A new report on diversity in RTÉ has found that, on average, more men than women participated in discussions on radio and television programmes during a period in 2020.

The content analysis examined gender diversity across three RTÉ Radio 1 programmes (Brendan O'Connor, The Business, and Today) and three RTÉ One programmes (Claire Byrne Live, Ireland on Call, and The Late Late Show) between March and May 2020.

The vast majority of items (80%) related to Covid-19.

It found that a 60:40 male-female split was broadly reflected on the Today and Brendan O'Connor shows on radio, and the Late Late Show on television, while the Claire Byrne Live Show and Ireland on Call came closer to gender parity with females representing 46% of participants.

The radio show The Business had the widest disparity with females representing 36% of participants.

Where items featured more than one participant, the majority included both males and females.

However, all-male items were more common than all-female items.

Meanwhile, women accounted for 47% of participants providing "personal experience" but just 36% of "expert commentators".

The most common participant occupations were media professional (20%), medical professional (14%), and business person (12%).

Medical professionals accounted for 44% of expert commentators while media professionals accounted for 39% of discussion guests.

Of these, 40% of all appearances by medical professionals were women and 41% of all appearances by media professionals were women.

The survey was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland and carried out by researchers at Dublin City University in conjunction with RTÉ and will be launched this afternoon.

Dr Eileen Culloty of DCU said the research had found that RTÉ as an organisation had made significant progress in defining and promoting a strategic vision for diversity and that it is taken seriously by decision makers.

However, she said meaningful progress will take time, commitment and funding as well as collaboration with communities and campaigners who are developing diversity initiatives.

RTÉ has welcomed the report, with Director General Dee Forbes saying it was a valuable process at a time when the broadcaster was adapting to the unprecedented challenges created by the global pandemic.

She said while RTÉ achieved 60/40 male to female representation across the six programmes selected, she was aware it must do more to achieve its 50/50 target and has put a range of measures in place to make that happen.

She said that since the report was carried out, RTÉ has continued to make progress in this area, not least across sports programming including Euros, Olympics and Paralympics coverage.