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Girls & Women

2 Years After BBC's Gender Pay Gap Scandal, 3 Women Make the Top Paid List


Why Global Citizens Should Care
The UN Global Goal 5 calls for gender equality, while Goal 10 calls for reduced inequalities regardless of race, disability, age, sexuality, religion, or any other status. The BBC’s latest report indicates that efforts to ensure equality are working — if slowly — to achieve a world where people are valued the same, regardless of who they might be. Join the movement by taking action here to continue the fight for equality. 

It’s been two years since the “BBC Gender Pay Gap Scandal” of 2017 — and, with the announcement of the corporation’s latest annual report, it has emerged that three women are now finally listed among its highest-paid earners. 

Claudia Winkleman, Zoe Ball, and Vanessa Feltz have joined the list, with Winkleman and Ball in at joint eighth place, and Feltz in at joint 10th with Jason Mohammad. Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker has topped the list for the second year in a row, at £1.75 million a year. 

When the BBC first published data about its highest-paid stars two years ago, it was revealed that the list was dominated by white men. Meanwhile, the overall pay gap at the corporation was shown to by 9.3%. 

In the first report, it was shown that not a single woman earned more than £500,000, and no black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) stars made the top 15. Meanwhile, of the 96 people named on the list, only a third were women and just 10 were from BAME backgrounds. 

Last year, all 12 of the top earners were white men. 

Thanks to some significant changes at the BBC, the gender pay gap fell to 7.6% last year, and now stands at 6.7%, according to the BBC’s media editor Amol Rajan. 

That’s actually better than most in the media industry. 

At the Guardian’s parent company, the gap was 8.4% last year (the Guardian reported). That’s compared with 18.4% at the Financial Times, and 23.4% at the Daily Telegraph.

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The national median pay gap is 17.9%, according to the Evening Standard. 

The list of the highest-paid stars, however, doesn’t indicate much improvement — if any — when it comes to the ethnic pay gap issue at the corporation.

The BBC’s Annual Report includes salary information for correspondents and presenters who earned more than £150,000 between April 2018 and March 2019, according to the BBC. 

The number of names featured on the list has gone up to 75 from 64 last year. Some 60% of the highest-paid presenters are now men, down from 65% when the first list was published in 2017. 

“I’d like to congratulate the three women who have made it into the top 10,” presenter Jane Garvey, who leads a campaign group called BBC Women, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. “That’s 30% of the top 10.”

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“Of course it would be nice if it was 50, or maybe even more than that,” she said. “Who knows, we might reach that state of nirvana at some point in my life.” 

Garvey added, however, that the issue of the gender pay gap at the BBC extends far beyond just the discrepancies between male and female presenters. 

“The grievances that are underway at the moment throughout the BBC largely feature, yes, some female presenters,” she said. “Overwhelmingly though they are producers, they are journalists, they are studio managers.” 

The figures indicate that some male stars including Jeremy Vine, Huw Edwards, Nicky Campbell, John Humphrys, and Steve Wright have seen “significant” cuts to their salaries, according to the BBC. 

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It was announced in January 2018 that four of the BBC’s top-earning male presenters had agreed to having their wages cut following the revelations around the gender pay gap. 

The four announced at the time were Jeremy Vine, John Humphrys, Huw Edwards, and Nicky Campbell. 

“I support my female colleagues who have rightly said they should be paid the same when they’re doing the same job,” said Vine at the time. “It’s just a no-brainer, so it wasn’t a problem for me to accept one.” 

But the list isn’t complete — with actors and some presenters of entertainment shows, who work for BBC Studios, aren’t included. These shows include some of the BBC’s leading programmes like Top Gear and Doctor Who.

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BBC’s Director General Tony Hall said, however, that “the BBC has also turned the corner on gender pay. When we first published the figures for top talent, there was a 75:25 split between men and women. The projection for 2019/20 is now 55:45.” 

“This is a significant change,” he continued, speaking at the launch of the annual report on Tuesday morning. “The task is not complete, we are not complacent. But we are well on our way.” 

Here are the full lists of the top earners for the past three reports — 2017, 2018, and 2019 — from BBC data:  

2017: 

  1. Chris Evans
  2. Gary Lineker
  3. Graham Norton
  4. Jeremy Vine
  5. John Humphrys 
  6. Huw Edwards
  7. Steve Wright 
  8. Matt Baker and Claudia Winkleman
  9. Nicky Cambell, Alex Jones, Andrew Marr, Stephen Nolan, Alan Shearer

2018: 

  1. Gary Lineker
  2. Chris Evans
  3. Graham Norton
  4. Steve Wright
  5. Huw Edwards
  6. Jeremy Vine
  7. Nicky Campbell and Alan Shearer
  8. Nick Grimshaw, John Humphrys, Andrew Marr, Stephen Nolan

2019: 

  1. Gary Lineker
  2. Chris Evans
  3. Graham Norton
  4. Huw Edwards
  5. Steve Wright
  6. Alan Shearer
  7. Andrew Marr
  8. Claudia Winkleman and Zoe Ball
  9. Vanessa Feltz and Jason Mohammad