BBC Promotes Joanna Abeyie to Permanent Head of Creative Diversity
The BBC has appointed its interim head of creative diversity, Joanna Abeyie, to the role permanently.
According to an internal note from group chief operating office Leigh Tavaziva and chief content officer Charlotte Moore, Abeyie was chosen following a rigorous selection process.
Media diversity and inclusion practitioner Abeyie was brought in in April to replace June Sarpong, who spearheaded the role for two and a half years.
Abeyie will report to the BBC’s incoming director of diversity and inclusion, Chinny Okolidoh, who is set to join the broadcaster imminently. She will also work closely with Moore and director of nations Rhodri Talfan-Davies. Included in her remit will be reviewing audience panel processes alongside the Chief Customer Office Group to make sure audiences include under-represented groups so that there is an array of perspectives.
In 2008 Abeyie set up Shine Media, a social enterprise which helped 3,000 people from diverse backgrounds work within creative industries, and a decade later, in 2018, set up inclusive executive search and diversity and inclusion consultancy Blue Moon. She is also joint secretary of the the Creative Diversity All-Party Parliamentary Group, which she helped establish with Deborah Bull. In 2020, Abeyie was awarded an MBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for her services to diversity and inclusion in the creative and media industries.
“This is a strategically important role and Joanna will be an expert partner who will drive best practice and help fulfil the BBC’s Creative Diversity Strategy,” Tavaziva and Moore said in their note, welcoming Abeyie permanently to the role. “She will support commissioners with editorial decisions as well as leaders across the organisation to improve diversity and inclusion on-screen and on-air.”