The BBC Women group has called for “real and urgent” action to eradicate “racism and sexism” at the corporation.

The group, made up of dozens of presenters and producers, said the George Floyd‘s death in Minneapolis has had a huge impact on ethnic minority staff at the BBC.

It comes as anti-racism protests have erupted around the world after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck for several minutes while he gasped for air.

The 46-year-old African American later died in police custody, sparking worldwide outrage against systemic racism.

In a statement, BBC Women said: “The killing of George Floyd has impacted black, Asian and ethnic minority staff at the BBC.

“Many have been highlighting insidious racism for years. Fairness is at the heart of the BBC’s mission and BBC Women now demand REAL and URGENT action to end both racism and sexism at work”.

BBC Women formed in 2017 following a furious response to a significant disparity in pay between men and women at the corporation.

Carrie Gracie resigned from her post as China editor after finding out she earned less than male journalists in similar jobs at the BBC, while in January Samira Ahmed won her sex discrimination equal pay claim against the broadcaster.

In October last year June Sarpong was hired in the newly-created role of director of creative diversity in a bid to make the BBC “more inclusive”.

The most recent list of the corporation’s highest earners, released in July 2019, showed Claudia Winkleman, Vanessa Feltz and Zoe Ball in the top 10.