The BBC’s Award Winning 50:50 Project sees strong progress on Disability and Ethnicity representation

The BBC’s 50:50 Project has published its Impact Report 2022.

The report reveals a 35 percentage point increase in BBC teams reaching their disability contributor* targets and 7 percentage point increase reaching their ethnicity targets, after 18 months of monitoring these for the first time.

Since its launch in 2017, teams have measured the gender of contributors in their content. The methodology used has been adopted by 750 teams across the BBC, with 250 of those teams now also committed to monitoring the representation of disability and ethnicity contributors.

BBC teams measuring ethnicity and disability for at least 18 months achieved the following in the 50:50 March Challenge Month:

  • 53% of datasets** achieved their targets*** for disability representation – this is an increase of 35 percentage points compared to when they started
  • 65% achieved their targets for ethnicity representation – this is an increase of seven percentage points compared to when they started

For gender monitoring:

  • 61% featured at least 50% women contributors during March – an increase of 26% since teams started monitoring in March 2017.

The 50:50 initiative, which originated in BBC News, uses a data-driven methodology to monitor content and fundamentally shift gender representation within the media. The expansion to include additional characteristics to gender is in support of the Corporation’s 50:20:12 aim – for 50% women, 20% Black, Asian and minority ethnic, and 12% disabled representation in the BBC workforce.

Beyond the BBC, the 50:50 Project has been adopted by 143 partner**** organisations in 30 countries, and in industries spanning media, fashion, law, finance and more. Results for external organisations who took part in the Challenge Month show or those who were below 50% women when they joined the project, 73% have seen an improvement. Overall, 47% of organisations featured at least 50% women in their content in March, up from 31% in their first month of monitoring.

Tim Davie, BBC Director General, says: “The 50:50 Project plays a crucial role in finding new voices and helping us better reflect the audiences we serve.

“It’s already made a huge impact on the BBC and our global partners. There’s potential to do so much more. I encourage any organisations interested in taking up the challenge to get involved.”

Lara Joannides, BBC’s Creative Diversity Lead for 50:50, says: “When it comes to women’s representation, 50:50 has enriched our storytelling since its launch in 2017.

“Today’s results are an important milestone as we apply 50:50’s core principles for disability and ethnicity representation – they provide a solid foundation for us to go out and find more voices and create content that really reflects society.”

The 50:50 Project wants to work with as many partners as possible to drive change in multiple industries worldwide. For more information and to get involved, please visit: bbc.com/5050

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