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BBC-HISTORY  December 2006

BBC-HISTORY December 2006

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Subject:

Re: Women and BBC history

From:

Kate Murphy <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

The History of the BBC <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 18 Dec 2006 10:32:51 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

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Actually on the issue of the Sims report - back in 2002 I spent four months researching the history of women in the BBC, and I was able to make some observations.  I've pasted below the relevent details from the report I wrote.....

....................................................................................
Published in 1985 as the Sims Report: "Women in BBC Management" revealed that the number of women in top jobs was virtually the same as it had been a decade before - 6 women compared with 159 men.  The report concluded with nineteen recommendations, including the appointment of a women's employment officer;  more career guidance for both women and men;  an examination of the policy on Appointments Boards for senior posts;  an increase in the number of women attending Management Training Courses and the introduction of women-only courses as an experiment.  Part-time work, job sharing and further options for flexible working should also be encouraged.

BBC management accepted the majority of the recommendations and first Equal Opportunities Officer, Cherry Ehrlich, was appointed in 1986.  From 1987, the first women-only management courses were introduced and by the early nineties, fair selection courses were brought in for all managers.  When the new White City complex was planned, it included a crèche, the culmination of a fifteen-year campaigning by BBC women to get proper nursery provision (including a failed attempt at Pebble Mill in 1973).  Responsibility for the implementation of equal opportunities was delegated to each directorate, with some responding far more quickly than others.  Television, Radio and External Services were the first to introduce their own departments in 1987.   The Regions did set up theirs until 1992, with BBC Scotland employing its first equal opportunities officer in 1993.  

The 1990s saw a raft of measures introduced, with the first gender targets set in October 1990.  These were that by 1996, 30% of top grade and 40% of senior and middle management posts would be held by women.  This was also the year that the BBC finally appointed its first woman to the Board of Management,  Margaret Salmon, as Director or Personnel.  In 1991, the BBC signed up to Opportunity 2000, represented by the Deputy Director General, John Birt.   But many staff continued to be unimpressed.  At a BBC conference in 1991, Janet Street Porter spoke of her belief that "The BBC is like a Masonic League, still totally male dominated."

In 1994, an internal survey leaked to Bectu, revealed that female staff were paid substantially less than their male counterparts with women being on average 25% worse off .   In 1995, Research presented to the Edinburgh Television Festival showed that women found it increasingly difficult to be successful in television and have children.  53% of women over 40 who worked in television did not have children.  For men the figure was 34%.  By July 1996, the BBC Annual Report revealed the truth about the gender targets: 
-	the proportion of women in top management posts was 21.2%
-	the proportion of women in senior management posts was  28.1% 
-	the proportion of women in middle management posts was 33.3% 
The targets of  30% / 40% / 40% were re-set for 2000.  In 2002, 37.8% of top posts were held by women, with women making up virtually 50% of BBC staff.

With the new millennium, women are considerably more noticeable in top jobs.  The 2002 annual report shows that there are now five women on the Executive Committee, with women holding all the top jobs in television: Jana Bennett as Director of television, Lorraine Heggessey as Controller of BBC One and Jane Root as Controller of BBC Two.  The Director of Radio is also a woman, Jenny Abramsky.   Women hold top strategic posts too with Caroline Thomson, Director of Public Policy and Carolyn Fairburn, Director of Strategy.    The list of women in to posts show that there are 44 women on SM1 grade and 186 at SM2.  There is still, however, no final solution to the "secretary/BA" trap with many women who hold jobs at the lower levels of the BBC still finding it incredibly difficult to get on.  The Diversity Centre, which has been up and running for two years, is still pushing for change with the focus shifting to the careers of non-managerial women, work-life balance and women and men working together effectively. 
 


Kate Murphy
Senior Producer, Woman's Hour
Room 5015, Broadcasting House,
London W1A 1AA
x 55295  (020 7765 5295) 

-----Original Message-----
From: The History of the BBC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Diane Kemp
Sent: 18 December 2006 09:42
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BBC-HISTORY] Women and BBC history

Excellent. What'd be particularly useful I think - which may be planned somewhere  - is to then compare those results with a similar look at contemporary stats. Does anyone remember the Sims report? I brought it up with the DG at the time who didn't think there was a problem with women not being managers. Be useful to know whether that report played any part in woman's development in the corporation.
Good luck with it all,
Diane

Diane Kemp
Course Director
MA International Broadcast Journalism
PGDiploma  Broadcast Journalism
Department of Media and Communication
UCE
Perry Barr
Birmingham
B42 2SU 

Call +44 121 331 5478
Fax +44 121 331 6501
e-mail [log in to unmask] 

We are online at http://www.mediacourses.com 


-----Original Message-----
From: The History of the BBC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Kate Murphy
Sent: 18 December 2006 09:30
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BBC-HISTORY] Women and BBC history

Dear Diane - just to let you know that I have also recently joined the list with a similar subject.  I am in my second year of a part-time PHD at Goldsmiths looking into the BBC as an employer of women, 1922-1945.  

Great that Kristin's subject area neatly joins with mine...

Best wishes

kate

Kate Murphy
Senior Producer, Woman's Hour
Room 5015, Broadcasting House,
London W1A 1AA
x 55295  (020 7765 5295) 

-----Original Message-----
From: The History of the BBC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Diane Kemp
Sent: 18 December 2006 09:20
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BBC-HISTORY] Women and BBC history

Good luck with the research - I'll be v interested in the results.
Regards
Diane

Diane Kemp
Course Director
MA International Broadcast Journalism
PGDiploma  Broadcast Journalism
Department of Media and Communication
UCE
Perry Barr
Birmingham
B42 2SU 

Call +44 121 331 5478
Fax +44 121 331 6501
e-mail [log in to unmask] 

We are online at http://www.mediacourses.com 

-----Original Message-----
From: The History of the BBC [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of kristin skoog
Sent: 15 December 2006 12:01
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BBC-HISTORY] Women and BBC history

Dear All,

I am new to the list and thought I should introduce myself.

My name is Kristin Skoog and I am originally from Sweden but have lived in London for the past seven years.

I have just started my PhD at University of Westminster. My research area is women in broadcasting in post-war Britain 1945-1959. I am interested in the production process as well as policies and the historical context at the time. My main interest is women within BBC radio and particular programmes like Woman's Hour but I am also hoping to look at the different departments and genres to see if gender was an issue and how the BBC dealt with the ongoing debates of post-war Britain regards to women and work, the housewife, family values, feminism etc.

When I am not at university I also volunteer as a engineer at Resonance
104.4 FM, a London community radio station with a very alternative and experimental output (www.resonancefm.com), where I have also co-written and produced a satirical sketch show with a Swedish twist.

If you have any questions regards to Swedish radio, Resonance FM or any advice related to my research please feel free to contact me anytime.

All the best,

Kristin Skoog

_________________________________________________________________
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http://arla.msn.se/Partner/Msn/index____18291.aspx

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This e-mail (and any attachments) is confidential and may contain personal views which are not the views of the BBC unless specifically stated.
If you have received it in error, please delete it from your system.
Do not use, copy or disclose the information in any way nor act in reliance on it and notify the sender immediately.
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