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The BBC has joined Channel 4 in committing to ensure half of its documentaries are directed by women after signing up to We Are Doc Women’s gender equality campaign.

On the day of the campaign’s formal launch, the BBC confirmed that its documentary commissioning team will order from an even split of male and female directors, with plans to extend this to all factual output within two years.

C4 has now rolled the initiative out across its docs team, having already signed up to implement it in specialist factual and current affairs last month.

We Are Doc Women has also detailed the names of female directors helming shows made by the six indies that have supported the campaign.

These include:

Sara Hardy and Blue Ryan (Gold Star Productions’ BBC2 doc The Babes in the Wood Murders)
Hannah Horan and Laura Martin-Robinson (ie ie Productions’ BBC4 doc Mothers, Missiles and the American President - main picture)
Helen Spooner (Lambent Productions’ BBC3 doc Nowhere to Run: Abused By Our Coach)
Jenny Ash (Middlechild’s Channel 5 doc The World’s Biggest Murder Trial: Nuremberg)
Marion Milne (Yeti Media’s Channel 4 doc Edward VIII: Britain’s Traitor King)
Lottie Gammon (Mindhouse’s Sky Crime series The Bambers: Murder at the Farm)

Lambent Productions said in a statement: “Signing up to the pledge hasn’t changed the way we work – it’s underlined our commitment to female talent. Why wouldn’t you sign up to a pledge that encourages a 50:50 commitment to ensure gender parity? We all need a fairer, more balanced, more representative mix of talent, and the industry can only benefit from that.”

Mindhouse said it “made perfect sense” to extend the company’s established 50/50 gender balance and pay equity.

WADW highlighted that two women directors who made a pair of ITV docs that won Baftas on Sunday night: Tanya Stephan for Missing Children (True Vision/Nevision) and Sarah Collinson for Fearless: The Women Fighting Putin (Hardcash Productions).

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