Some of the BBC’s top female stars have demanded the release of data showing the true picture of the gender pay gap at the Corporation in order to “rectify injustices before the end of the year”.
A tweet posted under the hashtag #BBCWomen received widespread backing from some of the best-known figures at the organisation, and has applied further pressure on BBC director general Tony Hall as he prepares to address staff over the issue.
The statement said: “The Director General must be in no doubt about how serious an issue equal and fair pay is for women across the organisation. The BBC should be the standard bearer for this in the media. We await the swift release of meaningful data that we can trust and for solutions that will rectify injustices to be put in place before the end of the year. We need full transparency.
“Our aim is to change things for women in broadcasting now, and to encourage and reassure young women coming into the industry whatever their role.”
The statement was backed by a number of figures including broadcaster Clare Balding, Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark, and Woman’s Hour presenter Kirsty Wark.
— Clare Balding (@clarebalding) September 6, 2017
Statement from #bbcwomen . The DG must be in no doubt about how serious an issue equal and fair pay is for women across the organisation.
— Kirsty Wark (@KirstyWark) September 6, 2017
— Jane Garvey (@janegarvey1) September 6, 2017
The statement was also retweeted by a range of other figures including sports broadcaster Eleanor Oldroyd and Today presenter Mishal Hussain.
It will make uncomfortable reading for director general Tony Hall who is due to address BBC staff today over the issue.
Hall, who has pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2020, is understood to have authorised accountancy firm PwC and law firm Eversheds Sutherland to compile an audit of how much the corporation pays its staff with a view to eradicating disparities, a move which may see pay cuts for some stars.
This follows the controversy earlier this summer – and first disclosed by RadioTimes.com in June – when it was revealed that just a third of the 96 on-screen stars earning over £150,000 a year are women, with the top seven earners all men.
More than 40 of the BBC’s leading female stars wrote to Hall after the pay list was published to demand that the director-general takes urgent action over the discrepancy.