Under-represented groups are now more likely to make it through to interviews at the BBC

The BBC is to remove names and universities from job applications as part of a bid to increase social diversity and give chance to underrepresented groups among its large workforce.

Studies have suggested that prospective applicants can be disadvantaged in job hunts by their names and institutions, in particular names that indicate someone is not from a white British background.

The corporation claims that its new targets and policies will put it far ahead of other broadcasters on diversity. A BBC spokesperson said:

“We are making good progress in our work to make the BBC a truly diverse organisation, but there’s more to do and we’re always keen to improve. Almost half of our workforce is made up of women and the proportion of our workforce who are black, Asian and other ethnic minority is at an all-time high. We’ll continue doing what works but also develop new and innovative ideas to do even better, and we’ll set this out in full when we announce our new diversity strategy on Thursday.”

The BBC has also said it is keen to tackle its image as a middle-class organisation dominated by Oxbridge graduates. The measures are already in place for graduate and apprenticeship schemes as part of a government initiative, but will be extended to all core roles in the coming months.

The corporation has previously been criticised over its representation of women and minorities. Therefore its new policies include making sure interview panels contain both male and female people, and different ethnicities, and the recording of information such as education and family income to help recruiters identify areas of under-representation.

By 2020, the corporation has promised that half of all roles will be filled by women and 15 percent of staff will come from ethnic minority backgrounds. It also said disabled people would make up eight percent and lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people would also make up eight percent.