BBC, Other U.K. Networks Urged to Address Lack of Women in News
"The situation is simply not good enough," a parliamentary committee concludes.
A parliamentary committee in Britain has urged the BBC and other U.K. broadcasters to better reflect their audiences and address what it says is a lack of women in TV, radio, news and current affairs.
"Although on the surface it appears that women are well represented, the facts tell a different story," said committee chairman Lord Bell, according to the BBC. He added that the public broadcaster should be leading the way because of its "dominance" as a news provider.
As an example, the committee said it heard that men interviewed as experts on TV and radio outnumbered women four to one. It also pointed to "additional barriers" such as work hours and freelance contracts that make things harder for women with family responsibilities.
"The situation is simply not good enough," Bell said.
In a statement, the BBC said that it has "taken a leading role in increasing the number of women." It added: "Nearly half of the BBC’s news and current affairs workforce is female with more than a third in leadership positions. While the issues and evidence in the report are based on historical cases, we are always looking at what more we can do and are committed to making further progress."
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson said that critical BBC news services had women in leading roles, including Fran Unsworth (director BBC World Service and deputy director news), Fiona Campbell (head of current affairs), Mary Hockaday (controller, World Service English) and Liliane Landor (controller of language services), while recent on-air appointments included Mishal Husain and Ritula Shah on flagship radio news programs Today and The World Tonight, respectively.
ITV wasn't immediately available for comment.