Head of Diversity

London (Central), London (Greater)
26 Jul 2016
04 Aug 2016
Job Type

Main Aims:   

The BFI is seeking a senior individual in the new role of Head of Diversity, to join our External Affairs team. The role will lead for the organisation on industry and Government facing engagement on diversity and inclusion, and to provide thought leadership to help maintain our position at the vanguard of embracing the creative and economic opportunities of diversity within the screen industries. This will include working with senior peers within the BFI to ensure we are in a strong position corporately to deliver effectively on diversity and inclusion.

The BFI was founded to advance the understanding and appreciation of film in the UK, and to create opportunities for everyone in the UK to engage with film. Without a strong and effective commitment to diversity we will fail to deliver on these ambitions in the modern world.

As the lead body for film, and in our role as a public funder and a Lottery distributor, it’s essential that the BFI represents a contemporary Britain – in the films we fund and show, the audiences who watch them, and the filmmakers, actors and crews who make them. This obviously applies to race, disability, gender and sexual orientation but also to matters of low socio-economic status and in telling the stories of, and supporting activity in, the entire UK.

Just a couple of statistics show the size of the challenge:

  • In 2012, women made up 46% of the film workforce, and yet only 7.8% of the UK films released were directed and only 13.4% were written by women, demonstrating that there is still a lot of work to be done.
  • Just 5.3% of the film production workforce, 3.4% of the film distribution workforce and 4.5% of the film exhibition workforce were from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in 2012.

The picture is the same in front of the camera. 40% of the general public said that characters from ethnic minorities are too often represented in films in a tokenistic way. This rose to 60% in the LGBT community, 69% in the Asian community and 76% in the Black African and Caribbean community. We also believe that not enough people with disabilities were represented on screen.

We are proud of the steps we have taken to start to lead this challenge.

Our industry leading Diversity Standards (http://www.bfi.org.uk/about-bfi/policy-strategy/diversity/diversity-standards) ensure that all BFI backed projects and programmes meet minimum requirements in their representation of diverse groups and in the opportunities they offer minority groups both as employees and audiences. All BFI projects must actively look to meet our definition of diversity: ‘recognising and acknowledging the quality and value of difference’.

Our Diversity Fund was launched in Autumn 2015 to provide opportunities for specific groups that are currently under-represented within the film industry. It funds film projects or activities that focus on under-representation in race, disability, gender, sexual orientation, low socio-economic status and activity outside of London.

Our education and outreach programmes, including Into Film, the BFI Future Film Festival and the BFI Film Academy reach young people across the entire UK and have participation rates from BAME, gender and disability students which are above the national averages.

Diversity will continue to play an ever more central role in the everyday work of the BFI.

It is a top priority emerging in the development of our Strategy for the 2017-2022 period. This is the perfect time to join an expanding team and help us to lead one of the most pressing, and interesting, public debates of the day, turning good words into action.


Key Responsibilities:

Development of overall 5 year vision and strategy to delivery;

Reconsidering the value and impact of the current lottery diversity fund and make recommendations to the Executive for change

Providing support and advice across the BFI to effect change;

Strategic evaluation of the implementation of the BFI Diversity Standards across the BFI and our funded partners. All BFI awards and programmes should now meet these Standards and you will be responsible for leading this activity alongside the BFI’s Evaluation and Monitoring team;

Building industry partnerships and programmes which place BFI at the vanguard of activity on diversity and inclusion in the areas of talent development and creativity;

Leading the BFI’s engagement with HM Government and industry partners such as BAFTA, Creative Skillset, Pact, the Creative Industries Council and the Production Guild on diversity and inclusion issues;

Developing BFI’s relationships with other key delivery partners on diversity and inclusion issues in the cultural field, including the BBC, Channel 4, Sky, ITV and Arts Council England;

Working with the BFI Research Fund team to manage and quality assure all research and evaluation on diversity matters. Including commissioning new research as appropriate;

Representing the BFI at public engagements on diversity and inclusion;

Providing briefing to senior colleagues and board members on diversity and inclusion matters as needed.

Working in partnership with BFI HR colleagues to ensure diversity and inclusion internally reflects and supports our external ambitions.

To be an ambassador for the BFI and maintain a professional approach at all times.

To adhere to all BFI policies and procedures.

To ensure that all BFI financial and procurement policies and procedures are adhered to.

Create and maintain good collegiate working relationships with all BFI staff.

Carry out all responsibilities in a way which supports the BFI brand values and promotes diversity and inclusion.

Undertake any other duties that may be reasonably required.


Person Specification

Minimum Requirements:

  • Proven professional experience with significant experience in programme management and partner engagement;
  • Strong track record of delivering diversity programmes, within the cultural sector;
  • Ability to show organisation wide thought leadership, and to work with the BFI’s senior team and Board of Governors in setting strategic direction;
  • Ability to identify opportunities to develop diversity and inclusion programmes which support the BFI’s strategic aims.
  • An outstanding communicator, able to present complex issues clearly and persuasively, both in person and written;
  • A good understanding of central government and wider public sector environments.
  • A strong team player, who as a key part of their role supports colleagues to deliver;
  • Ability to be proactive, generate new ideas and work flexibly.
  • Ability to work within tight deadlines, adjust to changes in priorities, and balance short term needs with long term strategic initiatives.
  • A demonstrable commitment to the principles of diversity and inclusion and its practical application and integration in the work environment
  • An approach that supports our brand values (approachable, inspiring and responsive)
  • A commitment to continual professional development

“The ideal candidate will have previous experience of delivering diversity and inclusion programmes within the cultural sector and will be an outstanding communicator with the ability to provide thought leadership in the area of diversity and inclusion, within the BFI, and across the industry.

The BFI will consider applications for flexible working and job share opportunities.

Based in Central London, you will enjoy benefits such as our pension scheme, 28-33 days annual leave, tickets to BFI festivals and events plus many others. Further details about the post (including an information pack) can be obtained by visiting www.bfi.org.uk/about-bfi/job-opportunities.

The closing date for applications is 04 August 2016. “

The postholder must at all times carry out his/her responsibilities with due regard to the BFI’s Policies and Procedures.