This week, I have been left absolutely astounded as the BBC have released their pay roll for their top earning stars and subsequently revealed their blatant gender inequality and highlighted the ever present gender pay gap.
Funded by the tax payer, I have always viewed the BBC as a company that could be trusted. We’ve been paying for news updates, radio and entertainment and our money must be being spent correctly? However, after being pressured to release the wages of their presenters and actors, it was revealed that of the top 10 highest earners, only two of them are women. When I first read this news I was amazed, surely a company as established and world renowned as the BBC couldn’t be so sexist? Yet, as you delve deeper into the numbers, the pay gap becomes even more prevalent.
The highest earner on the BBC’s pay roll is Chris Evans, making a staggering £2.5 million. Somehow, the first woman doesn’t appear until number 8 on the list, with Claudia Winkleman making only £500,000, 1/5 of Chris Evans’ salary. Granted, both presenters have very different roles within the BBC, however if you compare Alex Jones and Matt Baker, despite having identical jobs as hosts of ‘The One Show’, Baker manages to earn £50,000 more than Jones.
As a corporation funded by the public, the BBC should be setting an example in gender equality, rather than giving a man a higher wage simply because of gender. If we ever wish to live in a world in which every woman, in every job can be earning the exact same salary as her male counterpart, then we have to start at the top. The BBC are now in a powerful position in which they have the ability to portray a positive change. If in a years time they can reveal 2017’s pay roll, showing they have made changes to decrease the gender pay gap, then they can be used as an example to other companies, proving if they can, why can’t everyone. However, this is an idealistic and unlikely outcome. The BBC have taken a hit from the release and now they have appeased the public by releasing the data once, it’s unlikely they’ll take the risk to do it again, despite the positive steps they could take towards gender equality.