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.
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.
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.
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.
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.