Reflecting modern society through our programmes, workforce and services, ensuring we’re relevant and accessible to all.

Reflecting the diversity of modern society is more than just the right thing to do – it gives our programmes mass appeal, attracting the largest possible audiences which is essential to our success as an integrated producer broadcaster. So we strive to ensure diversity in our on-screen programming and in our workforce, ensuring that we’re relevant and accessible to all.

We know that only by representing our audiences within our workforce and on-screen will we be able to authentically reflect and appeal to the breath of viewers that characterise modern society. Not only do we want to attract the most talented people, but we want people to achieve their best and successfully develop their career with us.

Our commitments

How we measure success

Although the make-up of modern Britain is constantly changing, the latest national population statistics are the most appropriate means for us to benchmark our on-screen diversity. Where available (for gender, age, ethnicity and disability), we use the 2011 Census data. For sexual orientation and gender identity, we use other available estimates from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). For our workforce data, we use national workforce statistics, also from the ONS, which are updated on a quarterly basis. The national workforce statistics used in the graphs below are based on June 2017 data. Therefore comparisons shouldn’t be made between the national population (2011) and labour workforce (2017) estimates.

Our approach isn’t based on setting quotas, rather, we aim to reflect modern Britain by implementing shorter term positive action initiatives and creating a long-term culture of inclusion.

Inclusive programming

Our aim is to make sure our programmes accurately portray the diversity of modern society by the people on-screen and the editorial content.

It’s essential for us as a commercial broadcaster to continue to attract the largest possible audiences to our channels and content. This means we must reflect, represent and appeal to the breadth of communities that characterise modern society.

This commitment applies to our entire programme schedule, but it’s important to focus our efforts where we know we can have the greatest impact. Some of our most popular programmes in the UK can attract audiences of over 10 million and reach over 80% of the UK population. That’s why we’re prioritising our most-loved and most-watched programmes, to ensure that the programmes which are at the heart of popular culture are inclusive and diverse as well as being mindful of relevant environmental and social topics.

An important part of improving on-screen diversity is understanding how diverse our programmes currently are. We’ve been monitoring the perceived on-screen diversity of our programmes for years and we’ve invested in the pan-industry diversity monitoring system called Diamond, alongside the other major broadcasters. Diamond was established to collate diversity data in a consistent way about the TV production business in the UK. The ambition is for Diamond to highlight best practice as well as areas for improvement, and help our sector improve diversity in the future. The first report was released in August 2017 and can be viewed here.

What we’re doing

From increasing the diversity of regular contributors on our Daytime shows, to characters that represent modern society in the nation’s most-loved, most-watched soaps, we’re committed to accurately portraying modern society. Whilst we recognise that there’s still a long way to go, our programme teams are taking steps to increase on-screen diversity. To see our latest data and to find out more about what we’re doing see our ITV Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2017.

Although our focus is to ensure that diversity and inclusion is embedded within our day-to-day production processes, partnering with organisations that help us to access diverse talent pools is a key part of our approach. Break Through On Screen Talent focuses on the under representation of disability on-screen by offering a one-day intensive casting workshop for actors with a disability. In 2017 our workshop was with the Emmerdale crew and cast in Leeds.

It’s also important that we’re not just diverse and inclusive in terms of on-screen portrayal, but that modern society is accurately reflected in our editorial content. Reaching over 23 million viewers every week, ITV News brings breaking stories to huge audiences across UK regions and our award winning News teams recognise that reflecting and representing modern Britain’s diverse communities is essential for growing audiences. That’s why over the years, ITV News have established forums to engage with local communities to gather feedback, address challenges and share best practice in improving on-screen representation. Each ITV News region has its own Diversity Panel with representatives from community groups, enabling editorial teams to find out directly from community members how they can better reflect and represent their region.

Initiatives such as Original Voices helps us to access talent pools of writers who represent and so understand the communities reflected in our programmes. In 2017, our Emmerdale team ran this scheme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) writing talent, offering applicants the opportunity to spend six weeks in the Emmerdale story department.

Although we take overall ownership of our commitment to better reflect society, we can only achieve this by working in partnership with programme suppliers, both from within ITV Studios and from independent programme makers, who generate content for our family of channels. That’s why in 2014, we introduced ITV’s Social Partnership framework into the programme commissioning process. We updated the framework at the beginning of 2018 with strengthened commissioning commitments. The framework allows us to engage with the wider programme making community to ensure better understanding of our expectations and commitments towards inclusivity. Find out more about the Social Partnership framework here.

Read more about how we’re promoting inclusive programming in our ITV Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2017.

