BBC Diversity Boss Reveals Fourfold Overrepresentation of LGBT Staff — But Insists More Must Be Hired

(L-R) Ben Roberts, Amma Asante, Tunde Ogungbesan, Ije Nwokorie and Gaylene Gould pose at the 'Black Star' symposium during the BFI London Film Festival in London on October 6, 2016.
JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images

Announcing reforms to make the BBC more trans-friendly, Tunde Ogungbesan (pictured, above centre) has revealed the proportion of transgender staff at the BBC is fourfold that of the wider population — with LGB employees overrepresented almost fivefold — but insisted more must be hired to make the corporation diverse.

With figures from a confidential staff sex survey showing the BBC employs more than 400 transgender individuals, the public broadcaster’s diversity chief boasted that representation of sexual minorities in its workforce was “very high” — but said it needs to hire more lesbian and trans people as staff.

Revealing the results of the corporation’s internal survey of more than 21,000 workers, Ogungbesan said that 11 per cent of the BBC workforce identified themselves as LGBT in total, with male homosexuals accounting for 4.8 per cent of employees, lesbians 1.3 per cent, and bisexual people 2.2 per cent.

Speaking at a conference at the end of last month, the BBC boss said: “[The 11 per cent of BBC staff who identify as sexual minorities] are mainly the Gs [gay] and the Bs [bisexual], so the lesbians and the transgender folk, the figures are not as high as you would want them to be, especially with the lesbians.”

Considering official data published in October showed that only 0.7 per cent of females in Britain identify as lesbian, the BBC’s concern over its workforce containing supposedly too few people from this demographic would appear to be misplaced, given the corporation’s claim it is “committed to reflecting and representing the diversity of the UK”.

According to Office for National Statistics figures, which were reported by Breitbart London, only two per cent of the UK population identifies as homosexual or bisexual, accounting for 1.2 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.

Males were much more likely to identify as homosexual (1.7 per cent) than females, who were more likely to identify as bisexual, the figures showed.

“Can someone have a guess at how many people have disclosed they are transgender at the BBC. Ten? Anyone else? Twenty? Not bad. One more? I will put you out of your misery. We’ve got 417… almost two per cent. That is very, very high,” Ogungbesan told senior civil servants, doctors, and pro-transgender activists at the end of last month.

With 417 of the BBC’s workforce disclosing that they identify as transgender, the demographic is employed at the corporation at four times the rate they appear in the wider UK, where the figure stands at 0.5 per cent according to a Home Office-funded study by the far-left Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).

Despite revealing massive underrepresentation of heterosexuals, the survey results have “helped [the BBC] move the agenda forward”, Ogungbesan said, adding that the “fascinating” data would lead to the corporation making further pro-LGBT reforms.

Announcing to the Westminster Social Policy Forum the launch of a new “work stream” looking at “the culture and career progression” of LGBT staff — 12 per cent of whom hold “leadership” positions at the corporation — Ogungbesan also apologised for failing to create the programme sooner.

A BBC spokesman said: “We’re proud to have a diverse range of people.”

.