LiveWire Sport has teamed up with national broadcaster Channel 4 to highlight the lack of diverse representation in the sport and digital industries, and ask ‘Why Diversity in Digital Needs to Happen Now.’
The evening aims to create a safe environment for frank, open and honest discussion, asking those difficult questions – sometimes with even more challenging answers - around genuine diversity in the industry, and why it needs to happen now.
The free-to-attend event takes place at Channel 4’s London headquarters on Tuesday 12th November from 6pm to 10pm.
The on-stage element of the evening will cover three topics:
- Breaking the class ceiling – eliminating the industry’s socioeconomic barriers to entry.
- Who took the social out of social responsibility? – why do 'fans' send abuse online, often aimed at minority groups, and how does it impact us as human beings?
- What’s next? – through all the division and hate, we hear from organisations that have embraced diversity, and the inspiration that a more inclusive approach can provide.
Hosted by award-winning broadcaster Ayo Akinwolere, speakers so far confirmed include: Joel Beya, Founder of Cheeky Sport; Sehrish Mumtaz, Brand and Channel Manager at EFL; Yasir Mirza, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Channel 4; Dr Louise Ashley, Senior Lecturer at Royal Holloway University of London; Laura Williamson, Senior Editor at The Athletic; Dr Phil Hopley, Sports Psychiatrist; Pranav Soneji, Director & Co-Founder at LiveWire Sport; Andy Stevenson, Series Producer at Whisper Films; Zhe Ji, Director, Red Lantern, and Samantha Cannons, Senior Researcher at Channel 4.
Pranav Soneji, Director & Co-Founder at LiveWire Sport, said: "Not much has changed in the 20 years since I began my career in sport and digital - our industry does not represent the diverse audiences it serves. It's a societal problem that requires asking difficult questions that need to be addressed to make changes, starting with our own agency.
"We’re delighted that Channel 4 have joined us for these important first steps in our journey to becoming a more socially-minded and inclusive agency, and industry as a whole.”
Yasir Mirza, Head of Inclusion & Diversity at Channel 4, added: “Diversity has always been central to Channel 4, it’s at the heart of everything we do. And although we’re often cited as the industry leader on inclusion and diversity, we’re well aware that there is still so much more to do. An industry or business which is genuinely inclusive and diverse is going to be more commercially successful and more creative, so it’s vital we explore best practice and learn from each other how to make genuine change.”
The evening’s host, award-winning broadcaster, Ayo Akinwolere, added: “No industry is perfect when it comes to diversity and inclusion, but there’s certainly plenty of room for improvement. I’ve always encouraged open dialogue and debate as I feel that’s the best way to bring change, within a judgement-free space for people to ask those difficult, and sometimes uncomfortable, questions so that we can improve understanding of why a diverse and inclusive industry is good for business, and good for society. This is an incredibly important conversation to be had, and I’m glad to be a part of it.”
LiveWire Sport has been a long-time partner of Channel 4, working with the public service broadcaster for more than seven years on work including the Paralympic Games, and is a supporter of the Channel 4 Para Production Trainee Scheme, with two young people joining the agency on a year-long work placement.
The event is free of charge and allocated on a first come first serve basis. Registration for the event is open HERE.
For more information contact Jason White at Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.