BBC prom­ises pay re­view as fe­male stars de­mand ac­tion by end of year

Irish Independent - Business Week - - BUSINESSWEEK - Erich Zann

THE BBC is re­view­ing pay af­ter it was forced to re­veal that male stars were paid far more than their fe­male coun­ter­parts.

The rev­e­la­tion in July that its best-paid male star earned five times more than the best-paid woman, and that two-thirds of on-air high earn­ers were men, led to in­ter­nal strife and crit­i­cal head­lines.

Pre­sen­ter Chris Evans topped the list of high­est-paid stars on be­tween £2.2m and £2.25m in 2016/2017, with Gary Lineker in the £1,750,000-£1,799,999 bracket.

Clau­dia Win­kle­man, was the high- est-paid fe­male star on £450,000-£500,000. She and Alex Jones, on more than £400,000 were the only two women in the Top 10.

“Th­ese are dif­fi­cult and of­ten deep-rooted chal­lenges, and they are not unique to the BBC, but I see this as a mo­ment of real op­por­tu­nity for us,” Direc­tor Gen­eral Tony Hall said in a speech yes­ter­day.

Mr Hall said the BBC had com­mis­sioned a re­port on its gen­der pay gap, to be in­de­pen­dently au­dited, and had launched an au­dit of equal pay cov­er­ing UK-based staff, which was be­ing car­ried out by the law firm Ever­sheds and au­di­tors PwC. “If it throws up is­sues, we’ll deal with them im­me­di­ately,” said Mr Hall, adding both re­ports would be pub­lished.

The BBC had ini­tially re­sponded to out­rage by pledg­ing to close the gen­der gap by 2020, but that failed to sat­isfy irate women em­ploy­ees. “The direc­tor gen­eral must be in no doubt about how se­ri­ous an is­sue equal and fair pay is for women across the or­gan­i­sa­tion,” said a group in­clud­ing high-pro­file TV and ra­dio pre­sen­ters.

“The BBC should be the stan­dard-bearer for this in the me­dia,” they said in a state­ment, call­ing for so­lu­tions to rec­tify in­jus­tices to be put in place be­fore the end of 2017. (Reuters)

Clau­dia Win­kle­man is the BBC’s high­est-paid fe­male star on £450,000-£500,000

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