Inclusive workforce

Our aim is to make sure our workforce reflects the diverse make-up of modern society to foster creativity and to ensure our programmes and services are relevant to our audiences.

We recognise that in order for our programmes and services to accurately reflect and appeal to modern society, it’s important that the teams behind the scenes are equally diverse and that we foster a workplace culture that is inclusive and accessible to all.

We know that diversity leads to greater creativity and better decision-making so we’re committed to ensuring our workforce reflects the diverse make-up of modern society. With over 60% of our workforce based in the UK, our priority is to first embed our commitments at the heart of everything we do here, but our longer term plan is to make sure our best practice and policies are applied globally. The latest census in 2011 from the UK’s Office for National Statistics is the most accurate means for us to benchmark our on-screen diversity, and their national workforce statistics, updated quarterly, for our workforce diversity.

What we’re doing

We have policies in place and have taken a number of measures to help us both better understand and achieve greater diversity in our workforce. Initiatives to encourage colleagues to update their personal data helps us to understand the make-up and needs of our current workforce and to put in place the tools needed to make sure each and every colleague can be their best. By auditing our recruitment practices and delivering diversity awareness training, we want to make sure that we are an accessible and inclusive employer of choice. Our policies include an Equal Opportunities policy and our Code of Conduct which outline what we expect of our colleagues and suppliers.

We’re continuing to build on these policies and procedures, raising awareness, rolling out training and in particular we’re looking at measures such as succession planning, mentoring and colleague networks to improve gender balance at more senior levels. In 2017 we launched ITV’s ‘Plus 1’ initiative to challenge everyone to think differently about how they approach recruitment, development and succession planning.

To see our latest data on our UK workforce diversity and global gender split see our ITV Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2017.

As well as supporting our current workforce, we’re committed to making sure that our future workforce represents and reflects our future audiences and that we continue to be an employer of choice for diverse and creative candidates. Using both our own platforms and by partnering with organisations that share our values and commitment to diversity, we want to give maximum exposure to job opportunities and promote ITV as great place to work to as many diverse groups as possible. Our recruitment team are members of Vercida, formerly Diversity Jobs, which connects people to employers who place high importance on a diverse staff population.

We run a number of entry-level programmes with the aim of supporting diverse and talented candidates who may not otherwise have considered a career within our industry to do so. We recognise how difficult it can be for people starting out without external support so we’re proud of the fact that all of our internships; traineeships and apprenticeships pay at least the minimum wage.

The ITV News Traineeship is a nine-month programme that offers at least 10 salaried positions working alongside our news teams across the regions. Candidates don’t need professional qualifications or a particular level of education, just a real and demonstrable passion for journalism.

Our award winning ITV Apprenticeship Programme is an alternative to higher education, offering 12-month salaried positions throughout the business with the opportunity to achieve qualifications whilst gaining valuable workplace experience. On average 75% of our apprentices go on to get a full time position at ITV after their placement, and 85% either go back into full time education, accept a job at ITV, or use their ITV experience to gain a job at another organisation. In 2015, we were proud to announce that in partnership with CILEx Law School and City Law School we’re delivering the UK’s first in-house legal apprenticeship under the government’s Trailblazer scheme. In September 2016, we welcomed our first legal apprentice who has begun a six year placement in our in house legal team.

We’re proud to support and now house Creative Access, a charity that helps to create opportunities in the creative industries for young people of graduate (or equivalent standard) from under-represented Black, Asian and other non-white minority ethnic backgrounds. ITV Studios welcomed the first Creative Access interns in 2012 and since then have offered almost 70 internships within ITV Studios and other production partners, with more than half of the young people going on to secure permanent roles after their placement.

We also take part, along with the BBC, Sky, Channel 4 and Channel 5, in the Commissioner Programme; an initiative launched by the Creative Diversity Network to improve the diversity of those who commission Britain’s TV, and by doing so, realise new sources of creativity and build the diversity of output. The 12-month full time programme encourages applications from experienced media professionals from underrepresented backgrounds (e.g. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic or those with a disability).

Read more about how we’re promoting an inclusive workforce in our ITV Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2017.

Inclusive culture

Our aim is to build awareness and capacity and create a culture that attracts, develops and retains the best talent possible and enables everyone to be their best.

We want ITV to be a great place to work and a fundamental part of this is fostering an inclusive culture that attracts, develops and retains the best talent possible, and where everyone is valued and empowered to be their best.

