The BBC has announced that it will seek to ensure that there is a 50:50 male-to-female split of expert voices across its news and current affairs programmes by April 2019.
It is the latest step in a grassroots programme which has seen the broadcaster implement an equal gender split across many of its news programmes, including Outside Source – a show simulcast on BBC News and BBC World News – which worked to achieve a gender balance between January and April last year.
The One Show and BBC News at Six and Ten, alongside a total of 80 BBC news, current affairs and topical programmes, are the latest to take part in the challenge.
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“This is a fantastic project that is already driving change,” BBC Director-General Tony Hall said. “The results from programmes that have taken it up have been remarkable. Adopting it more widely will help transform the range of expert voices across the BBC.”
Former Outside Source editor Rebecca Bailey, who has been working on the initiative alongside presenter Ros Atkins, added: “I’m really proud of what we’ve achieved so far with the 50:50 project. Balancing Outside Source was a great start, but seeing it spread across the BBC as programmes voluntarily took it up has been immensely satisfying. I look forward to seeing even more progress as other teams join.”
The BBC has already pledged to increase the number of women on screen, on air and in lead roles to 50% by 2020.