Gender equality | BBC hired woman presenter because of 'pressure from the top'

BBC hired woman presenter because of 'pressure from the top'

Former BBC Radio 2 DJ Simon Mayo has claimed the BBC hired Jo Whiley as his co-host because of pressure to have more women in daytime shows.

Speaking to the Radio Times, Mayo said that he was told would be getting a co-presenter on his 5pm-7pm slot by his agent. He said that he specifically asked for it be Whiley, as the pair already knew each other.

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Comments (6)

  • Elaine
    Thu, 7 Feb 2019 1:18pm GMT
    I liked Simon Mayo but feel quite incensed that the only reason he wanted Jo as a co presenter was because he knew her and they'd holidayed together. I must add that to my list of questions to ask at interview. However, what it has done is allow a breath of fresh air in the guise of Sarah Cox who is showing what an engaging presenter she is. Bit of a wild statement here but surely it doesn't matter at all if the presenter is male or female so long as they engage with the listener. Just saying.
  • Carolyn
    Wed, 6 Feb 2019 11:04pm GMT
    I found Jo Whiley a welcome relief to the miserable Simon Mayo who for some time prior to Jo Whiley’s arrival sounded bored and underwhelmed by being on prime time drive time - Jo made a pleasant and lighthearted change to the tired routines of Simon Mayo. I was sorry to see Jo go but welcome the increase of women’s voices on Radio 2 after decades of male domination from 6 in the morning until 7 at night.
  • Elinor Martell
    Elinor Martell
    Wed, 6 Feb 2019 2:46pm GMT
    The fact is that there is both conscious and unconscious sexism in most organisations. I have seen women passed over for jobs and promotions because of gender, not because they’re not capable or skilled as their male counterparts . Most people would say they don’t discriminate, however a lot discrimination occurs at an unconscious level. We rarely question our beliefs or feelings, believing we are being fair and equitable when perhaps we’re not. A senior female HR professional wrote an article last year admitting to her own unconscious sexism against women in the workplace. At the time she considered her judgments, which she rationalised, to fair. She realised later that she’d been unconsciously biased. Unless more is done to tackle unconscious bias women will continue to face inequality in the workplace.
  • karen
    Wed, 6 Feb 2019 1:11pm GMT
    it's noticeable on Radio 1 too where male presenters have been teamed up with a female sidekick for some prime time shows. The question is how do you determine who the best person for the job is when this is often based on traditionally male traits?
  • James
    Wed, 6 Feb 2019 12:52pm GMT
    Oh, Simon Mayo. So the proper way to select a co-presenter is whether they are an old chum that you've been on holiday with ??!! You have proven exactly why some quotas to help deliver equality and meritocracy are needed.

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