BBC has said it is working to ensure there it has an equal number of male and female experts across its programmes by April 2019, taking a positive step towards bringing about gender equality in the workplace.

The broadcaster said it is seeking to guarantee there is a 50:50 split in the expert contributors featured on its news, current affairs, and topical programmes.

The corporation stressed it will continue to interview the relevant minister, official, or organizational representative appropriate to a story because they are the individuals in charge or are accountable, adding this concept is focused on the experts used to comment or report on events.

The gender balance of those contributors will be monitored on a monthly basis.

According to the 2017 BBC Statutory Gender Pay Report, the gender pay gap for women and men at BBC was 9.3%, which is slightly lower than the 9.6% gap across the United Kingdom.

According to this article, the challenge to achieve a 50:50 gender balance has already been adopted by a number of BBC programmes.

News show Outside Source, which is simulcast on the BBC news channel and BBC world news, has already achieved a 50:50 gender split after it adopted the system of self-monitoring in January 2017. By April the programme was featuring an even number of men and women.

The challenge has already expanded to more than 80 programmes including The One Show and BBC News at Six and Ten.

The Andrew Marr Show on BBC One and Radio 4’s File on 4 have seen a rise of more than 10 percent in expert female contributors and reporters since recording their figures, the broadcaster said.

Lord Tony Hall, the BBC Director General, said: ‘This is a fantastic project that is already driving change.

The results from programmes that have taken it up have been remarkable.

‘Adopting it more widely will help transform the range of expert voices across the BBC.’

Fran Unsworth, director of news, added: ‘We are starting to see a real transformation across the BBC. But we want to go further and faster.

‘The success already delivered demonstrates the desire and commitment of BBC teams to lead the way on this important issue.

‘That’s why, the BBC is now setting the challenge of all programmes – on both radio and TV – that use expert contributors, to meet a 50/50 split of contributors by April 2019.

‘The BBC will produce reports on the progress at that time.

‘The BBC is happy to share its experience of this project with other broadcasters and news organizations who might want to adopt a similar approach.’

Some programmes which already have a focus on gender will not be expected to achieve a 50:50 balance because of the very nature of the programme’s editorial remit.