Sonny Hanley talks about Diversity & Inclusion
25th May 2020. George Floyd being murdered was a day in history that changed many minds, lives and hearts and I was one of them. We’ve all read something along these lines in the last twelve months, but that shouldn’t lessen the impact perceived upon us. On both a personal and professional level, I had changed. Diversity and inclusion has always played an important role in my life and I was always looking for ways to improve and champion the need for its existence - both locally and outside of ITV. But after that fateful day in May, I finally pushed the dial and got the backing of my teams to tangibly make some sort of difference. They wanted to help too.
One of the many initiatives as part of our D&I group was a short film, stating our pledge in the fight against discrimination and inequality. We vowed, as a division, that we would take action and not stay silent, which has steered our entire mission - not just the film. I had a clear vision for how it should look, sound and feel, and I wrote a script. I asked for volunteers from the teams and I asked one of the many skilled editors to pull it together, which was no mean feat considering it was during Lockdown. I produced it to make sure the message was absolutely spot on.
Our mission within ‘ITV Content Services’ is…”To promote and champion diversity and inclusion to create a safe and positive working environment without fear of judgement, and increase diversity across the teams through positive action and education”, and this video is our very visible commitment to that.
I’m so proud of the film, but I couldn’t be prouder of the way the whole department has come on this journey with me. We have meetings, conversations, brainstorms, guest speakers, surveys on a regular basis and D&I has become a natural part of our work. It feels like we are moving at pace and genuinely starting to make a difference. Uncomfortable conversations are a thing of the past, as is the option of being silent and doing nothing. I'm so happy I get to share that message with everyone now both internally and now externally.
Sonny Hanley, Controller of Content Services in the Leeds ITV office and ITV Embrace co-Chair