Following Concerns About Equal Pay, Female BBC Presenters Are Getting A Raise

"The BBC can and must lead the way."

Nearly 100 female presenters at the BBC are reportedly getting a pay raise following concerns about a gender pay gap at the network. According to Deadline, the change comes after a review into the pay of more than 800 on-air journalists, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Last year, the BBC released salaries for its highest-paid talent, with only 34 women appearing on the 96-person list, and men making up the top seven earners. Further questions about equal pay were raised when BBC China editor Carrie Gracie resigned over the issue earlier this month, leading six male presenters to agree to pay cuts.

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While Gracie wrote in an open letter that she was "not asking for more money," many on social media wondered why women were not receiving pay increases instead. This latest news addresses that concern. However, as the Huffington Post reports (and as BBC's General Director Tony Hall noted in his statement on the matter), the audit found "no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making."

Rather, the review found a 12.6 percent pay gap among the 656 lower-profile presenters in the group, as well as a "lack of clarity and openness" about pay decisions, and a "slightly higher percentage of men" in the top half of pay. There will reportedly be pay cuts for some men, as well as raises for 98 women and 90 men.

The BBC released a five-point plan to make things "fairer and more equal" at the network, saying it has already addressed nearly half of 230 cases of pay unfairness raised by both women and men, on and off the air. It aims to address the rest by the summer. Other recommended changes reportedly include a clearer pay framework, narrower pay ranges, simpler contracts, and increased transparency.

"The BBC believes in equality. No one should be paid differently because of their gender," General Director Hall said in a statement. "The BBC has a special role representing Britain. That is why we need to be and want to be an exemplar on gender pay, and equal pay." He went on to share intentions to close the gender pay gap and have women in half of on-air roles by 2020.

"We are clear we're going to tackle this and change for the better, and I hope other organisations take the same approach," he continued. "The BBC can and must lead the way. I am determined that we will."

Cover image: Claudio Divizia / Shutterstock.com

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