BBC sees rise in female expert contributors

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BBC Breakfast is hitting the target

In April last year, the BBC launched its 50:50 challenge, aiming for an equal number of male and female expert contributors on-air and online.

A year on, the results of last month’s data have been revealed and show a big boost in female representation.

Nearly three-quarters of BBC news and current affairs/topical programmes had an equal number of male and female expert contributors.

When the challenge began, only 27% of 84 BBC outlets involved hit the target.

Since then, the number of teams signed up to the project across the BBC has topped 500 and 76% of those groups have reached the 50:50 mark.

BBC director general Tony Hall said: “It’s amazing to see such a remarkable change in just a year – you can see and hear it right across our programming.

“I want the BBC to lead the way on equality and fairness, and this project demonstrates what can be achieved.”

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The One Show reached its 50:50 target last month

More than 20 external media companies have also signed up to replicate the challenge, including the Financial Times and ABC News.

Some of the BBC programmes that hit the 50:50 target last month included the Andrew Marr Show, BBC Breakfast, The One Show, Politics Live and Radio 4’s Saturday Live.

There has also been progress from teams such as Sportsday, shown on the BBC News Channel.

It started with 20% female voices and in April reached 43%, more than doubling its female representation.

Contributors refers to all BBC reporters, commentators, spokespeople, analysts, academics and case studies featured across BBC content.

The BBC’s 50:50 Project contributes towards the BBC’s commitment to reach 50% women on-screen, on-air and in lead roles across all departments by 2020.

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