Industry executives will gather for the diversity roundtable

Industry executives will gather for the diversity roundtable

An impressive call of television executives will join a first industry roundtable this Friday, for a discussion on improving diversity, inclusion and equity.

Convened by Media Diversity Australia at the SBS headquarters in Artarmon, the event sees Communications Minister Michelle Rowland joined by all eleven members of the MDA, which includes public and commercial free-to-air broadcasters.

Are present:

  • SBS Chief Executive Officer James Taylor
  • Nine CEO Mike Sneesby
  • 10’s Executive Vice President, Chief Content Officer and Head of Paramount, Beverley McGarvey
  • Lucinda Gemmell, Chief People and Culture Officer of Seven
  • ABC Chief Content Officer Chris Oliver-Taylor

Also: News Corp Australia chief financial officer Michael Murphy, AAP editor Andrew Drummond, The Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor, Private Media Group CEO Will Hayward, The Conversation Group CEO Lisa Watts and the founders by The Daily Aus Co Zara Seidler and Sam Koslowski.

Also in attendance are MDA Founder and Chair, Isabel Lo, and executives from Screen Diversity and Inclusion Network, Diversity Arts Australia and Free TV to commit to a journey forward to deliver the change needed as an industry.

The event will provide a platform for in-depth discussion about where improvements in diversity are most needed, the barriers to equity and inclusion, the importance of workplaces that provide culturally and psychologically safe environments for talent, how to meet underprivileged audiences better, opportunities for industry collaboration and actions to promote progress for more inclusive media that better reflect and serve contemporary Australia.

The group will also discuss uniform measurement and tracking of progress across all parts of the industry, building on current measurement implemented through MDA and organizations such as the Screen Diversity Inclusion Network for the manufacturing sector, to ensure greater accountability as an industry.

Mariam Veiszadeh, CEO of Media Diversity Australia, said: “For the first time ever, these leaders are coming together for an authentic and frank conversation about issues and ways to address challenges. As individual media organizations and members of the MDA, each member has the power to make a significant impact, but as a collective that makes a shared commitment to have honest and meaningful discussions and take action, we have the potential to step from discussions and truly change the composing on diversity, inclusion and equity in Australian media.

“But it’s critical that this is more than a discussion: all MDA members recognize the need and value for greater diversity, but the pace of industry-wide change is slow and inconsistent. We are coming together to make the strongest commitment yet as an industry. This is a collective call to action for the Australian media industry and I look forward to sharing the commitments we have made as we begin this next stage of the journey.

Although the event will be conducted under ‘Chatham House’ rules, a press release will outline the high-level results.