The BBC is to launch a review designed to “sweep away” any barriers to women progressing at the corporation. This comes after the British public broadcaster was dragged into a gender pay row following the resignation of China editor Carrie Gracie.
BBC Director General Tony Hall has appointed Donalda MacKinnon, who is the boss of BBC Scotland, to lead the work, which will consider working practices, policies and procedures, practical support, recruitment and professional development, leadership and management development, culture and behaviours.
The broadcaster will investigate what gaps and barriers are holding back women at the BBC currently and how they should be addressed. It will also look at best practices from other organizations and will explore different options for part-time and flexible working and establish whether it could be made easier for people to return to work following maternity and career breaks.
This comes after the scandal that saw Gracie, the BBC’s top journalist in China, leave her position in January, accusing the BBC of having a “secretive and illegal pay culture”. Following this, the broadcaster published a five-point plan to help “create a fairer and more equal” organization, carried out in association with PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
MacKinnon is expected to produce initial recommendations for Hall by the end of June. She said, “We have a bold ambition – we want the BBC to be the best place for women to work. Flexible working, job shares and development programs already make it easier for some, but by bringing in the very best new ideas from outside as well as inside the BBC, we can do even more and aim for everyone to reach their potential.”