In the radio industry in the United Kingdom, almost twice as many men are in senior management roles than women, commercial radio stations have the lowest percentage of employees from an ethnic-minority background, and only five per cent of jobs go to someone with a disability, found an Ofcom report published on 13 June.
The research examined 16 radio broadcasters focusing on the BBC, Global and Bauer, and highlighted that many companies do not collect enough data on details like disability, ethnicity and sexual orientation to be able to understand the diversity of their workforce.
The industry did have a complete dataset on gender, however. It showed 63 per cent of board or senior management level roles are occupied by men.
In the report, Ofcom pointed out broadcasters should reflect and provide relevant content for their whole audience. To be able to do this, they should have a diverse workforce which represents the UK population. At the moment, radio is falling behind.
"Personally, as a young black woman, I feel like I have to fit into a certain box in order to be accepted by the radio world," Leah Davis, presenter, Capital Xtra, told Journalism.co.uk.
"I have to like a certain type of music in order for me to make sense to the industry".
"For the longest time radio has justified its lack of diversity under the guise of radio being 'faceless' and 'all about the voice'.
"But now due to the visualisation of radio, listeners and presenters alike are finally noticing that in fact diversity is an issue."
Some 6 per cent of the UK radio industry’s employees are from an ethnic minority, with more who haven't disclosed their race or haven't been asked by their employers, compared with 14 per cent of the UK population coming from an ethnic minority.
Free daily newsletter
- Three lessons on inclusive commissioning from student-turned-indie publication Kindred Magazine
- Newsrewired special: training and retaining new journalists
- Foreign journalists can write in English, thank you very much
- What can be done to create more viable routes into journalism?
- Tip: Make source diversity part of your reporting routine