Deborah Williams

Executive Director, Creative Diversity Network


Deborah’s career started in the mid-1980s with her first theatre company. She moved to The Pleasance in Edinburgh and became the first manager at Pleasance Islington. She was an actor with Graeae Theatre Company, worked with the London disability arts forum, and taught stage management at the Webber Douglas Drama School. In 2000 she started her own production company Reality Productions. The work created and presented focused on challenging perceptions of difference and diversity and in 2008 she went to Rich Mix where she was the venues first arts and cultural programmer.

Over the past five years Deborah has worked with Arts Council England, leading on equality analysis and the implementation of the Creative Case for Diversity, and at the British Film Institute, leading on diversity and creating the BFI Diversity Standards. Deborah is currently Executive Director of the Creative Diversity Network, the pan-industry organisation for diversity in UK Broadcasting and is also developing a social enterprise specializing in equality, diversity and inclusion within the arts and cultural industries internationally. She has also advised the Swedish Film Institute and Arts Council, the Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences, the Danish Film Institute, Cannes Film Festival on diversity and equality.