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BBC gender pay gap revealed

Today the BBC published its Annual report for 2016/17 which included a breakdown of the highest paid stars and journalists

19 July 2017
Kimberley Dondo

Following on from the Government’s gender pay reporting regulations, which were put in place in April 2017, the BBC chose to publish salaries above £150,000 a year which revealed a vast gap between the company’s top male and female talent.

Kate Palmer, head of advisory at Peninsula clarifies “The gender pay gap is, essentially, the difference between men’s and women’s average full-time earnings calculated on an hourly or weekly basis. For full-time workers, the current gap is 9.4% meaning a full-time female employee earns an average of 9.4% less pay than a full-time male employee.”

Chris Evans was top of the bill, racking in between £2.2 million and £2.25 million in 2016/17 while the highest paid female in the company was Claudia Winkleman who earned between £450,000 and £500,000 in the same year. This is a damning revelation of just how much of a gap there is between genders even in large, reputable corporations such as the BBC.

Tony Hall, director general of the BBC identified that there was “more to do” to address the gender and diversity pay gap.

"On gender and diversity, the BBC is more diverse than the broadcasting industry and the Civil Service," Hall stated, "We've made progress, but we recognise there is more to do and we are pushing further and faster than any other broadcaster."

Charles Cotton, reward and performance adviser at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, comments:

"The transparency that the BBC is showing is welcome, even if it might lead to some awkward water cooler conversations.”

“Publishing pay data encourages employers to think about how they are spending their money and reflect on whether they are rewarding staff fairly. CIPD research clearly shows that employees can be demotivated by excessive executive pay, so it's important that organisations are accountable for what they are paying their highest earners, especially at a time when pay packets are being squeezed due to rising inflation and stagnant wages."

The report also identified a gap between what white talent and ethnic minority talent earned, with George Alagiah, Jason Mohammad and Trevor Nelson, each receiving between £250,000 and £300,000. Whilst the highest paid female star of a different ethnicity received between £200,000 and £250,000. This is star difference between the highest paid white stars and presenters.

Petra Wilton, director of strategy for the Chartered Management Institute, adds:

“It is also apparent from the list, that like most businesses, the BBC is falling short when it comes to the representation of black, Asian and minority ethnic groups (BAME), with no BAME individuals among the top ten earners.  However, there are 10 BAME individuals in the full list of 96, which equates to just over 10%, and this is far higher than the UK’s top businesses, as shown in our Delivering Diversity report.”

“As an organisation that prides itself on balance and fairness, we welcome the commitment from the BBC’s Director General Tony Hall to close this gender pay gap by 2020.  Rather than knocking today’s announcement, others can learn how transparency is a vital first step to tackling the stubborn pay gap, enabling targets to be set and practical actions to be taken.”


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