Two days before the start of the Beijing Winter Paralympics, Whisper is pleased confirm it has contracted four new full-time team members across the Whisper Group following its call out for disabled production talent after conclusion of The 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.
Whisper aims to double this number by the end of the Summer, 2022.
Following The 2020 Paralympics, Whisper made a nationwide call out, asking disabled talent interested in a career in Sports Production to get in touch. The scheme was open to those with and without experience, and featured a Whisper networking event, followed by a series of interviews.
The success of the scheme follows Channel 4’s confirmation that an all-star 100% disabled presenting team will cover the Beijing Winter Paralympics, which will be produced by Whisper. Channel 4 is the first broadcaster in the world to do this.
This on-screen statement underlines Channel 4 and Whisper’s commitment to providing opportunities for people with disabilities and sits alongside Whisper’s pledge to increase disabled talent behind the camera.
Last year, Creative Diversity Network ‘s (CDN) diamond diversity report revealed that disabled people working behind the camera had increased only by 0.9% in four years across the industry (4.5% in 2017, to 5.4% in 2020)
The report revealed, ‘If this rate of progress is maintained, it will be 2028 before the Doubling Disability target of 9% off screen disabled talent is met. The industry will not be representative of the UK working age population, of which currently 20% are disabled people (Powell, 2021; ONS, 2021a), until 2041 at the earliest’ (CDN 2020).
The belief behind Whisper making its own pledge is that in order to see change in our industry, we all need to take action and put in the work.
Sunil Patel, Whisper CEO commented: “I felt very strongly during The Toyko Paralympics that the momentum that the Games created for inclusion and positive change should continue. We say at Whisper ‘If you can’t see it, you can’t be it’ which is relevant to those behind the camera as well as in front of it. I’m delighted we have already taken on more talented team members, who identify as being disabled, from our post-games call out with more exciting potential team members in the pipeline.”
During our Tokyo Games Coverage 16% of Whisper’s production team were disabled and, during the Beijing 2022 Winter Paralympics, this is set to increase to 18% - almost mirroring the percentage of disabled people currently in the UK working age population (20%).
You can see Whisper’s original call out film, which features talent from The Paralympics, here: https://bit.ly/3HeHj4i
The Beijing Winter Paralympics starts on 4 March, 2022.