100 Voices that made the BBC
'Choose To Challenge' is the theme for International Women's Day 2021 - calling out gender bias and inequality, and celebrating women's achievements.
For nearly 100 years the BBC has wrestled with these issues on air and behind the scenes.
In a selection of stories and memories from the BBC Oral History Collection, our researchers explore the working lives of women in the BBC, going beyond the stereotypes.
- Early PioneersWomen at the BBC in the 1920s and 1930s
- Sound and VisionWomen in BBC engineering in wartime and beyond
- Women's ProgrammesProgrammes for women, by women
- Speaking to you at HomeHow women contributed to television’s particular and intimate style of address.
- Behind the ScenesThe army of women who worked behind the scenes at the BBC, and the pioneers who campaigned for better opportunities.
- Equal Opportunities?A fresh perspective on equal opportunities at the BBC.
- In ControlThe women who reached the top of the BBC.
- For Empire and CommonwealthHow women from across the Empire and Commonwealth sought opportunities at the BBC and broadcast to the world.
- Martha Kearney on Audrey RussellMartha Kearney, Presenter of Today on BBC Radio 4 looks at the achievements of a pioneering war correspondent.
- Variety and MusicThe influential women producers and directors of Light Entertainment and Music.
- Women in Popular Music: Annie NightingaleAnnie Nightingale's story exemplifies the importance of listening to and supporting women in the media.
- Women of the WorkshopThe women who shaped the pioneering sound of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.
- Background to the projectDame Jenni Murray, DBE, journalist and presenter explores some of the rich archive discovered in this latest release from the BBC Oral History Collection.
- GalleryA gallery of women at work and leisure at the BBC from the 1930s to 1960s.
- Share your memoriesLet us have your comments, thoughts and ideas.
About 100 Voices that Made the BBC
This '100 Voices' website is one of a series made as part of 'Connected Histories of the BBC' – a project led by the University of Sussex, in partnership with the BBC, Mass Observation, the Science Museum Group, and the British Entertainment History Project. The project is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
Material for this edition of '100 Voices' was curated and written by Kate Murphy, Bournemouth University and Jeannine Baker, Macquarie University (Sydney), with additional material by Emma Sandon (Birkbeck, University of London), Kate Terkanian (Bournemouth University), Helen Wood (University of Leicester), Lucy Robinson (University of Sussex), Sejal Sutaria (Grinnell College, USA), David Butler (University of Manchester) and Martha Kearney (BBC). Web Editor, John Escolme (BBC), Web Production, Mike Hammond (BBC). With thanks to Vicky Ball (De Montfort University), and David Hendy and Alban Webb (University of Sussex). Jeannine Baker's contribution was supported by the British Academy's Visiting Fellowships Programme under the UK Government's Rutherford Fund.
The website contains excerpts and programmes from BBC services at various moments in time. The material should be viewed in this context and with the understanding that it reflects the attitudes and standards of its own era – not those of today. And please note in particular that the website contains language which is now clearly outdated and offensive but which was regarded as acceptable by many people when first used.
Please Share your Memories of listening to, or watching BBC programmes featured in this website.