Sky sets ambitious 2025 target to increase its ethnic diversity and representation

Thursday 21 January 2021

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  • 20% of employees at Sky in the UK & Ireland to be from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background by 2025, with at least a quarter of these to be Black.
  • Aim applies to Sky leadership team, with targets replicated for top 300 leaders.

In June last year, Sky announced a series of commitments to improve our approach to diversity and inclusion. Sky committed to invest £10million a year across its markets for each of the next three years to improve representation and progression of minority groups, make a difference in communities impacted by racism, and use the power of Sky’s voice and platform to highlight racial injustice. The commitments included an ambition to create new targets to improve ethnic diversity and representation throughout the organisation.

Following these commitments, Sky undertook research into the demographics of the local areas the business operates in. This research forms the basis of the new 2025 target that 20% of the roles in the UK & Ireland workforce should be filled by those from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background, and 5% of the roles in Sky’s UK & Ireland workforce should be filled by Black employees.

Sky is also introducing the same target for the top circa 300 leaders across the UK and Ireland’s leadership team. By 2025, Sky’s leadership team will be 5% Black, and 20% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic overall. The leadership team is currently 1% Black and 9% Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic, and among Sky’s UK & Ireland employees who disclose their ethnicity, Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic representation is currently 14.7% and Black representation is 2.7%.

Teams within Sky will be set specific targets based on the demographics of where they are based, their colleague attrition and professional pipeline. Progress against the targets will be measured annually and reported in Sky’s Bigger Picture Impact Report. Executives will be held responsible for meeting the targets in their areas by:

  • Building targets into leadership objectives to ensure progress is a priority for the accountable executives.
  • Regular interaction with Sky’s Diversity Action Group, an internal, diverse cross-section of Sky’s workforce chaired by Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO UK & Europe.
  • Ongoing engagement with Sky’s newly appointed external Diversity Advisory Council.

Efforts to meet the targets will be tailored across the organisation. Work is underway to introduce more inclusive recruitment practices, invest in the progression of under-represented groups throughout the organisation, improve retention and offer additional support for the progression of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic staff. Sky will also look to improve its talent pipeline and tackle systemic barriers to access to the industry. Measures are being put in place to improve these areas and they will continue be refined to ensure targets are met.

In the last two years Sky has already:

  • Refreshed the language used in job adverts to be more inclusive.
  • Introduced an aim to ensure shortlists are reflective of location when hiring.
  • Advertised roles in places that attract more diverse candidates.

Last week Sky confirmed the appointment of Denise Peart as Chief Talent, Diversity and Inclusion Officer, and announced the members of the Diversity Advisory Council.

Stephen van Rooyen, EVP & CEO UK & Europe Sky said:

“Last year we said Sky could, and should, do more to improve diversity and inclusion in our own business, and to support the fight against racial injustice. Over the last few months, we’ve been listening to all our colleagues and today we’re making some ambitious commitments around representation at Sky.

“There is clear evidence that businesses with greater cultural and ethnic diversity perform better. Getting this right will enable us to make better business decisions; develop better content on screen, see more innovation off screen and improve diversity and inclusion across the industry.”

Denise Peart, Sky’s Chief Talent, Diversity and Inclusion Officer said:

“Introducing these targets acknowledges that we have more work to do in ensuring our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues are fairly represented at all levels, and across all areas of Sky. Our focus will be on making systemic changes to ensure that we recruit, retain, develop and progress these colleagues, whilst holding ourselves accountable for meeting these targets. This will allow us to continue to take positive steps in becoming a more diverse and inclusive organisation.”

Lord Karan Bilimoria, CBI President, said:

“I’m delighted that Sky have committed to ambitious action to better represent the communities they operate in and customers they serve. Because concerted company efforts to accelerate greater racial and ethnic participation - particularly at senior levels – are much needed across British business.

“What gets measured gets done. Setting stretching targets as Sky have, alongside more measures to cultivate an inclusive company culture, will undoubtedly propel their progress forward faster and set a shining example to other firms looking to do the same. “

Deborah Williams, Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network said:

"Data from CDN's Race and Ethnicity Report: A Deep Dive into Diamond Data, which was published in October last year, shone a light on the inequality off-screen in the UK television industry, particularly at senior, decision-making levels. We therefore very much welcome and support Sky's new innovative Black, Asian and ethnic minority targets, especially for its leadership team."

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact:

Skypress@sky.uk

About Sky

Sky is Europe’s leading media and entertainment company and is proud to be part of the Comcast group. Across six countries, we connect our 24 million customers to the best entertainment, sports, news, arts and to our own award-winning original content.

Our technology, including the market leading Sky Q, connects people to everything they love - TV, music, games, online video, fitness and educational content, all in one place, easy. Our streaming service, NOW TV, brings viewers all the enjoyment of Sky with the flexibility of a contract-free service.

Building on the success of Sky Originals like Chernobyl, I Hate Suzie and Brassic, we are doubling our investment in original content by 2024 through Sky Studios. Sky News provides impartial and trustworthy journalism for free, while Sky Arts, the UK’s only dedicated free-to-air arts channel, makes the arts accessible for everyone. Our new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, is expected to create over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in the UK over the first five years alone.

We believe that we can be a force for good in the communities in which we operate. We’re committed to being Europe’s first net zero carbon entertainment company by 2030. We take pride in our approach to diversity and inclusion: we’ve been recognised by The Times and Stonewall for our commitment to diversity and we’ve put in place a new programme to invest £30million across our markets over the next three years to tackle racial injustice.

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