European Broadcasting Union (EBU): Diversity Conference in Reykjavik | Diversity at DW | DW | 25.04.2024
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European Broadcasting Union (EBU): Diversity Conference in Reykjavik

Representatives of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) met in Iceland's capital Reykjavík to discuss the relevance of diversity, equality and inclusion for media and society

The importance of diversity for media companies and for society in general was once again highlighted during the meeting of the Steering Group on Diversity, Equality and Inclusion. The meeting was organized by the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) and took place from 10th to 12th April at the Icelandic public broadcaster RÚV in Reykjavik. Rodrigo Abdelmalack, Deputy Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, was there on behalf of DW. 

"Diversity, Equity and Inclusion managers are an important community for the EBU, especially now that elections around the world are not speaking for diversity, but for the conservative voices that think diversity is not part of society," said Jean-Philip De Tender, Deputy Director General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). 

Anastasiia Hudyma, head of the DEI department at Suspilne, Ukraine's public broadcaster, explained the challenges of producing content in a multicultural country like war-torn Ukraine. It is important to explain how the conflict affects minorities differently, as some of them are easy targets for Russian propaganda. 

In addition, Suspilne must learn to deal with a rapidly growing number of visible and invisible disabilities caused by war injuries, including those of migrants and displaced persons in the population. The solution, according to Hudyma, is "people-centred content that can change the world". This is why all TV programs and content on digital platforms are subtitled. Talk shows, news and even the Eurovision Song Contest are broadcast in sign language. 


Diversity in the editorial offices stands for diversity in program design 

The BBC pointed out how important it is for managers to develop a good understanding of diversity. "Leaders have the biggest impact on our workforce," said Hajira Mahomed, D&I Lead for News at the BBC. You also need to listen to people and make sure that everyone is treated equally and feels comfortable enough to be authentic and promote authenticity. "Would your parents recognize you if they visited you at your workplace? "Bring the best version of yourself to work, you don't need to try to fit in, it's more important that everyone fits together." 


Iceland as a best-practice example of an inclusive society 

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The rainbow street in Reykjavík; a sign of joy and support for diversity

The meeting in the far north of Europe is by no means a coincidence. RÚV has become a best-practice case for inclusive programming, with diverse role models and translations into sign language, even for some children's programs, explained Agnes Wild, Head of Children's and Youth Programs at RÚV. 




Iceland repeatedly ranks among the top countries in the world for gender equality. The country is committed to equality that goes beyond gender to encompass broader social and economic equality, as well as diversity of gender identities. In 2023, 90% of the female population took to the streets as part of a women's strike. The protesters highlighted issues related to gender pay, gender-based violence and trans rights, according to Sonya Ýr Porbergsdóttir, chair of the Public Service Employees Union, which helped organize the strike. 


Rodrigo Abdelmalack mit Ministerpräsidenten Gudni Th. Jóhannesson

With the president of Iceland, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

During a visit to the official residence of the Icelandic president, Gudni Th. Jóhannesson gave the group the following message: "Don't think you are privileged to be here, everyone is welcome in this house". Outside, a family of Afghan refugees was already waiting to be welcomed by the elected head of state. 


EINSCHRÄNKUNG DW Personenfoto | Corporate Communications | Carla Hagemann

Carla Hagemann

Corporate Spokesperson and Head of Corporate Communications


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