DIVERSITY & INCLUSION
We try to keep ‘fairness’ at the heart of what BIFA does: in recent years, we’ve made a number of changes to make our voting process as fair, our processes as inclusive and our voters as diverse and representative as possible, including leading the way with Unconscious Bias training for our voters. But, like many others, recent events have given us reason to look in more depth at what else we could be doing to be inclusive and representative in all aspects of our activity, from our people, culture and governance structure to our programmes supporting new talent. We want to help to make the British film industry more diverse and inclusive and we need to start with a frank interrogation of what we could be doing better.
An immediate review of the makeup of the BIFA Board reveals a lack of representation, especially of members of the black, Asian and minority ethnic communities.
- Targets will be introduced for inclusion of under-represented groups amongst the BIFA Board and Committees. Formal protocols for serving on these groups (including the application process) should be introduced where these are not already in place.
- Targets (and whether we meet them each year) will be transparent and made public on the BIFA website. This currently includes data for the voting body (and the subset involved in nominations each year), but will be added to as full surveying is complete and updated annually.
- Full, anonymised D&I surveying will be undertaken annually for the Board, Nomination and Event Committee and voting pool to allow for proper measurement of achievement against these targets.
- At least two new Board members are due to be appointed in Spring 2021. An open application process will begin in the Autumn, which will allow us time to consult with an outside expert to ensure that the process for this is fair, equitable and inclusive and for us to seek out and encourage diverse candidates for these Board vacancies. This long lead time allows for a period of transition/shadowing. We should also consider whether BIFA should offer training to new Board members, given the under-representation of POC in senior positions within film and the arts.
Organisational Activity Review
A more detailed, expert-led review of the organisation is being commissioned, to explore what BIFA could be doing better to be actively anti-racist and more representative in its systems, processes and audience-facing and industry-facing activities. All Board members are keen to contribute to the work that needs to be done, with Board members Sarah Gavron and Suzanne Ballantyne leading Board input, while recognising that it will be a process of all learning from and listening to what the expert guidance suggests. We will continue to monitor and learn from colleagues in our industry and beyond.