Broadcaster, writer and campaigner, and now Director of Creative Diversity at the BBC, June Sarpong MBE has come a long way since the beginning of her career as a DJ and presenter on MTV and Kiss FM.
Her new role adds to her already varied portfolio, she appears as a panellist on ITV’s Loose Women and Sky News’ The Pledge, she is also the author of two books on diversity issues – Diversify (2017) and The Power of Women (2018).
Since 2010, she has built a reputation as a leading campaigner on a wide range of diversity and inclusion issues. She is a passionate advocate for change in the workplace and a champion for greater representation throughout the media. She seems an obvious choice for the role, which was advertised earlier this year in May.
Increasing representation of BAME and women in senior leadership remains a priority for the BBC. They have reportedly already reached their 2020 target for BAME staff (15%) at 15.3%. June’s appointment is another step in the right direction.
“The task is indeed daunting, however being awarded the opportunity to help level the playing field for the next generation of diverse talent, makes the obstacles and discrimination I have personally faced throughout my own career all the more worthwhile.”
Her new position will be focused on leading a renewed drive to further transform and modernise the BBC and its culture. She will work to increase representation and ensure that their content reflects the public they serve. She will also serve as a high-profile ambassador and champion for the BBC within the media industry and business.
Speaking about her new role, June said: “I am particularly humbled to step into the newly created role of Creative Diversity Director for the BBC. I relish the challenge of working with senior leadership to make the BBC more inclusive and representative of the broad and diverse audience it serves.
“The task is indeed daunting, however being awarded the opportunity to help level the playing field for the next generation of diverse talent, makes the obstacles and discrimination I have personally faced throughout my own career all the more worthwhile. I look forward to collaborating with diversity and inclusion industry stakeholders to find new and productive ways to create systemic change.”
Tony Hall, Director General of the BBC, says: “While we have made significant progress on diversity, we also have to accept that the BBC has much further to go. June’s drive, ambition, and knowhow, will help further transform the BBC’s programming to ensure that we truly reflect the public we serve.
“She will have a wide remit to deliver change, and I have no doubt that with her help and leadership, we will deliver it. I am determined that we have a BBC that continues to speak to and for everyone. June will help us achieve that.”
June will work her three-day a week position around her other commitments. Her appointment, which is initially for two years, begins on 1 November 2019. We look forward to her bringing a much needed fresh perspective at the Executive Committee.