BBC pay figures expose lack of women and BAME stars at top end

Disclosure of on-air talent salaries in June showed women and minority ethnic staff are less likely to be among highest earners.

The resignation of Carrie Gracie as the BBC’s China editor has reopened the row over the gender pay gap at the corporation. When the BBC revealed the salaries for on-air talent last summer, they showed pay at the top end was heavily skewed towards men. Five of the biggest-paid stars were women.

Before the figures became public, the BBC’s director general, Tony Hall, told staff in an internal briefing that the overall amount paid to on-air talent had fallen from £198m a year to £194m. But it was the distribution that prompted the backlash.

The figures, released as part of the BBC’s annual accounts in June, also called into question the way the corporation paid older women. The women who made the highest grade tended to be younger then their male counterparts.

Scripted TV shows were the only area in which there were more women on the top-talent pay list than men. In every other category, including news and current affairs, radio and sport, there were more highly paid men than women.

Women at the BBC also hit a pay ceiling at the very top end. Not a single woman was in the highest pay band of more than £500,000.

The highest salaries at the BBC were more likely to go to white people, rather than anyone from a BAME background. Only 10 of the 96 highest-paid BBC stars were non-white.

10 of the BBC’s 96 highest-paid talents in 2016-17 were non-white.

Written by: Martin Belam

First published 08.01.18:

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