Cognitive dissonance is when someone manages to believe contradictory things. Sure, we all do it, it’s entirely human, helps us all get through the day. But we should still call it out when we see it.
As here at the BBC. They themselves tell us that the workforce is 11% LGBT, the more senior ranks 12% such. Great, excellent and who would be worried about that? But then they go on to insist that there’s a heteronormative culture at the BBC. Not something really proven by that composition of the workforce, is it?
The BBC is going to increase the number of LGBT people appearing in its programmes and news output as part of new diversity reforms.
They will be “incidental” portrayals, meaning that their sexuality is not part of a storyline or directly relevant to a news item.
Off-screen and off-air, LGBT staff will be encouraged to “bring their whole self to work” and be open about their sexuality.
Other recommendations include the use of non-binary pronouns used by staff where appropriate, and a network of “straight allies” who will announce their status with pin badges or special email signatures.
They are included in a new report based on a survey of LGBT staff attitudes, which found that many perceived the corporation to have a “heteronormative culture”.
LGBT staff account for 11 per cent of the total BBC workforce and 12 per cent of senior staff. BBC bosses say they have acted to ensure they retain and attract the best LGBT talent as an employer, and to appeal to a younger audience as a broadcaster.
It’s entirely correct that one should search for and employ the best talent one can irrespective of such personal features as sexuality or gender. As Gary Becker spent a lifetime pointing out such taste discrimination is costly to the organisation.
And yet – the portion of the population self-describing as LGBT is some 3% or so. No, those Stonewall estimates of 10% and up include those who tried it once and didn’t like it. Yes, that’s lifetime incidence of a same sex experience they measure. More realistic numbers are 1-3% of men are gay, perhaps 1% – 2% of women are lesbian and, well, trans is new enough to be out that numbers are febrile. Perhaps 0.5% to 1% being generous.
The BBC has 3x to 4x the LGBT incidence of the general population. And yet they’re worrying about whether they’re heteronormative? Don’t we have excellent evidence here that they’re precisely and exactly the opposite? Also, that the licence fee is too high if they’ve a department to worry about such things?