BBC Women, a group made up of hosts and producers, has called for “real and urgent change” to end racism and sexism” at the British public broadcaster.
“The killing of George Floyd has impacted black, Asian and ethnic minority staff at the BBC,” it said in a statement on Friday. “Many have been highlighting insidious racism for years. Fairness is at the heart of the BBC’s mission.”
Floyd, who was black, died in custody in Minnesota last month after a white police officer kneeled on his neck while he struggled for breath. Since then, anti-racism protests have taken place in many parts of the U.S. and other parts of the world, including in Great Britain.
The Press Association first reported the BBC Women statement. The group was set up in 2017 to address pay disparities between men and women at the BBC, which last year hired June Sarpong for the new role of director of creative diversity as part of its efforts to make the broadcaster more inclusive.
The BBC in its annual report last year touted improvement in its gender pay gap, highlighting that three female on-air stars have broken into its list of 10 highest-paid talents. For the previous fiscal year, the BBC’s top 12 earners had all been men.