HireBIPOC: A new initiative calling for more inclusive hiring practices in media

By Reann Fournier, Special to The Record
HireBIPOC: A new initiative calling for more inclusive hiring practices in media

The Canadian TV, film, and media industry has taken up a new industry-wide initiative called HireBIPOC to create change surrounding their hiring practices and to ensure a more inclusive workforce.
HireBIPOC is an initiative created by BIPOC (Black and Indigenous People of Colour) TV & FILM and Bell Media in collaboration with BIPOC community groups and individuals. The organization leading the initiative (BIPOC TV & Film) is a volunteer-run advocacy group that has been in operation for nearly a decade. With deep roots in the BIPOC community, their focus is on practical training and educational work, and building solidarity with BIPOC across industry organizations. This collective is the only intersectional organization in Canada dedicated to providing safe spaces for all Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in the industry, and the goal of HireBIPOC is to facilitate and increase the hiring of Black and Indigenous peoples in the industry across all levels and areas.
Naomie Mazzola, one of the co-executives for the Caribbean African Student Association (CASA) at Bishop’s University, said that initiatives like this are a crucial start in helping BIPOC make a name for themselves. “This leads to more kids growing up and seeing what people like them are capable of achieving and we could move towards a shift where BIPOC are equally represented in the media,” she said. “However, just getting to the point where you’re qualified to apply to these jobs may still be a struggle for many BIPOC.”
According to a press release on Oct. 13, 2020, the initiative has surpassed 2,300 members in its first week of operation, and is already being supported by some of the largest media companies in the country including Bell Media, CBC/Radio-Canada. “CBC/Radio-Canada is committed to supporting all industry efforts to advance the inclusion and representation of Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latinx talent in our creative communities and original programming,” said Catherine Tait, President and CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada. “Resources like this new database will ensure greater access and exposure for more racially diverse producers and creatives, both in front of and behind the camera, in order to better reflect our country across all areas of the industry.”

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