LONDON – The BBC is poised to reveal that just a third of its best-paid stars are women.
The broadcaster will publish a list of TV and radio talent who earn more than £150,000 ($195,000) on Wednesday, exposing the gender pay gap for the first time.
BBC director general Tony Hall confirmed the disparity in an internal staff video on Tuesday, ahead of tomorrow’s announcement.
His words were first reported by trade magazine Broadcast, but Business Insider has also seen a transcript of his message.
“At the moment, of the talent earning over £150,000, two-thirds are men and one-third are women. Is that where we want to be? No. Are we pushing further and faster than any other major broadcaster? Most certainly,” Hall said.
Some 109 stars earned more than £150,000 at the BBC last year. If this figure remains steady this year, it will mean that around 36 women are named among the broadcaster’s top earners on Wednesday.
BBC News anchor Fiona Bruce and political editor Laura Kuenssberg are two of the BBC’s best-paid female stars. Bruce reportedly earns between £500,000 and £800,000, while Kuenssberg has a salary of between £300,000 and £350,000, according to the Telegraph.
As well as revealing that men significantly outnumber women among top earners, the BBC’s disclosure could also show that men pick up much bigger pay cheques. Hall told staff that this is a complicated issue.
“Comparing people’s pay is not straightforward. Very few do precisely the same thing – people working at the same show may have other, or different, commitments,” he explained.
The BBC has a “profound” aim to redress the balance
The BBC is making changes, however.
It has committed to ensuring that the number of lead actor or presenting roles is equally divided between men and women by 2020.
“This broader target will have a profound impact not just on BBC but on the whole media industry. It’s going to change dramatically the market for talent in this country,” Hall said.
The BBC is publishing star pay after the government asked it to be more transparent about the way it spends its £3.7 billion income from TV licence fee payers.