BBC ditch £267k a year 'director of creative diversity' job after June Sarpong leaves amid concerns around racism
The newly created position will reportedly be on a much lower salary
June Sarpong is set to leave her role as director of creative diversity.
Ms Sarpong, 44, joined the broadcaster over two years ago, tasked with “increasing the number of ethnic minorities and disabled people on screen”.
She came under heavy criticism for her salary of £267,000 a year for working a three-day week and is now set to leave.
It is understood the BBC have created a cheaper position to replace her role, as they have advertised for a job titled “director of diversity and inclusion”.
This would pay below the £150,000 threshold, the Telegraph reports.
The amalgamated job would involve boosting on-air representation and funding inclusive content.
This comes as a string of senior executives of colour have handed in their notice.
Miranda Wayland head of creative diversity, Ms Sarpong’s de-facto deputy, also left, along with recognised BBC News presenter Sangita Myska.
Regional news chief, Rozina Breen also announced she would be leaving to become the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s chief executive.
Responding to the departures, a BBC spokeswoman said: “The BBC nurtures world-class talent and people move on for a variety of reasons, including to take up excellent jobs elsewhere, which we have seen happen recently.”
The director-general of the BBC has said his efforts to increase diversity and inclusion at the broadcaster are like moving an “oil tanker” and that “turning cultures” takes years.
Speaking during the Channel 4 Inclusion Festival, Tim Davie highlighted the work the broadcaster was doing to increase the number of diverse employees across its business and on screen.
However, he admitted further efforts were needed.
After discussing ongoing BBC initiatives, Mr Davie said: “The truth of this though. It is a good speech and you have been very kind. But actually turning cultures takes years and this is an oil tanker I am moving here, with a group of people.
“So you are going to find instances where it is not working right. We have got loads of things to do by the way. We are not perfect… There is a lot of work to do.”
A spokesman for the broadcaster said: “As the BBC’s Director of Creative Diversity June Sarpong is continuing to deliver on her commitments to ensure audiences across the UK, from all backgrounds and communities, can feel that the BBC is for them.”