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Reflecting contemporary Canada and taking it to the world
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Reflecting contemporary Canada and taking it to the world

Written by
Catherine Tait
Published by
CBC Radio-Canada
June 27th, 2019

CBC president wants the CBC to "better reflect contemporary Canada, in all its diversity, and to share our country’s culture with the world."

Since being appointed head of the national public broadcaster, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all across Canada. From Iqaluit and Vancouver, to Moncton and many other cities along the way, I’ve heard Canadians tell me how much CBC and Radio-Canada mean to them, and the role they see us playing in the future. Today more than ever, they count on us to make their voices heard and to share their stories.

That’s why we launched the Your Stories, Taken to Heart strategy in the spring. Among other things, it aims to help us better reflect contemporary Canada, in all its diversity, and to share our country’s culture with the world. We’re now in the process of bringing that vision to life. Earlier this month, we proudly announced that we’d achieved gender parity in the programs we commission from independent producers. That success has not gone unnoticed on the international stage. I’ve been invited to talk about the issue at the 82nd General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) in Oslo this Friday.

Internally as well, we strive to make our staff more representative of the general population. The result: nearly half (48.9%) of our employees are women, and diverse employees make up 30% of our new hires – that’s our best-ever quarterly result. But beyond the numbers, we want to support the career advancement of these employees so that we achieve diversity at all levels of the organization.

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The perspectives of Indigenous Peoples, visible minorities, persons with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ2+ community must be reflected on screen. At the Banff World Media Festival, we made a clear commitment in this regard: by 2025, we aim to ensure that at least one of the key creative positions in all scripted and factual commissioned programs – the producer, director, writer, showrunner or lead performer – will be held by a person from a diverse background. We also announced a major content sharing and co-development partnership with ABC, the Australian public broadcaster, to promote Canadian talent beyond our borders. Showcasing the diversity of Canadian voices – that’s my driving ambition and passion as president and CEO.

This approach helps us remain relevant to ALL Canadians. It’s what sets us apart as a public broadcaster. And when I see that we’re the most admired media brand in the country* and that we’re attracting the attention of the whole world, as we are this week in Oslo, I think it’s safe to say we’re on the right track.

*Leger 2019 Corporate Reputation Study

© CBC Radio-Canada

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