BBC pay report: Men still dominate ‘highest earners’ list

The BBC has revealed the full list of stars, presenters and broadcasters earning more than £150,000 in 2017/18.

The annual report reveals that the top 12 earners on the BBC’s latest list of star salaries are all men and details what the Corporation is doing to close the gender pay gap among its top earners.

Gary Lineker has overtaken Chris Evans as the best-paid person on the list, earning between £1.75m-£1.76m in 2017-18.

Claudia Winkleman is still the top woman, earning £370,000-£379,999. Mary Berry and Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis are among eight women to have joined the list.

Evans, Graham Norton, Jeremy Vine and John Humphrys are among those to have seen their pay drop since last year.

Winkleman has also dropped on the list as a result of a shake-up of the corporation’s structure.

Those getting pay rises include Radio 2’s Steve Wright and Ken Bruce; Radio 1’s Nick Grimshaw; and Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen. The only woman to move up a salary bracket is Sophie Raworth.

The BBC said the published salaries do not yet fully reflect some pay rises and pay cuts, which will not filter through until next year’s list.

Last year’s list sparked an outcry about gender and ethnic inequality because the top of the list was dominated by white men and because some men were shown to have been paid more than female co-hosts. This year’s top 12 is still an all white and male list.

Director general Tony Hall said the BBC was “making progress” and that he wants a 50/50 split on the list as a whole, but that “these things take time”.Presentational white space

The report also published figures for 2018-19 to show it is on the way to rectifying the gender imbalance.

Lord Hall said:

“I’ve made it absolutely clear that’s not good enough and I want to get to 50/50, and that will mean changes in the range of what people are paid right across [the organisation].” 

“We are making progress and you must understand that. We’re trying to 

get a balanced range of men and women and their pay right across the organisation.

“I am concentrating on what is a huge change, which is going from 25% of women to 40% of women being in the top, over £150,000 pay… These things take time.”

The report two weeks after former China editor Carrie Gracie received an apology and back pay from the BBC after discovering on last year’s list that she had been paid less than her male counterparts.

What does this mean for HR and management? Sharon Looney, chief human resources officer at CoreHR, offers her thoughts below.

“Data often shows only half the story when it comes to whether there is an equality problem within an organisation, especially in an instance like this when only a small cross-section of the organisation is included. That said, this report does indicate the BBC has made some progress towards closing its gender pay gap. It’s also encouraging to hear acceptance from its leadership that there remains more to be done.

 “We should absolutely welcome this improvement on last year’s figures, but it’s worth considering that some of this rebalance has come from men accepting lower salaries. While admirable, that concession only solidifies the mind-set that such a salary is unattainable if you’re a woman.

 “We need to see all organisations consider whether they’re doing enough to identify and nurture their best workers – regardless of gender or background. Doing so will encourage top female performers to rise through the ranks to rebalance gender inequality at all levels.”

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