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Some of the most forthright and engaging commentators in Northern Media and Culture will gather next week on Thursday 20th July to debate why business owners representing almost 300,000 people in the creative, media and digital sectors in Greater Manchester, should put diversity at the top of their business agenda.

The MPA, the not-for-profit organisation which has represented the creative, media and digital sector for nearly a century, is bringing together Channel 4’s Ewan Douglas, MediaCom North’s Erica Ingham, Top Broadcaster Nihal Arthanayake, Silent Radio’s Vic Elizabeth Turnbull and Director of Culture for Bruntwood Kate Vokes, to lead a debate about why diversity matters.

The Forum, the second in a series of 4 Big Debates in 2017 will be led by If Agency CEO Christian James who says: “It is vital that we get around the table and discuss diversity. It is a fact that the creative industries still tend to hire people who are male and pale rather than more socially diverse candidates. This does not help the businesses and it does not help the work we all do to engage audiences. Diversity is not just a matter of social justice, it makes commercial sense too”


This view is supported by McKinsey research which found that the most racially and ethnically diverse companies, along with those who employ more women are likely to enjoy better than average returns and that gender diversity at board level boosts performance.


 Christian continues: “diversity is also important to the work being produced by the creative sector in terms of how we engage diverse audiences in campaigns if they can not relate or recognise themselves in the creative work. We simply have to appeal to a diverse array of consumers and audiences and this requires the skills and talent that only a diverse workforce can bring.”

The debate which is being sponsored by Bruntwood will take place from 5.30pm at NEO. The next Big Debate will be November 2017


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