Iyare Igiehon and Michelle Matherson have been jointly appointed to the role of BBC Creative Diversity Partner, while a Creative Diversity Lead for Disability will be advertised soon.
The new roles will support in the delivery of strategic priorities spearheaded by the BBC’s Director of Creative Diversity, June Sarpong. Iyare joins on 19 October, while Michelle returned to the BBC on 14 September, having previously worked as a Talent Executive.
Together they will carry out the role on a shared basis, each working three days a week. They will report directly to Miranda Wayland, Head of Creative Diversity.
Working closely with senior leadership in BBC Content, Iyare and Michelle will support the BBC’s Creative Diversity Unit in championing diversity in the creative community and delivering on-screen diversity and inclusion strategies. They will be responsible for managing specific projects such as the implementation and delivery of the BBC’s £100m diversity investment and 20 percent off-screen diversity target, which comes into effect on 1 April.
In addition to the role of Creative Diversity Partner, a new Creative Diversity Lead for Disability will be advertised to help ensure that the BBC’s output not only fairly and authentically represents disabled people and their lives, but also pushes boundaries when it comes to the portrayal of disability on screen. The new appointment will work closely with specific productions to upskill creative leaders in terms of disability insight and understanding, giving them the confidence to deliver on BBC disability strategies.
The Creative Diversity Unit is responsible for improving the quantity and quality of the BBC’s portrayal of diverse and often under-represented lives and stories. These newly created roles will work alongside June Sarpong, Miranda Wayland and Nina Goswami, the existing Creative Diversity Partner in the team, to build on the BBC’s existing commitment to diversity and inclusion throughout the organisation. The BBC’s Director General Tim Davie outlined his focus on this in his first address to staff
Miranda Wayland, BBC’s Head of Creative Diversity, says: “Michelle and Iyare both bring a wealth of talent and production experience to the role of Creative Diversity Partner. Their work, alongside our new Disability Lead, will be instrumental in delivering the change we want to see at the BBC and beyond. I am delighted to welcome them to the team.”
Michelle Matherson has worked as a Talent Executive for both on and off screen talent in TV, right across the industry, for the past 12 years. She has consistently championed diversity, from her beginnings as a radio and TV producer to her roles in commissioning and talent management. In addition to the BBC, Michelle has worked at ITV Studios and Channel 4, as well as a variety of independent production companies.
Iyare Igiehon joins the BBC from the British Film Institute, where he will continue to work part-time with their Screen Advisory Groups as part of the inclusion department. He has extensive production experience as both a presenter and a producer, including on BBC 1Xtra. He is also the co-founder and director of S.O.U.L.Fest, the Black film festival, which completed its second year this August.