Logo of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

ITV Cultural Advisory Council

ITV's Cultural Advisory Council from left to right, top to bottom: Dr Halima Begum; Prof Jason Arday; Jenny Lay-Flurrie; Priscilla Baffour; Prof Sam Friedman; Sara Wajid MBE; Dr Shani Dhanda; Sinéad Burke.

Following on from its inception in 2021, ITV can today announce further updates to its Cultural Advisory Council. For its second term, we have recently updated the membership to include Prof Jason Arday – Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Cambridge; Jenny Lay-Flurrie – Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft; and Sara Wajid MBE – Co-CEO, Birmingham Museums Trust.

Professor Arday, Lay-Flurrie and Wajid join ITV’s inaugural Cultural Advisory Council members Sinéad Burke – Founder and CEO, Tilting the Lens; Dr Halima Begum – Chief Executive, Oxfam; Priscilla Baffour – Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy Director, Unilever; Prof Sam Friedman – Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics; and Dr Shani Dhanda – Disability Inclusion & Accessibility Strategist and Consultant. The Cultural Advisory Council is chaired by Sinéad Burke.

The purpose of ITV’s Cultural Advisory Council is to provide independent external advice from a range of industries to challenge and provide feedback to ITV. This helps support the delivery of ITV’s Diversity Acceleration Plan and global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) strategy – to create and showcase content by, with and for everyone, connecting and reflecting modern audiences focusing efforts on mainstream content, creating opportunities, inclusive culture, and accessibility and disability equity. As well as to take a long-term strategic view, and advise on best practice and evolving new thinking behind DEI initiatives.

Meeting quarterly with ITV’s Chief Executive, Carolyn McCall and Group Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Ade Rawcliffe alongside other senior members of ITV, to date, the Cultural Advisory Council has supported ITV on the introduction of a working class target; by reviewing and adapting our strategy; inclusive language guide; inclusion and access guidelines for events; embedding disability equity in commissioning and production; and advising ITV’s five colleague networks.

Professor Jason Arday – Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Cambridge said: “It is a privilege to be part of the ITV Cultural Advisory Council, and I am honoured to have the opportunity with my esteemed colleagues to work towards how we collectively improve and sustain diversity outcomes for the organisation.”

Jenny Lay-Flurrie – Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft said: “It’s an honour to join, contribute and learn from ITV and fellow members of the board. I love building inclusive and accessible environments, and know the importance of representation, especially on TV screens! Excited to dig in and explore how we can advance the journey together.”

Sara Wajid MBE – Co-CEO, Birmingham Museums Trust said: “I’m honoured to join the Cultural Advisory Council because, as a Museum Director, I’m passionate about brilliant storytelling and about equal rights. I work in Birmingham and am a huge fan of the show DI Ray, which is set in Birmingham and stars Parminder Nagra in the lead role. I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the council and learning from them.”

Ade Rawcliffe, Group Director of Diversity & Inclusion ITV said: “We’re delighted to welcome Professor Jason Arday, Jenny Lay-Flurrie and Sara Wajid MBE to ITV’s Cultural Advisory Council and honoured that they will be working with us at ITV. As experts in their field, their experience will bolster our existing members and we look forward to collaborating with the Council to continue to drive improvements at ITV and within the wider industry.”

Cultural Advisory Council members

Dr Halima Begum – CEO, ActionAid UK 

Dr Halima Begum is the CEO of ActionAid UK and former CEO of the Runnymede Trust. She was recently announced as the next Chief Executive of Oxfam GB. Halima has held senior leadership positions across social justice, education, and post-conflict reconstruction with a range of organisations including the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the British Council and LEGO Foundation. She has held posts overseas, heading up major development, research and policy programs. As a Disabled Muslim woman raised in London, Halima is a lifelong campaigner for equality and civil rights. 

