New law forces The BBC to release earnings of performers exposing the wage gap between men and women on their pay roll.
Amidst BBC’s public annual report was a list of the 96 talents who made above £150,000. Some were expected, like Graham Norton and Radio 2 D.J Chris Evans but what has stirred quite the controversy is the fact that only a third of the list was inhabited by women. To be exact, only Claudia Winkleman cracked the top ten which has illuminated the gender wage gap in a company that reaches 95% of British adults every week and global audience of 372 million according to US News.
Accusations have also been made against executives who offered “under-the-table” hush money and financial compensations or future work promises in order to avoid any grand scandal. At least 10 female performers have prepared to sue the BBC if they do not seal the Women’s pay gap.
Radio 4 presenter Jane Garvey spoke with the Mirror with two other sources where Garvey said “at least two prominent women presenters” had been offered pay rises “within the last couple of weeks.”
One of the other sources added: “There is a real feeling that it is a old boys’ club at the top of the BBC when it comes to talent pay,” to which they were responding to the claim that the timing was peculiar, to say the least.
Labour MP Harriet Harman said there was “clearly discrimination” at the BBC and that the corporation needed to change. “It is very important that the lid has been lifted on this pay discrimination in the BBC,” Harman, the longest-serving female MP, told BBC News according to The Guardian . “Although everybody will think it is very unfair and outrageous, this is a moment when it can be sorted out.
Even though there has a rallying call for gender equality to be fixed at The BBC, a spokesman for the company labeled the allegations as complete and utter nonsense: “We’ve set out our target to go further and faster than any other broadcaster in closing the gender pay gap but it would be wrong to suggest there’s a single, simplistic way of doing this.”
Naz Smyth writes, among those who voiced their concern with the wage gap was Prime Minster Theresa May who pleaded for BBC to pay men and women equally, “we’ve seen the way the BBC is paying women less for doing the same job,” she told LBC according to the New York Times.
The Annual Report
The BBC was forced by the British Government to disclose the names and salary of everyone making above £150,000 due to a new 11-year Royal Charter. Not only has The BBC objected to this disclosure prior, they have described it as a “‘poachers’ charter” that will drive up salaries in the media industry and help the corporation’s rivals poach its staff.
The annual report does not include the exact amount of pay but instead has the pay information in bands. Neither does it contain the names of people who get paid through other branches, like BBC Worldwide. The summed up amount illustrated in the report does not take into consideration any earnings from other broadcasters or commercial work.
The BBC report did not include performers who get paid through independent production companies like Benedict Cumber batch who did not make the list.
BBC management has sworn to fix the gender pay gap by 2020 according to The Washington Post. “We will have equality between men and women on air,” BBC Director General Tony Hall told a female BBC Radio 4 host in an interview. “And we will also have the pay gap sorted by then, too.”