UK NEWS: ARTS COUNCIL TO REQUIRE ‘ETHNIC MONITORING’ BY ALL FUNDED CLIENTS

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BECTU has today welcomed the Arts Council of England’s new requirements compelling their funded clients to monitor the diversity of all parts of their workforce, including for the first time on-stage talent, and publish this information.

The organisation has led a long campaign for this in partnership with its fellow unions in the Federation of Entertainment Unions, which had recently demanded a meeting with Arts Council chair Peter Bazalgette and Chief Executive Alan Davey to press the case.

BECTU has pointed out that the lack of transparency on the ethnic diversity of ACE-funded organisations had led to a decline in minority ethnic staff within these companies, with no-one accountable. The Arts Council of England has until now withheld the data on individual companies on grounds of “client confidentiality” but their industry-wide data showed a decline in ethnic diversity in all areas.

BECTU General Secretary Gerry Morrissey commented:

“This is a major breakthrough in the fight for equality within the creative industries. Publishing each company’s equality monitoring data will mean that for the first time each company in receipt of public money can be held accountable over how well they reflect the public that they wish to serve. The companies who have worked hard and succeeded in achieving a diverse workforce can be congratulated, and it will also become clear which companies have more to do. They will have nowhere to hide.”

They have also made the same demand of the British Film Institute, which funds film, and Ofcom which regulates commercial broadcasters.

Gerry Morrissey added:

“We now expect the BFI and Ofcom to follow suit.”

With BECTU breathing down their necks and Lenny Henry on the other side fighting the power over  the lack of diversity within the creative industries, I have a feeling that the BFI and Ofcom will soon follow suit. 

Well done BECTU.

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