A day after the corporation’s diversity chief, Jun Sarpong, left earlier this year, the BBC has hired media diversity expert Joanna Abe on a short-term contract.
Abeyie will work closely with Sarpong, the outgoing director of Creative Diversity, and Charlotte Moore, the BBC’s chief content officer, to take on the role of a six-month interim head of Creative Diversity.
Last month, Amazon hunted down the BBC’s well-known head of creative diversity, Miranda Weyland, to head Europe DEI for Amazon Studios and Prime Video, and other BBC black officials left late.
Then yesterday, news spread that Sarpong was leaving his role three days a week. It is understood he will step down later this year, although the exact timing is not clear.
Abeyie will look to ensure on-air diversification and inclusion strategies across the BBC.
He is considered an expert in promoting various recruitment practices and inclusive work culture. Former journalist’s media inclusion businesses have been successful in finding the role of diverse and under-represented individuals in the UK sector.
He has also worked on various cross-party diversity initiatives, advising on the choices of the Department of Culture, Media and Sports and the Culture Committee, and was awarded an MBE in 2020 for his services to media diversity.
Moore called him “a highly respected champion of diversity and inclusion with a deep knowledge of British creative art.”