I was perusing BBC Freedom of Information requests (as you do) which are helpfully compiled for all to see. And have compiled these stats:

Staff makeup

Majority (British, English, Scottish, Welsh white): 82.6%

BME: 12.3%

Other white: 5.1%

Disciplinary & grievances cases by ethnicity:

Majority 60% (78)

BME 35% (46)

Other white 2% (2)

Unknown 3% (4)

BME people are 12% of staff but 35% of grievances? That is a HUGE disparity, and something I hope the BBC is actively working on.

Average salaries by gender:

Male £41,816

Female £36,827

For top two salary bands (£190k+), 38 men and 7 women.

So it seems to me there is a LOT to do on equalities work at the BBC (and I would imagine, most public-sector organisations). I just wonder how we can expect profit-driven private companies to fully enact equality legislation and reduce discrimination, when even our greatest public organisations can’t do it?

Big edit to add actual proper statistical analysis from the lovely Brian (oh how helpful it is to have a statistician to hand!). In his words:

As you suspected the Grievance/Displinary incidence is not independent of the ethnicity of the employee as the statistical Chi-squared test for a contigency table is highly significant (p<0.0001).

Assumptions:

Assume each Grievance/Displinary incident is a different person.

Exclude unknowns

Look at BME vs Other

If anyone would like to look at the data, let me know, but everything you need to run the same tests is available via the links above.

It would be really interesting to find out more about this relationship and try to pick out what it is that gives such a higher incidence of grievance/disciplinary rate for BME staff at the BBC. That’ll be for another day and another FOI, I guess…

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Yes very interesting Maeve. What is the size of the total number of grievances? This puts into context the percentages as we then can translate to actual cases ie. are there are 2000 grievance cases or 20? If there is only 20 then it wouldn’t be unusual to get a disparity in the percentage of grievance cases of this size by chance. Hope that makes sense.

Very good point, not sure why I left them out (since the actual figures is what BBC provided and I calculated percentages!) I’ve put them in brackets in the post, but here they are:

BME 46

Other White Background 2

Ethnic Majority 78

Unknown 4

Total 130

I’m guessing that testing for statistical significance wouldn’t be *that* robust, but given there are 3x the % grievances for BME, it still seems like there must be a case to answer

3x as many %grievances does seem a big number. If you give me the total numbers employed I could do the statistical tests for you. If you have a spreadsheet send me that in an email.

Nothing as grand as a spreadsheet, just the numbers in these pdfs:

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/foi/classes/disclosure_logs/rfi20111085_staff_ethnicity_at_31august2011.pdf

http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/foi/classes/disclosure_logs/rfi20110825_staff_age_disability_ethnicity_30062011.pdf