Following a Pay Gap Controversy, the BBC Finds Women Are Paid 9 Percent Less Than Men

By Katie Kilkenny,

Following a controversy over revelations of a pay gap among its highest-paid employees in July, the British Broadcasting Corporation has released an equal-pay report that finds, on average, female employees are paid over 9 percent less than male employees at the company.

The report, which the BBC released Wednesday morning just before Theresa May's highly anticipated speech at the Tory conference, concludes that, despite this pay gap, there was no "systemic gender discrimination" in staff pay. The average pay gap in the United Kingdom is 18.1 percent.

The new report does not, however, analyze the pay of senior managers, on-air editors, presenters, or correspondents—the pay of whom inspired the criticism over the BBC's pay gap two months ago. In July, female employees and British politicians spoke out against their employer after a list of BBC's 96 top earners showed that only one-third of top-paid talent was female. The seven top best-paid stars were men; the top-paid woman, television presenter Claudia Winkleman, made one-fifth of what the top-paid man, presenter Chris Evans, earned.

U.K. Prime Minister May, Labour MP Harriet Harman, and female BBC staffers all voiced their displeasure with the top-earners list. "I think what has happened today is we have seen the way the BBC is paying women less for doing the same job as the men. I want to see women paid equally with men," May said in July. Lawyers consulted by the Guardian said that the revelations of the list had opened the BBC to sex-discrimination claims by female presenters.

The BBC said Wednesday that a separate report of on-air presenters, editors, and correspondents would be completed by the end of the year.

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