Doctor Who may now be a woman, but other than that, things are not great for women at the BBC, judging by a newly released list of names and salaries of the corporation’s highest-paid employees.
Before the BBC published the list, it warned that only a third of its top earners were women, as if to brace everyone for impact. Well, the salaries were released today, and holy shit, it is still infuriating and incredibly mind-boggling just how disparate salaries between the highest-paid men and women are.
The top seven earners on the list were all men. While Chris Evans (Top Gear, BBC Radio 2) was the top-earning presenter, making between £2.2-2.25 million, Claudia Winkleman (Strictly Come Dancing, BBC Radio 2), the top earning woman, was in the £450-499,000 bracket. Gary Lineker (Match of the Day), a former footballer and BBC Radio 5 Live presenter made between £1,750,000-1,799,999 while award-winning sports journalist Clare Balding made £150,000-£190,000. John Humphrys, who has hosted BBC Radio 4’s Today since 1987, is the highest paid news broadcaster, making £600-649,999, while cohost Mishal Husain earns between £250-299,000, and other cohost Sarah Montague did not even make it over £150,000 list.
Plenty of other outlets have covered the details of the gender inequity, a situation so bad it could leave the BBC open to a discrimination lawsuit, according to The Guardian. Ruth Gamble, a lawyer at a UK law firm told The Guardian:
To defeat such a claim, the BBC would have to demonstrate that there is an explanation for the difference, which has nothing to do with gender. They will likely try to rely on years’ of experience, audience ratings for particular shows and differences between programme genres but, if the disparities are as striking as many expect them to be, it will not be an easy argument.
Also staggering is the racial pay gap. It seems the top earning non-white presenters were Jason Mohammed, George Alagia, and Trevor Nelson, all of whom were in the £250-299,999 range. Tony Hall, the director general of the BBC, claims they’re on track to have lead and presenting roles divided equally between men and women by 2020 and has vowed to “go further and faster on issues of gender and diversity.” Whatever that means.