The BBC officially withdrew from the Stonewall Diversity Champions program, citing its concerns about remaining “impartial”.
The scheme provides employers with LGBTQ+ inclusion training to ensure that all members of the community are accepted and respected in the workplace.
Big players like the British Government Office and Ofcom, controversially, abandoned the Stonewall program in early 2021.
The BBC now joins this list, confirming its exit from the scheme on 10 November.
“The BBC is fully committed to being an industry-leading employer of LGBTQ+ inclusion,” said a BBC spokesperson. “We are proud of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender colleagues, and we support them to have full careers at the BBC.”
The statement explained that the BBC’s involvement in “public policy debates where Stonewall takes an active role” was a key factor in the decision to withdraw from the scheme.
The statement added: “With many other UK employers, the BBC has participated in the Stonewall Diversity Champions Program to support our aim of creating a fully inclusive workplace. However, over time, our participation in the Program has led to questions about whether the BBC can be impartial in reporting on public policy debates where Stonewall takes an active role.
“After careful consideration, we believe it is time to step away from the Diversity Champions Program and also no longer participate in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index.”
Stonewall called the news of the BBC’s departure “a disgrace” but said participating organizations are free to “come and go, depending on what is best for their journey of inclusion at the time”.