Karine Jean-Pierre
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BBC Promises to Hire LGBT Employees, Talent


The dominant force in British media, the BBC, has made a bold pledge for diversity, promising equal representation for women, people of color, the disabled, and LGBT individuals.

The BBC's diversity targets aim to have women fill 50 percent of its positions by 2020, including on-air and leadership jobs. The network is nearly there; 48.4 percent of BBC employees are women, and over 41 percent of management is female. 

The BBC, which airs shows as diverse as Absolutely FabulousTop Gear, and The Graham Norton Show, also committed to having 15 percent of its workforce be people of color. The network has already taken steps to hire black, Asian, and other ethnic minorities so as to reflect the way Britain looks in 2016.

LGBT and disabled people have not been left out of the conversation. The network set specific quotas for each group, hoping that 8 percent of its workforce identifies as LGBT and another 8 percent as handicapped.

"We are the BBC and must be held to a higher standard," a network spokesperson said in a statement. "The range of the BBC's programme and services, and the fact that we will make sure that our approach to diversity is hardwired in everything we do, make these targets even more ambitious."

No such statement of inclusion has been made by an American television network or film studio. Mainstream American movies, in particular, have been criticized for their lack of racial diversity.

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