The BBC has included at least two trans women among its list of 100 ‘most inspiring and influential women of 2021.
The broadcaster has at least two trans women on this year’s ‘inspirational women’ list, but MailOnline decided not to make their names public yet.
The inclusion of transgender women in this year’s list comes after BBC bosses decided to withdraw from a diversity scheme run by an LGBT charity because of the ‘risk of a perception of bias’.
Director of Nations Rhodri Talfan Davies said the public trust that the BBC can approach ‘very complex areas’ with complete impartiality is ‘the absolute bedrock’ of its decision-making.
But The Spectator claimed: ‘The point is that by including transwomen on a list of women, the BBC is taking sides in a contested issue.’
Meanwhile, the BBC said in a statement that it would not be renewing its participation in the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme but will continue to work with a range of organisations to support its LGBT staff.
Mr. Talfan Davies told Women’s Hour the BBC is trying to create an inclusive working environment while ensuring it remains balanced with its output.
He said the issues of transgender and women’s rights are ‘highly polarised debates’.
‘The key thing for the BBC, as a broadcaster utterly committed to impartiality, is to ensure that audiences have trust in us to come into these very complex areas dispassionately and fairly,’ he said.
‘In the case of the Stonewall Diversity Champions Programme, it had led to questions about whether the BBC could be truly impartial when reporting on public policy debates like this, given that Stonewall has an active campaigning role in this space.
‘For that reason, we believe it’s the right time to step back from that programme.’
This year the BBC’s Women’s list ‘is highlighting women playing their part to reinvent our society’ and is dominated by inspirational women from Afghanistan.