Only by representing our audiences within our workforce will we be able to authentically reflect and appeal to the breath of viewers that characterise modern society. Not only do we want to attract the most talented people to work for us, but we want to enable our colleagues to achieve their best and and to develop their career with us. Making sure our culture and working environment is inclusive and accessible is key.

What we’re doing

We’re the first broadcaster to hold the Living Wage accreditation and pay the London Living Wage. The Living Wage is a route to encouraging social mobility and access to the industry particularly in higher cost of living locations. This means that we pay all employees, from permanent employees to contractors and temporary workers the hourly rate set independently and updated annually by the Living Wage Foundation, which is higher than the new national Living Wage. We have also standardised all our agreements so that anyone employed or contracted by ITV via a third party organisation will receive the living wage as well. We’re also a signatory to the UK government’s Social Mobility Business Compact, which seeks to address elitism and improve social mobility by offering opportunities to people from socially diverse backgrounds. In 2018 we also signed up to the Social Mobility Pledge.

Our internal policies support our colleagues to be at their best and include our Equal Opportunities Policy, Disability Policy and Flexible Working Policy to name a few. In 2017 we also launched our Transitioning at Work policy for our trans colleagues. We’re a Disability Confident partner, working with the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions to remove barriers to employment for people with disabilities and those with long-term health conditions, and to ensure opportunities to fulfill potential and realise aspirations.

We also want to provide our colleagues with the right tools. We are currently piloting the introduction of Read&Write literacy software for all colleagues at ITV. While Read&Write empowers colleagues to meet day-to-day literacy and language needs and communicate with greater confidence, we also want to normalise the use of this type of software as a productivity tool.

Encouraging colleagues to share feedback and opinion is key to our ongoing improvement. Our Employment Engagement survey along with active networks like our OneITV Ambassadors and ITV Pride connect people and enables us to gain valuable insights from across the business as to how we’re doing in terms of building an inclusive and accessible workplace culture. We also launched our Women’s Network in 2016 open to all women and men at ITV, and have hosted successful events promoting career progression, networking and leadership.

Our network of OneITV Ambassadors spans the business, with representatives from each and every UK team. Through regular meetings chaired by members of the Senior Leadership Team, OneITV Ambassadors help to highlight new ways to make ITV an even better place to work. They act as a voice for the teams they represent: sharing colleagues’ views, shining a light on the things we could do better and finding ways to improve. The OneITV Ambassadors also play a key role in helping to keep their colleagues up-to-date with what’s going on across the business.

Launched in 2012, ITV Pride has provided a key link for our Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community across our UK and international sites. With membership growing every year, the network has a vital role in translating diversity and inclusiveness commitments and policies into benefits for the whole of ITV. Throughout the year, ITV Pride members take part in internal and external events, including both London, Manchester and Belfast Pride festivals, helping to raise awareness and support for the LGBT and Pride community.

Read more about how we’re promoting an inclusive culture in our ITV Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2017.

Inclusive access to programmes and services

Our aim is to work with our supply chain to encourage inclusivity standards and to make sure our services are accessible.

We want our programmes and services to be as accessible as possible to the largest audiences, and we’re committed to improving accessibility both on and off-screen.

Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services sets annual targets for subtitling, audio description and signing, which we continue to exceed, measuring year-on-year against our total transmission hours. Behind the scenes, we continue to review our on-site accessibility specifications and processes to make sure they’re as inclusive as possible.

How we measure success


Ofcom’s Code on Television Access Services sets targets for subtitling, audio description and signing. For 2017, these were:


of our
broadcast output

Audio description:

of our
broadcast output*


of our
broadcast output

* although we set ourselves a target of 20%

On top of these statutory requirements, we have also set ourselves a higher voluntary target for audio description of 20%.

What we’re doing

Our in-house service, ITV SignPost are experts in creating accessible on-screen content in British and American Sign Language for broadcast, online and many other platforms. Since 2000, they’ve been providing signing for our family of channels as well as a range of international public and private sector clients. Our Signed Stories website showcases the best of children’s books in British and American Sign Language, animation, text and sound.

Working in partnership with RNIB, Action on Hearing Loss and ITV SignPost, more than 98% of our content is subtitled across ITV, ITV2 and ITV3, and 20% or more of content across ITV, ITV2, ITV3, ITV4 and CITV is audio described. We offer an enhanced audio description service on ITVBe that helps better describe the fast-paced action of the reality programmes on the channel. We’ll continue to increase accessibility of our programmes and services, with a focus on content across Video On Demand platforms, a growing area of our business. To see our latest access services data and to find out more about how we promote inclusive access to programmes and services, see our ITV Corporate Responsibility Summary Report 2017.