BBC denies gender bias as women staff denounce unequal pay

From Reuters - January 30, 2018

LONDON (Reuters) - Women working for the BBC have complained they are paid less than men in equivalent jobs and accused managers of misleading them about their pay to hide widespread gender discrimination at Britains public broadcaster.

But the BBC published a review of the pay of some 800 on-air staff, produced by PwC, which found no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making at the broadcaster, a cherished institution funded by a license fee levied on TV viewers.

The BBC has been struggling to quell anger among female employees since it had to name its best-paid on-air staff last July and disclose their pay bands, revealing that two-thirds of them were men of whom some were paid far more than female peers.

Female staff seeking redress have become bogged down in opaque internal processes, according to BBC Women, a group of 170 staff.

Women have experienced veiled threats made against them when they raised the subject of equal pay, the group said in written evidence to parliaments media committee, which is due to hear evidence on BBC pay on Wednesday.

The BBC admits to a gender pay gap of 9 percent, meaning more men are in better paid jobs, but says this is narrower than the British average of 18 percent. The corporation does not admit to paying women less than men for equal work.

But the PwC reviews findings are unlikely to satisfy aggrieved female staff. BBC Women said it had no confidence in the review.

The group provided 14 examples of women who described frustrating battles with managers over pay discrimination.



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