UFA commits to diversity

26.11.2020, Germany, UFA

In a new comprehensive voluntary commitment, UFA is the first German entertainment company to commit itself to becoming more diversified in front of and behind the camera.

Read more

The aim of this voluntary diversity commitment is that by the end of 2024, UFA’s entire full-year programming portfolio should reflect the diversity found in society. The German government’s census serves as a guide for this. To meet the target, UFA will monitor and evaluate goals and programme quotas formulated in the voluntary commitment. By the end of 2021, the first comprehensive evaluation of the results will take place and be published.

As a creative company, UFA not only considers diversity an important part of creative responsibility, but also as a central component in the corporate culture, and something that must be actively shaped. The goal is to put the aspiration of diversity, inclusion, equal opportunities, and tolerance into action.

Nico Hofmann

“Many different perspectives are essential to create unique entertainment for the public,” says Nico Hofmann, Chief Executive Officer at UFA. “The diversity of our creative teams is essential and inspires us in our daily business. Only if diversity is a matter of course behind the camera can it also be created in front of the camera. UFA wants to succeed in portraying this difficult to grasp concept in real life.”

Joachim Kosack

 

Joachim Kosack, Managing Director of UFA and UFA Serial Drama says: “As media professionals, we have a special responsibility and must use the creative means at our disposal to act responsibly and serve as a role model. We must emphatically counter discriminatory tendencies, identify appropriate topics, and show them in our programs. At UFA, diversity is without exception a prerequisite for any kind of creativity.”


To achieve the voluntary commitment’s goals, and pool and focus all activities, employees have founded an internal Diversity Circle comprising representatives for the four focal topics of gender, LGBTIQ*, people of colour, and people with disabilities.

Actions in front of the camera

A clear objective is broader diversity in UFA programmes. The primary focus will be the visibility of women, LGBTIQ+, people of colour, and people with disabilities. Equal opportunities are at the heart of this.

UFA wants to show diversity as normal, instead of reinforcing stereotypical narratives through stories and casting. In this context, guidelines have been developed together with members of groups currently underrepresented in German television in order to help critically review stereotyping.

Tyron Ricketts

UFA is also working with important players in this field. For example, UFA is sponsoring the next study conducted by the MaLisa Foundation and Wismar University of Applied Sciences on the topic of gender-specific violence on German television. The MaLisa Foundation of Maria and Elisabeth Furtwängler is committed to social diversity and overcoming restrictive role models in Germany. In addition, UFA, under the direction of producer Nataly Kudiabor, has been working with Tyron Ricketts’ company Panthertainment since the beginning of this year, in order to to break up old narrative patterns and give creative people – regardless of origin or skin colour – the opportunity to tell stories from their own perspective.

“We can only solve today’s complex challenges by responding to the multitude of voices of all people in our society,” says Tyron Ricketts, CEO of Panthertainment.

Nataly Kudiabor

 

Nataly Kudiabor, producer at UFA Fiction, adds: “I am delighted to work for a company that does not see this issue as a special interest, but sees the need to put diversity at the heart of our business and therefore at the heart of our daily work.”


Actions behind the camera

UFA is committed to more diversity in creative and administrative management positions, as well as in entry-level positions, where targeted support also plays a role. Further measures in the area of learning and exchange will include employee training, keynote speeches by external speakers, and networking events on the topic of diversity. In addition, job advertisements and recruitment processes will be revised, employee contracts will be made gender-neutral and workplaces will be reviewed for accessibility.

”The commitment from UFA is great and deserves the greatest respect,” says Deborah Williams, CEO Creative Diversity Network and author of the BFI Diversity Standards. “The fact that a production company sets such targets in terms of the diversity of its productions is a very strong message to the industry. It is courageous to stand up as one of the largest European production companies to set a standard. I am very pleased to be able to help with the first steps on this journey.”
Share this page to

TOOLS