The Channel 4 News presenter Jon Snow has taken a voluntary 25% cut to his salary in an attempt to close the gender pay gap at the broadcaster.

Snow said he had made the decision after large companies – including Channel 4 and ITN, which produces Channel 4 News – were forced by the government to publish the average amount they pay women and men.

Snow is thought to be one of the highest-paid newsreaders in Britain, with a reported salary of £1m.

Snow told the Daily Mail he had taken a “gender pay cut”. He added:

“I did it as a cooperative gesture. I took the cut over two months ago – 25%. Alas, contractually, I am not able to disclose my salary then or now.”

Channel 4 had previously said it was “unacceptable” that the channel had a gender pay gap of 28.6 per cent, a median pay gap higher than that at ITN, at 19.6 per cent.

ITN, which makes daily news programmes for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5,  said it had put in place measures to improve equality, including “tough targets” to halve the gender pay gap within five years.

A Channel 4 News source said that Snow, as one of the station’s most recognisable faces, was employed directly by Channel 4 rather than ITN, meaning his pay cut will reduce the gender pay gap at the broadcaster rather than at the news production company.

This year Channel 4’s new chief executive Alex Mahon said she would act to reduce the gender pay gap at the organisation:

“There is no quick fix, but identifying the complex and multiple reasons behind our gap is the first step towards tackling the fundamental issues at play.”

“We must reduce the gap by focusing on increasing the proportion of women in higher-paid roles,”

Gender pay gaps in the media industry have become a major issue since last summer’s revelation of the salaries of BBC stars.

Radio 2’s Chris Evans topped the list on more than £2m, while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.