Diversity runs as a thread throughout the management agreement, that is, the contract that the Flemish Radio and Television broadcasting service has with the government. It is mentioned among the quality exigencies for supply and human ressources. Diversity is considered as part of quality. The VRT wishes, through a top-down approach, to increase diversity at all levels of the organisation, because all levels influence each other. The VRT wishes to progress using annual action plans.
Angelegenheit/Herausforderung und Ziele/Annahmen
The VRT wants to be a broadcast body for everybody. That means that all the residents of Flanders have to feel welcome. The VRT wants to reach everybody with a service supply that gives everybody the opportunity to speak and to be seen in his/her layered identity. We want everybody to feel represented and therefore attracted.
This change will take some time to put in place, but the VRT is working hard to attract diverse talent and to train the available talent in issues of diversity. The service supply, too, needs be made more accessible.
Currently, women, disabled people, the elderly and people with a foreign origin are underrepresented in our service supply, which is measured annually by an independent organisation. By creating a designated groups policy, we should be better able to keep track of measurements.
Next to quantity, quality is of equal importance. The way people appear or are addressed determines the quality of our productions. It takes appropriate programs, which through their nature, approach and configuration can generate enough diversity: the choice of subjects, story lines, voices and faces, points of view, guests, questions, greetings and images.
The VRT considers these staff related numerical goals as one tool among many to reach other goals, such as representation on the screen. In fact, diversity at the work place offers more diversity in the service supply. If a team of show writers is diverse, it will offer different points of view, story lines, networks and topics from which to draw inspiration. It goes without saying that a diverse workforce is an important societal mission for a public broadcasting company.
Wie funktioniert das?
The project consists of different subprojects narrowly tailored for the different departments of the VRT, where an impact is possible. It is managed by a board that sets the achievement of diversity as a priority. Coordinators make annual action plans and estimate what goals can be achieved and a steering committe provides extra feedback. That way, support for diversity can be built. The VRT works with numerical goals, not quotas.
The annual action plans are presented to interest groups who are involved due to their expertise and with whom we discuss new research results on the representation of women and people with foreign origins. For each diversity issue we have chosen one interest group as interlocutor.
As to the accessibility of our production, we consult annually with other interest groups who work with the blind and sighted, deaf and hearing impaired, patients, the elderly and newly arrived.
Recent figures on representation are not known yet.
The employees at the VRT are still not diverse enough. The goals on composition of the workforce are: people with a foreign origin (1% for the end of 2012 and 1,5% for 2014); disabled persons (2,5% by the end of 2012). However these goals have not yet been met. The difficulty in measuring this is that nobody is obliged to declare these characteristics. As to women, the goal of 33% in management has been met and that of 40% in general has almost been met since currently nearly a third of the work force is female.
It is too soon to make an evaluation as it has only been implemented at the beginning of 2011. However, it is expected that the goals will be achieved progressively.
The designated groups: women, disabeld people, the elderly, people with a foreign origin and with a different sexual orientation.
Finanzierungsart und benötigte Ressourcen
Being a public broadcast company, it is funded by the government.
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