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Harriet Harman calls on broadcasters to publish numbers of older women working in the UK TV industry

Harriet Harman MP, Labour’s Deputy Leader and Shadow Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, has written to all major broadcasters to ask a number of questions about the number of older women they employ within their organisations. These figures are currently not available.

Harriet Harman is also calling on Maria Miller, Minister for Women and Equalities, to reconsider the Government’s decision not to bring into force the dual discrimination clause of the Equality Act 2010. This clause would allow (for example) older women to bring claims where they have been discriminated against on sex and age grounds, where they cannot bring separate claims.

Harriet Harman said:

“Over the last few years we have heard a number of women presenters and producers over the age of 50 speak out about the discrimination they have experienced from within the broadcasting industry. They describe a combination of ageism and sexism that does not apply to older men. 

“What does it say to the many older women viewers when older women ‘disappear’ from our screens when they hit 50?

“The broadcasters must own up to what’s going on and publish how many older women work in broadcasting organisations both on and off-screen. I have therefore written to the main broadcasting organisations in the UK asking for this information.

The letter asks the following questions and will feed into the Older Women’s Commission work on older women in the media and public life:

1.     How many [NAME OF ORGANISATION] staff would you define as regular on-screen presenters for the [NAME OF ORGANISATION] UK programming? How many of these are women?

2.      How many of [NAME OF ORGANISATION] regular on-screen presenters are over the age of 50? How many of these are women?

3.      How many regular primetime presenters (including news and current affairs) does [NAME OF ORGANISATION] employ? How many of these are women?

4.      How many regular primetime presenters are over the age of 50? How many of these are women?

5.      How many regular UK [NAME OF ORGANISATION] news reporters does [NAME OF ORGANISATION] employ? How many of these are women?

6.     How many regular UK [NAME OF ORGANISATION] news reporters over the age of 50 does [NAME OF ORGANISATION] employ? How many of these are women? 

7.     How many people does [NAME OF ORGANISATION] ITV employ in UK TV programming (on or off-screen)? How many of these are women?

8.      How many people over the age of 50 does [NAME OF ORGANISATION] ITV employ in UK TV programming (on or off-screen)? How many of these are women?

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