New BBC diversity targets aim for women making up half the workforce
Women will make up half of the workforce of the BBC on screen, on air and in leadership roles by 2020, according to the corporation's new diversity targets.
The broadcaster is set to announce its new aims to address diversity, saying it will "pledge to go further than ever before on targets for the representation of women, disabled people, ethnic minorities and LGBT people on and off air."
The corporation wants to "meet or better" other major broadcasters when it comes to representing the national population by 2020.
A BBC spokesman said: " We are making good progress in our work to make the BBC a truly diverse organisation, but there's more to do and we're always keen to improve.
"Almost half of our workforce is made up of women and the proportion of our workforce who are black, Asian and other ethnic minority is at an all-time high.
"We'll continue doing what works but also develop new and innovative ideas to do even better, and we'll set this out in our new diversity strategy shortly."
At present, 48.4% of BBC employees are women, with 41.3% of women in leadership roles.
Another focus will be to ensure that 15% of its workforce is drawn from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds for staff and leadership roles, as well as ensuring the same percentage for on screen, on air and in leading roles by 2020.
Disabled people will make up 8% of the workforce across the spectrum and lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) people will also comprise 8% by 2020, the BBC has pledged.
The targets will apply to all genres of programming but will not be programme specific, they said.
A BBC source said: "The BBC is a diverse organisation, whichever way you look at it, with the proportion of staff from ethnic minorities at an all-time high and content from Undercover and The A-Word to Employable Me and The Victoria Derbyshire Show.
"While we are hugely proud of that, the BBC is not complacent and will undertake to deliver more.
"Significant steps forward have been taken but it is important to us that the BBC is truly representative of our all our audiences - diversity is more than any single characteristic.
"We are the BBC and must be held to a higher standard. The range of the BBC's programme and services, and the fact that we will make sure that our approach to diversity is hardwired in everything we do, make these targets even more ambitious and impactful.
"Everyone at the BBC has a stake in diversity, it's a key purpose for us, and everyone who makes programmes for us commits to supporting our ambitions."
Mark Atkinson, chief executive at disability charity Scope, said it was "p ositive to see the BBC, and other broadcasters like Channel 4, reaffirming their commitment to on and off screen diversity this year."
"We work with many talented disabled actors and aspiring presenters who are pushing hard to get a break. But it is still a huge struggle for disabled people to make it in the industry and there are too few opportunities."
He added that popular TV shows such as the A Word demonstrate that disability storylines can attract substantial audiences.
"But disabled people should be included in a wide range of programming as a normal part of modern Britain," he said.
"Scope is committed to supporting broadcasters to make this happen."