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Thursday, August 11, 2022

BBC ‘allows 50/50 male and female target quota to be filled by transgender guests’

The BBC is facing backlash over claims that it is ‘disappearing women’ as a sex by allowing its 50/50 male and female target quota to be filled by transgender guests.

BBC news presenter Ros Atkins is at the centre of a trans row following the corporations 50:50 project, an initiative he founded in 2017 that aims to increase the number of women on air and on screen. 

The project has seen the BBC increase the salaries of some of its most high-profile women such as Zoe Ball and increase the number of female stars in its shows such as Line of Duty.

The initiative aims to be a ‘simple and manageable tool to help BBC content makers and partners to improve their representation of the groups they have chosen to monitor on top of their already demanding roles’. 

Mr Atkins is accused of ‘going along with change’ after the corporation stated in their latest Equality Project report that ‘they do not monitor whether a contributor’s gender differs from their sex registered at birth’.

BBC news presenter Ros Atkins (pictured) is at the centre of a trans row following the corporations 50:50 project, an initiative he founded in 2017 that aims to increase the number of women on air and on screen

The BBC guidance states: ‘Content-makers monitor the gender identity of their contributors with the aim of featuring at least 50 per cent women. They do not monitor whether a contributor’s gender differs from their sex registered at birth. 

‘Where possible, teams also monitor the proportion of contributors who identify as non-binary or genderqueer in order to improve their representation of all genders. This data is not currently reported to 50:50 The Equality Project, but is used by these teams to improve their representation of all genders.’

BBC employees have blasted the corporation for ‘following Stonewall law’ despite ditching the controversial LGBT charity’s Diversity Champion’s programme last year.

The initiative counts transgender women who are born male as females in the corporations 50:50 project that aims to ‘represent women’. 

A senior BBC insider told The Telegraph: ‘The BBC has now “disappeared” women as a sex class and instead monitors “gender identity”. It’s redefined a word which we all understand, without any public debate, and Ros Atkins has gone along with the change. 

‘In this 50:50 monitoring, the BBC is still following “Stonewall law” in failing to respect sex as as a protected characteristic.’

The BBC is facing backlash over claims that it is 'disappearing women' as a sex by allowing its 50/50 male and female quota to be filled by transgender guests (file image)

The BBC is facing backlash over claims that it is ‘disappearing women’ as a sex by allowing its 50/50 male and female quota to be filled by transgender guests (file image)

The newspaper also revealed they believe BBC staff have protested internally about the way women are represented.

In the BBC’s most recent Impact report, Director-General Tim Davie said: ‘There is of course still much work to do to achieve equity in disability, ethnicity and gender representation, but we are moving in the right direction – not just at the BBC, but across the wider media industry and beyond.

‘The success of 50:50 has led to 145 organisations worldwide joining the 50:50 global partner network, with more than half joining us in the 50:50 Challenge. That 73 per cent of those who weren’t achieving gender balance when they first joined the project have seen an improvement proves the impact of 50:50 well beyond the BBC.’ 

The BBC has been making a concerted effort to increase the number of women on its screens and to close the gender pay gap in recent years.

The 50:50 project was launched by the BBC in 2017 after the issue of gender equality came under the spot light when the organisation published the salaries of its highest earners with no women inside the top 14.

A BBC spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘The BBC’s 50:50 Project is a ground-breaking initiative that has significantly increased women’s representation in BBC content and has inspired others to do the same so this is clearly an attempt to generate a story where none exists.’

Meanwhile, employers are under pressure to cut ties with Stonewall after a ‘gender-critical’ lesbian lawyer won a landmark employment tribunal case that involved the LGBT rights charity this week.

Employers are under pressure to cut ties with Stonewall after a 'gender-critical' lesbian lawyer won a landmark employment tribunal case that involved the LGBT rights charity (file image)

Employers are under pressure to cut ties with Stonewall after a ‘gender-critical’ lesbian lawyer won a landmark employment tribunal case that involved the LGBT rights charity (file image)

Allison Bailey accused her employer Garden Court Chambers of withholding work from her and trying to crush her spirit after she criticised Stonewall’s trans policies, including recommendations to change pronouns from ‘she and he’ to ‘they and their’.

Ms Bailey’s gender-critical beliefs include that sex is biological and cannot change, and that the word ‘woman’ is defined as ‘adult human female’.

Yesterday she won her case for discrimination against Garden Court – but lost her case against Stonewall, which she had branded a ‘malign influence’ in British society and workplaces.

Ms Bailey had complained to colleagues in 2018 about her chambers signing up to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions scheme, under which employers pay Stonewall for advice on how to implement equality laws and policies. She claimed Stonewall advocated ‘trans extremism’ and was complicit in a campaign of intimidation of those who questioned gender self-identity.

A host of public bodies and employers – and formerly the BBC – are signed up to the scheme. The BBC left the scheme last year, whilst the likes of Channel 4, Ofsted, the Cabinet Office and the Equality and Human Rights Commission have also left.

Following Ms Bailey’s partial victory yesterday, Brendan Clarke-Smith, the minister for children and families, said the Department for Education left the diversity champions scheme in February, after a ‘decision was taken not to renew membership’.

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