University signs up to BBC equality project
08 March 2022
On International Women's Day, the University of Reading announces it has signed up to the BBC’s 50:50 Equality Project, to improve gender representation across its media coverage.
50:50 The Equality Project is an initiative committed to inspiring and supporting the BBC and organisations around the globe to consistently create journalism and media content that fairly represents our world. It started in the BBC’s London newsroom four years ago and uses a data driven method to measure and increase representation of women across their content.
The University joins 120 partners in 26 countries who have committed to reporting and sharing their data, anonymously, with the BBC. The aggregated data from each organisation is collectively reported in an Annual Report each March.
Last year’s Annual Report showed that 70% of teams submitting data reached at least 50% women in their output – an increase of 34% on where they began. And, for the first time, no team featured fewer than 40% women after three years of monitoring, pointing to longer-term cultural shifts.
Professor Parveen Yaqoob, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: “The University of Reading is working to improve diversity amongst its staff and to portray this in our media coverage, which is essentially a representation of the University’s face to the outside world.
“By joining the BBC 50:50 Equality Project we are proactively committing to increasing the proportion of women featured in our media coverage. This journey will take time, but these first steps are important to set us on the right track. I look forward to seeing staff from all backgrounds embrace the opportunity to represent the University in this way.”
The University began reporting in January 2022. Since then, it has held a media training event for female colleagues with BBC South, who provided an overview on working with the media as well as some advice and tips on conducting broadcast interviews. Further media training sessions for female colleagues will be held in due course.
The Press team will continue to work with the Dean for Diversity & Inclusion and others across the University on improving diversity of representation in media coverage more broadly.