  In addition to taking part in their internship programme we have now joined forces with the BBC to co-host a number of Radio Masterclass for Creative Access interns who are looking to start careers in the Creative Industries.

Diversity at Radiocentre

Here at Radiocentre we value the diversity of our team, yet until recently we didn’t hold any data on our employees. In order to address this over the summer we conducted a comprehensive staff survey, with all new employees automatically given a survey.  We were keen that the survey was as broad as possible and so it covered the following important characteristics: age, race, gender, faith, sexual orientation, disability, as well as social mobility.

A few headlines from our survey are included below.

  • The majority of our organisation is female, including the senior management team (67%)
  • Almost three quarters of our team attended state school (74%)
  • Our team is made up from across a broad range of ages

Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion logo

Radiocentre is a member of the Employers Network for Equality & Inclusion (ENEI). We are working with them in order to provide an industry strategy and charter, along with best practice materials for our members.

Industry monitoring

In 2016 Ofcom launched its Diversity in Broadcasting monitoring programme. We have been working with our members ahead of this on the details of the programme and expect Ofcom to begin monitoring the commercial radio industry towards the end of 2017. As part of the initiative Ofcom has published an online diversity and equality toolkit.

This page will be updated as soon as more information is available from Ofcom.
*Q4 2017

april, 2018

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