A review into the gender pay gap at the BBC has found that it is at just over 9%, half that of the national average, with the review ultimately finding that there’s no “systemic” gender discrimination within the corporation.
In July, a list of 96 BBC stars earning £150,000 a year or more was released, with just 34 women, compared to 62 men. It led to suggestions that the BBC’s highest-earning male presenters could see their salaries slashed in order to reduce the corporation’s gender pay gap.
A review was commissioned by the BBC’s director general Tony Hall in response to the backlash over the highest-earners list. It was overseen by former court of appeal judge Sir Patrick Elias and carried out by consultancies PwC and legal firm Eversheds Sutherland.
In the report, Elias says: “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.”
The review also found that the BBC’s existing gender pay gap is being caused by “an under-representation of women in the more senior jobs” within the company.
The BBC have promised to take action to reduce its gender pay gap further.
Lord Hall comments: “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.”
When the highest-earners list was released in the summer, Chris Evans was top with annual earnings of £2.20-£2.25m, followed by Gary Lineker with a salary of £1.75m-£1.80m. Graham Norton was third with an annual salary of £850,000-£899,999. It was found that the BBC’s highest-paid woman, Claudia Winkleman, earns between £450,000 and £499,999 a year, placing her equal seventh on the pay list.