By Jasmin Gray
Women working at the BBC are still earning “far less” than their male colleagues, leaving the broadcaster fighting a “crisis of trust”, MPs have discovered.
According to a report published by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) select committee, the BBC has “failed to lived up to” its legal duty to provide equal opportunities for women, with staff alleging that managers “deliberately misled” them over salaries.
One female broadcaster told MPs: “I found out that the existing male presenter was being paid 50% more than me per programme.
“When I asked for the pay gap to be corrected, the line manager told me ‘the BBC doesn’t do equal pay’ and that in raising the issue, I was being ‘aggressive’.”
Meanwhile, the committee condemned the broadcaster’s new ‘Career Path Framework’ – brought in to offer transparency on pay – as a failure, saying that it was “no use” to female workers looking to compare their salaries to male colleagues.
While they are able to see which pay band they sit in, they still cannot see how many men also belong to the same bracket, the report said.
“The BBC acts as a beacon in public life,” said DCMS committee chair Damian Collins. “As an employer it has an even higher level of duty than others to advance equality of opportunity – but has failed to do.
“The BBC must take urgent action now if it’s to restore its reputation on equal pay and win back the trust of staff.”