Similar statistics are coming for other companies. Don't think people will ignore them just because you don't have Chris Evans on staffby Stephanie Boland / July 19, 2017 / Leave a comment
The BBC pay figures have been released, and the internet is awash with gossip. Chris Evans, it transpires, is the company’s highest-paid male star, with pay between £2,200,00-£2,249,999, while Claudia Winkleman is the highest-paid female, with a salary between £450,000 and £499,999.
If you notice some discrepancy there, you’re not alone. As commentators across the political and media spectrum have pointed out, the figures show a clear gender pay gap among the BBC’s top talent tier.
I’m not going to discuss whether Claire Balding should make more than Mark Radcliffe, or Lauren Laverne only about half what John Humphreys makes. The gender play split at the BBC becomes notable—if less of a gossip opportunity—when it’s seen as a whole. With only a third of those in the higher pay brackets covered in the report being women, it seems that the BBC has a problem women workers in companies across the country—public and private—will be familiar with: comparatively few of their gender making it to the top.
It’s important to recognise that the BBC isn’t the only company with a gender pay problem, not least because, before long, it won’t be the only company forced to reveal it. By April 2018, British businesses with over 250 employees will be forced to reveal their own gender pay gap figures by law. “Snapshot” figures taken on 5th April 2017—or 31st March 2017 for private sector companies—will be made publicly available on a government database. And while it’s easy to argue that the difference between £400,000 and £2m shouldn’t be the focus of the debate—the recipients of those salaries being, compared to the national average, extremely wealthy—company figures which include low-wage staff, who are more likely to be women, will be difficult to dismiss.
The plans, set out by then Women and Equalities Minister Nicky Morgan, will also force employers to publish their gender pay gap on their company website—surely a prospect any woman who has found herself earning a pittance compared to her male colleagues will relish, especially if her industry’s culture has forced her to keep quiet thus far.
Of course, few companies will be putting the numbers in size 72 font next to their logo. And commentators are surely already lining up excuses about…