RTS Scotland hosts “The Network Speaks” at Channel 4’s new Glasgow Hub at the end of February.
RTS in partnership with the Creative Diversity Network (CDN) has held events at other RTS Centre's around the UK, hosting it's fourth and final event in Glasgow.
The events aim to create a safe and open space for discussion, where the TV production community can come together and help tackle the lack of diversity within the industry.
Deborah Williams, Executive Director at CDN said, “We need to ensure we [the production community] have the best workforce. And if you don’t have a diverse workforce, you don’t have the best workforce”.
Representatives from Scotland’s broadcasters and production companies were welcomed at the event and took part in a vibrant and thoughtful discussion lead by Alison Smith, the Access and Engagement Coordinator of the Scottish Queer International Film Festival, on how best to increase representation from all demographics on and off screen.
Discussion focused on the practical steps employers and broadcasters would need to take to increase diversity. It was agreed that first and foremost, outreach, to under-represented communities would need to be a priority. Representatives from independent production companies stressed however, this would require more financial incentives for it to become a feasible option for them to take.
Also suggested was a universal database of upcoming diverse talent. It was seen as an important step to ensure talent was properly developed and retained by media companies and not just hired temporarily.
Representatives agreed to work towards more concrete solutions once new figures from Diamond (a diversity monitoring system for broadcasters) were released in the forth coming weeks. This will show for one of the first times, diversity figures in the freelance industry as well as for permanent employment.
Findings from “The Networks Speaks” events will soon be available in a comprehensive report – in the hope that the production community can now implement these new solutions and achieve practical results for an optimistic future.
RTS Scotland Committee member, Eric Joseph said, "The challenges facing the screen industry on ensuring they reflect and represent our society are complexed but can be overcome. This was a positive event with inspiring dialogue. Thanks to everyone who was involved and contributed".