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Reaching for the Sky: why Sky wants Diversity

Category: Employer Focus, inclusion, Sky, Ethnicity

Reaching for the Sky: why Sky wants Diversity

Our diversity strategy ensures that Sky is open to anyone with talent and good work ethic. Over the past two years, we have had a particular focus on ensuring that women and people from black and ethnic minority groups are fairly represented in leadership and management positions, and throughout the business.

Continuing our strategy
In 2009 we introduced a new diversity strategy with a view to addressing the two most pressing areas of under-representation within the business - that of women and people from black and ethnic minority groups in leadership and management positions. We are working to ensure that the number of women and people from black and ethnic minority groups taking part in leadership and development programmes and applying for senior positions reflects the diversity of Sky as a whole, and also measures up to external benchmarks. We have seen some promising progress this year with the numbers of black and ethnic minority people in management roles at Sky increasing by 1.5% to almost eight percent. The percentage of women in management roles is 37.6%.

Last year we focused on female representation across the business and promoting our Senior Women's Development Network; and this work continues and is yielding results. We are very proud that a number of our female employees were recognised for their achievements in national awards this year. Sophia Ahmad, Head of Finance, was shortlisted in the Asian Women of Achievement Awards this year, and Sky was listed on the prestigious 'Top 50 Employers for Women 2011'. Francesca Pearce, Head of Investor Relations was shortlisted in the 'Women of the Future Awards'. Lucy Carver, Director, The Bigger Picture and Lyssa McGowan, Customer Strategy Director, were listed in Management Today as one of their featured '35 women under 35'. This year, we have also strengthened our benefits for employees seeking to start families. Doubling maternity and adoption pay, whilst halving the qualifying period, is the most obvious sign of our commitment, but we are also offering a range of new support services.

This year we have had a stronger focus on black and ethnic minority groups and have participated in several events and activities. One of them was Move on Up, a scheme to help black and ethnic minority professionals in the media to access more opportunities. We continue to work hard to attract more diverse candidates within the local labour markets where we are based, providing work experience opportunities through programmes such as our broadcast focused 'Fast Forward' placement scheme, and exploring partnerships with a range of not-for-profit organisations with whom we have worked, to recruit more ethnically diverse, disabled and socially disadvantaged candidates.

Diversity of Sky managers
This year we have continued to be key members of the Creative Diversity Network, a network of major broadcasters, independent production companies and media industry bodies aiming to improve diversity in the media both on screen and off.

In 2010/11 we again committed to the Creative Diversity Network Pledge to:

  • Recruit fairly and from as wide a base as possible
  • Encourage diversity at senior, decision-making levels
  • Get involved with, or organise, diversity-related events
  • Encourage diversity in our programming

Further, we supported the Creative Diversity Network's mentoring scheme in 2010/11 by providing four senior level mentors. The aim of the scheme is for talent from a minority background to learn how to overcome barriers to careers in the broadcasting industry, develop their confidence, and learn new skills that will help them to take their careers forward. From the mentor's perspective, it's a unique opportunity to support another person to become successful in an industry that they are passionate about.

Are you interested in a career with Sky? Click here to apply for vacancies!

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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