BBC gender pay gap: male staff earn 9% more than female colleagues
The gender pay gap across the BBC is just over 9% – half the national average – and there is no “systemic” gender discrimination in the organisation, a review has found.
The corporation ordered the review after a furore over the salaries of its best-paid stars this summer. The report says the existing gender pay gap is being driven by “an under-representation of women in the more senior jobs”.
The BBC said it was not complacent and set out a range of actions to be taken, including improving transparency on how pay is set, access for staff to specialist advice about pay, ensuring managers review pay in their team every six months to ensure fairness, and ending single-sex panels for job interviews, as well as striving for diverse shortlists for jobs.
The director general, Tony Hall, commissioned the report on the gender pay gap among staff and a separate audit covering other aspects of equal pay.
The audit was overseen by a former court of appeal judge, Sir Patrick Elias, and carried out by the consultancy firm PwC and the legal firm Eversheds.
In his commentary, Elias said: “The conclusion in the report that there is no systemic discrimination against women in the BBC’s pay arrangements for these staff is, in my judgment, amply borne out by the statistical evidence and is further supported by the analysis of particular cases carried out by Eversheds.”
A separate review of the BBC’s approach to on-air presenters, editors and correspondents, who are engaged on a variety of different contracts, will conclude by the end of the year.
The BBC faced a backlash from female stars over pay after it emerged that only a third of its 96 top earners were women and the top seven were all men.
Chris Evans was revealed to be the BBC’s best-paid star, collecting at least £2.2m in the last financial year. The best-paid female star, Claudia Winkleman, was paid between £450,000 and £500,000.
Alex Jones, a presenter of The One Show, was the only other female star to be paid more than £400,000 by the BBC, while 12 men were revealed to have been paid more than that amount.
Clare Balding, the sports presenter, received about a tenth of Gary Lineker’s pay, earning £150,999–£199,999 compared with his £1.75m–£1.79m. Graham Norton was paid £850,000–£899,999, and that did not include proceeds from The Graham Norton Show, which is made by an independent production company and is thought to take his earnings above £2.5m.
There were some high-profile female absentees from the list of actors, presenters, journalists and panellists who were paid more than £150,000 in the last year. Emily Maitlis, the news presenter; Sarah Montague, the presenter of Radio 4’s Today programme; and Louise Minchin, who presents BBC Breakfast, earned £150,000 a year or less, according to the disclosure.
Lord Hall said: “Fairness in pay is vital. We have pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2020 and have targets for equality and diversity on our airwaves. We have done a lot already, but we have more to do.
“While today’s reports show that we are in a better place than many organisations, I want a BBC that is an exemplar not just in the media but in the country – when it comes to pay, fairness, gender and representation – and what can be achieved.
“This is an essential part of modernising the BBC. And, if the BBC is to truly reflect the public it serves, then the makeup of our staff must reflect them.”
Gerry Morrissey, leader of the technicians’ union Bectu, said the findings confirmed what the union had been saying about the lack of transparency over pay.
“We need to know if women sitting alongside men have the same pay and pay progression, which is not necessarily the case at the moment,” he said. “This cannot be swept under the carpet any longer. We have been pressing for action for years but it has fallen on deaf ears.”