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The Talent Manager becomes the first UK networking site within the TV and film industry to implement unconscious bias controls — allowing companies to hide the profile pictures of freelancers during the recruitment process.

According to ECU, research overwhelmingly indicates that a person’s background and personal experiences — along with societal stereotypes — can have an impact on the decisions they make and the people they employ. This unconscious bias means that candidates from certain backgrounds are underrepresented in the workplace, receive lower salaries and have fewer opportunities for progression.

To help tackle this issue, The Talent Manager now provides companies with the ability to hide freelancers’ profile pictures and names when looking to hire. First to pilot the new feature are ITV with their Comedy 50:50 initiative, which aims to address the issue of gender imbalance in scripted comedy. Launched on the 28th February 2019, over 30 companies now have access to Comedy 50:50’s network, and will only see the writer’s name and work credits.

Saskia Schuster, founder of Comedy 50:50 said: “The Talent Manager has delivered a fantastic service for Comedy 50:50. They have been exceptionally helpful and professional to deal with and have enabled us to create a resource that we are really proud to provide for the comedy industry.”

The unconscious bias tool is the latest initiative by The Talent Manager to help address underrepresentation in the TV and film industries. Last year The Talent Manager launched a Diversity Search Engine feature to make it easier for Indies to find the best production talent from BAME backgrounds or people with disabilities. The DSE was developed after extensive consultation with key stakeholders in the industry including BECTU, the BBC and ITV as well as the Equality and Human Rights Commission and others. The Talent Manager has also created a Diversity Dashboard to help Pro Companies monitor the diversity of their talent networks. The system gives in-depth analytics of the freelancers they use — or are looking to use — according to the nine protected characteristics: gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, religion and more, as well as social background. The aim was to complement industry-wide initiatives such as Project Diamond by giving Indies data about their own production teams, so that they could proactively address areas of under-representation.

Sarah Lee, founder of The Talent Manager, said: ''We are continually developing the TM in response to industry need, collaborating with stakeholders — broadcasters, Indies, and freelancers — to make it the most useful tool possible. We think the latest unconscious bias initiative will not only raise awareness of the issue but hopefully have a meaningful impact on the gender imbalance among comedy script writing teams.''

If your company would like to participate in this campaign or would like more information, please contact The Talent Manager by emailing or calling our office directly on 0207 267 2300.

Notes to Editors

About The Talent Manager

The Talent Manager is the UK’s largest networking and recruitment site for professionals in the TV industry.  It allows companies to find and manage their talent networks, and helps freelancers to find creative opportunities. More than 2000 production companies UK wide, including all the major broadcasters, use the site — as well as over 60,000 freelancers. The Talent Manager has also recently launched in the United States and Canada.

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