Research compiled from figures taken from the main UK broadcasters found that just 18% of presenters over 50 are women. BBC television and radio, Sky, ITN and Channel 5 combined have just 26 women over 50 working as regular on-air presenters out of a total of 481 presenters.
Overall, women over 50 make up just 5% of on-screen presenters of all ages and both sexes and 7% of the workforce, both on and off screen.
Harriet Harman, Labour’s deputy and the shadow culture secretary, accused the TV industry of ageism and sexism. “It really is a black hole … Broadcasters behave as though the viewing public have to be protected from the sight of an older woman and that’s just rude. There is nothing wrong with being an older woman.
“We’ve got to fight back against this sense that older women are less valuable, whereas men accumulate wisdom, authority and experience as they age.”
Harman launched the commission last year to consider the experience of older women with a focus on three main areas: women in the workplace, carers and women in public life.
She told the Guardian: “There is still ageism in TV. We need to get to a position where women are not being shown the door simply because of their age and it is just as unacceptable to drop someone because of age as it is for their ethnicity.”
There are 188 women working as regular presenters overall, or 39% of the total, but the vast majority of these are under 50. “The figures provided by broadcasters show clearly that once female presenters hit 50, their days on screen are numbered,” said Harman.
“There is a combination of ageism and sexism that hits women on TV that doesn’t apply to men in the same way.”
1) What reasons do you have for having all-men panel shows?
2) There is a statement saying “Women are less valuable, whereas men accumulate wisdom, authority and experience as they age.”, do you feel that this statement is true, or do you feel that women and men are equal?
3) Why is there discrimination about women over 50? Aren’t they as good as younger female presenters?
4) Do you agree that there is discrimination about females presenting certain TV programmes?
5) What is your honest opinion and thoughts on why women over 50 are being discrimated?