Prof Jason Arday – Professor of Sociology of Education, University of Cambridge

Jason Arday is a Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Cambridge. Before this, Jason was a Professor of Sociology of Education at the University of Glasgow and Associate Professor in Sociology and Deputy Executive Dean for People and Culture in the Faculty of Social Science and Health at Durham University. He is a Trustee of the Runnymede Trust and the British Sociological Association. Jason's research focuses on race, education and social justice having worked extensively with the Parliaments of England, Scotland and Wales, and other policy organisations. Jason was recognised in the Top 10 of the Disability Power 100 list in 2023.

Jenny Lay-Flurrie – Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft

As Chief Accessibility Officer of Microsoft Corporation, Jenny Lay-Flurrie champions inclusion, equity, and views accessibility as a fundamental right. Jenny has spearheaded Microsoft’s comprehensive approach to accessibility since 2016, driving accountability, technology and innovation while fostering a disability inclusive culture. Jenny identifies as deaf and disabled. Jenny is on the board of directors of Disability:IN and Team Gleason; was recognized as a Disability Employment Champion of Change by the White House (2014); one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business (2017); and Forbes (2023) list of leaders impacting the ‘Future of Work’.

Priscilla Baffour – Global Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Strategy Director, Unilever

Priscilla Baffour is the Global Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy Director at Unilever. Before this, she was the Head of Global Diversity and Inclusion at TikTok and was responsible for driving the FT’s Global Diversity & Inclusion strategy. Until 2019 Priscilla oversaw ITN’s diversity and inclusion strategy and pioneered their work around the Gender and Ethnicity Pay Gap. During her time at Channel 4 Priscilla spearheaded 4Talent and won the Deputy Prime Minister’s Excellence Award for playing a pioneering role in tackling social mobility.

Prof Sam Friedman – Professor of Sociology, London School of Economics

Sam Friedman is a sociologist of class and inequality at the London School of Economics. Sam has published extensively on class, culture and inequality including his co-authored book, The Class Ceiling: Why it Pays to be Privileged (Friedman & Laurison, 2019). In 2020, Sam published a paper with Aaron Reeves in the American Sociology Review called From Aristocratic to Ordinary: Shifting Modes of Elite Distinction which maps 120 years of elite culture. Sam is on multiple editorial boards including the Sociological Forum and Cultural Sociology and he was on the Social Mobility Commission for three years.

Sara Wajid MBE – Co-CEO, Birmingham Museums Trust

Sara Wajid MBE is Co-CEO of Birmingham Museums Trust. She is the first British Asian Director of a major museum in the UK. Alongside working as an editor of artists’ books and as a literary journalist, she previously taught Contemporary African Literature at the School of Oriental and African Studies and has an honorary doctorate from the University of York. She is a recipient of the Arts Council Changemakers award for under-represented leaders in the sector. In 2014 she founded the Museum Detox network for People of Colour to promote anti-racism and equality in museums. Sara identifies as bi-sexual, and is a campaigner for race and gender equality in museums.

Dr Shani Dhanda – Disability Inclusion & Accessibility Strategist and Consultant

Dr Shani Dhanda is one of the UK's most influential Disabled people and BBC's 100 Women Laureate of 2020. As a broadcaster and disability inclusion specialist, Shani has worked with over 250 businesses and brands to break barriers and become more accessible for their Disabled employees and customers. She has taken the change she wants to create in the world into her own hands. Her intersectional activism has led to challenging social inequality globally through entrepreneurship, and she is the founder of Diversability, the Asian Woman Festival and the Asian Disability Network.

Sinéad Burke – Founder and CEO, Tilting the Lens

Sinéad Burke is the CEO of Tilting the Lens, a consultancy founded in 2020. With an all-Disabled team across Europe, they aim to create equitable and systemic change through the lever of accessibility. TTL, built on education, advocacy, and design, support brands in their move from awareness to action, benefiting employees, customers, audiences, and stakeholders.

Sinéad and her team collaborate globally with clients in business, media, public sectors, arts, academia, and non-profits, including British Vogue, Gucci, NASA, Netflix, Parson's School of Design, and Microsoft. Projects range from making environments accessible, to equitable employment, and integrating accessibility into product design and marketing processes.  

Logo of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion