BBC managers are to be sent on compulsory cultural awareness courses as part of a drive to boost diversity.
Quotas will also be introduced to ensure that at least one black, Asian, minority ethnic (BAME) candidate is on the shortlist for senior jobs.
It comes after a BBC diversity report found that only six of its top 96 leaders were non-white men.
There are no non-white women, and no black men or women in this group.
BBC managers are to be sent on compulsory cultural awareness courses as part of a drive to boost diversity
In the landmark two-year report, the BBC’s head of diversity Tunde Ogungbesan warned that the corporation will not get to ‘where it needs to be tomorrow’ without a ‘substantial culture change’. She added that the shift at the broadcaster would be more than ‘about numbers and tokenism’.
For the project, more than 200 staff were consulted about diversity at the BBC.
The report said there should be a ‘dramatic increase’ of ethnic minorities on interview panels.
Its recommendations also include developing a ‘culturally intelligent workforce’ and reviewing areas of the company with a specific ethnic diversity issue.
Creative and regional roles at the BBC have a particular lack of BAME staff.
The report said there should be a ‘dramatic increase’ of ethnic minorities on interview panels
The report also recommended having at least two BAME staff on the 15-strong executive committee by 2020 – there are currently none. The executive committee should also explore options such as more rotations to make sure the workforce is ‘agile’, the report said.
By 2020, the report says 15 per cent of the BBC’s leadership should come from BAME groups. In certain areas of the BBC, BAME employees in leadership are below 4 per cent. The report admits that the lack of diverse employees at the organisation may have led to cultural blunders in the past.
BBC host of the Apprentice Lord Sugar tweeted this picture of the Senegal team on Wednesday, edited to include handbags and sunglasses laid out on sheets. The picture is from November 2014, when Senegal beat Egypt 1-0
It states: ‘More should be done to understand other cultures and any disinterest to learn challenged. There have been a few high-profile mistakes in the last 12 months – the Mayor of London’s nationality and the use of footage of the wrong Bollywood star in a TV news obituary.’
It adds: ‘A more ethnically diverse newsroom is more likely to have picked these issues up before broadcast.’
The BBC nevertheless employs a more diverse workforce than ever – with 14.8 per cent from BAME groups – however, leadership numbers are at 10.4 per cent, far short of the 2020 target.
Director-general Lord Hall said: ‘This is an excellent report based on an unprecedented level of engagement from staff. They are a range of proposals which we believe will transform the BBC.
‘By better reflecting the broader population we will make better programmes that reflect the lives, interests and concerns of everyone. Today’s report is a huge step forward. There is no question of whether we implement it.’
He added: ‘In some areas we simply haven’t moved fast enough.’
The news comes a day after Alan Sugar, host of the BBC show The Apprentice prompted outrage with his tweet comparing the Somalian football team to street sellers in Marbella.