Scandal-hit ITV publishes Diversity Acceleration Plan report


ITV has today published its Diversity Acceleration Plan report for 2023, detailing the company-wide progress made.

The terrestrial broadcaster said its Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion strategy is to create and showcase content by, with and for everyone, connecting and reflecting modern audiences.

The broadcaster has been reeling from scandals among some of its long-standing presenters following the shock departure last year of This Morning presenter, Phillip Schofield, who had an ‘unwise, but not illegal’ affair with a junior male member of the TV crew.

Following this, co-presenter Holly Willoughby also stepped down from the morning show, following a shocking kidnap threat.

The show has also received widespread public criticism for putting ‘unqualified’ presenters Rylan Clark and Rochelle Humes up to interview Prime minister, Rishi Sunak, just this week.

Diversity Acceleration Plan

However, both as a company and as a workforce, ITV said it has focused its efforts on mainstream content, creating opportunities, inclusive culture, and accessibility and disability equity, achieving the following key milestones:

  • Invested £54.2 million of its Diversity Commissioning Fund and £392k of its Diversity Development Fund from 2022-23
  • 21 up-and-coming diverse writers took part in writers’ initiatives
  • In the last three years, 475 productions across around 160 production companies have embedded DEI using ITV’s production principles – created in 2021 to embed DEI practices in every programme ITV commissions
  • 185 diverse creatives stepped up into more senior production roles over the past three years, since the Step Up 60 programme launched
  • 11 Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent colleagues took part in Amplify, ITV’s senior leadership programme
  • Colleague networks continue to grow, reaching over 3,000 members
  • ITV’s first line manager survey showed that 85% of colleagues agree that their managers build an inclusive team environment
  • ITV is an active member of the TV Access Project (TAP) and as part of this initiative, ITV Studios hired its first in-house Access Coordinator
  • ITV launched the ITV Academy which opened doors and offered career paths for people from diverse backgrounds

Over the last three years, ITV said it has improved representation towards all of its target areas at the all colleagues level.

At senior levels, it said it has made improvements overall.

ITV said it strengthened its focus on senior representation, particularly for Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent colleagues and People of Colour.

What’s Next? 

For 2024 and beyond, ITV said it is committed to maintaining and building on its DEI successes seeking out more diverse ideas, production companies and talent, and will continue to collaborate across the industry, with partners including the TV Access Project and The TV Collective to drive systemic change.

It said it will address antisemitism and Islamophobia through education and training, supporting the Film and TV Charity’s cross-industry work in this area.

At ITV, it will continue to use the  Diversity Commissioning Fund and Development Fund in 2024 to drive change in its mainstream content, focussing on increasing Deaf, Disabled and Neurodivergent leads.

It will create more opportunities, expanding its pipeline of diverse talent. And it will train and upskill all colleagues through its new mandatory global DEI training.

After a successful pilot, it will offer additional tools to support colleagues, including senior leaders and managers outside of the UK.

Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive Officer ITV, said: “As a broadcaster, streamer, and global producer, ITV has a unique opportunity to shape culture for good.

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are fundamental to our work at ITV. We aim to create and showcase content by, with and for everyone.

“I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who delivers our Diversity Acceleration Plan. Our fantastic colleagues, networks, DEI team, and collaborators are driving measurable change.

“I’m encouraged by the improvements I’ve seen over the last three years, and we still have much work to do. We will continue to drive change and improve experiences for our colleagues, audiences, and the wider industry.”

Ade Rawcliffe, Group Director of Diversity & Inclusion ITV said: “We are pleased to share this annual Diversity Acceleration Plan report highlighting the progress we’ve made.

“In three years, we have made some significant improvements at ITV, on and off-screen and within our own workforce. Yet the sector faces some broader challenges and for many in the industry, this past year has been a difficult one.

“We will continue to work hard to protect and build on our progress.

“This year, we’ve continued to focus on long-term change. Highlights include investing £54.2 million of our Diversity Commissioning Fund from 2022-23, collaborating through the cross-industry TV Access Project to improve accessibility, and creating a pipeline of diverse writers and talent.

“Moving forward, we’re cementing and building on our work so far. As our communities, cultures and contexts continue to evolve, so must we. We will push further to achieve sustainable impact at ITV and across society.”