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Does the BBC top earners’ salaries list reveal its gender pay gap?

The BBC finds itself accused of discrimination, following the recent publication of its top earners salaries. The publication revealed a significant gender pay gap across that level within the organisation.

This year is the first time the BBC has published the salaries of those who earned at least £150,000 last year. Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans is the highest earner, earning between £2.2 million and £2.25 million a year. In second place is Match of the Day presenter, Gary Lineker. He earns between £1.75 million and £1,799,999. Presenter Graham Norton comes third with earnings between £850,000 and £899,999.

BBC’s top earners: white and male

Almost immediately after it published the salaries, the BBC was hit with criticism as it was revealed that two thirds of the BBC’s highest paid stars were both white and male. In fact, out of the highest paid stars on-air, the top seven are all male and white – there are no people of black, Asian or minority ethnic (BAME) descent within the top 20 top paid on-air stars. And just five are female.

Strictly Come Dancing presenter, Claudia Winkleman, has now become the most highly paid female BBC on-air employee. There are no other female stars within the top ten. She comes eighth overall, earning £450,000 to £499,999.

Paid up to five times more

The figures reveal that the highest paid male on-air star receives four or five times the amount of the highest paid female on-air star.

The highest earning BAME on-air BBC stars earn between £250,000 and £299,999. They are Radio Wales broadcaster Jason Mohammad, newsreader George Alagiah and the DJ Trevor Nelson. Newsreader Mishal Husain is the most highly paid BAME female BBC employee, earning between £200,000 and £249,999.

Clearly these figures only cover the top tier of the BBC, and it may be that pay rates across lower levels of the organisation show a smaller, or no, gender pay gap. It may also be that these figures skew the organisations’ overall gender pay gap. But the move towards greater transparency is interesting – and of course there has been the inevitable backlash, with female presenters writing to request immediate action. If you are likely to have similar statistics within your business, it may be worth reviewing these now to see whether you can justify any differences, and whether you need to be taking any remedial action.

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