Okolidoh joins from L’Oreal U.K. and Ireland, where she is the director of diversity, equity and inclusion.
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At the BBC, her role will include overseeing diversity strategies, leading the diversity and inclusion team, originating and integrating initiatives related to everything from new talent to hiring to commissioning to training, and collaborating with directors across the BBC – including in news, content, studios and nations – to ensure best practices are implemented.
“I’m thrilled that Chinny Okolidoh will be joining the BBC,” BBC chief operating officer Leigh Tavaziva said in a statement. “Ensuring the BBC truly reflects the public we serve – both on and off screen – has never been more important. I know Chinny’s experience and passion will help us to expertly build on the progress we’ve already made to improve representation across the industry.”
Okolidoh said: “I am delighted to be joining the BBC and honoured to be working with the amazing team to continue to make progress on the BBC’s commitments to reflect and represent the diversity of the U.K. I look forward to building on the great work that has been done so far and continuing to put diversity and inclusion at the heart of everything the BBC does to inform, educate and entertain millions of people in the U.K. and around the world.”
Okolidoh joins at a tricky time for the Beeb. As well as undergoing yet more funding cuts, which has in turn led to redundancies and cost-cutting measures, the corporation has been criticized by its own staff for handling diversity matters. Earlier this year a number of women of color came forward to Variety to recount their own experiences of racism and micro-aggressions at the corporation. Meanwhile the BBC’s director of creative diversity, June Sarpong, is also set to depart later this year. Her replacement, if any, has not yet been announced.
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