Channel 4 reports a 28.6% mean gender pay gap

Channel 4

Media broadcasting organisation Channel 4 has reported a 28.6% mean gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at 31 March 2017.

The organisation has reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the public sector submission deadline of 30 March 2018.

The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were awarded bonus pay; and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

Channel 4’s median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay as at 31 March 2017 is 24.2%.

Its mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 31 March 2017 is 47.6%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus payments is 28.7%. Over this period, 88.4% of female employees received a bonus payment compared to 87.9% of male employees.

Under half (44.6%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Channel 4 are female, compared to 49.8% in the second quartile, 62.1% in the third quartile and 68.4% in the highest pay quartile.  Channel 4’s total workforce comprises of 59% female employees and 41% male employees.

Channel 4 attributes its gender pay gap to the fact that there are a larger number of female employees occupied in the lowest two pay quartiles of the organisation, while the majority of staff employed in the highest-paid quartiles are men. For example, out of Channel 4’s 100 top-earning employees, 66% are men.

This also influences Channel 4’s bonus gender pay gap, as male employees who hold more senior positions typically attract a higher salary and a higher bonus rate. For example, Channel 4’s bonus scheme can see employees receive up to 10% of their gross salary as a bonus, while heads of department can receive up to 20% and the executive team can receive between 30% and 50%. Furthermore, 22.7% of the organisation’s female employees work on a part-time basis, which also exacerbates its bonus gender pay gap data because the gender pay gap reporting legislation does not take in to account part-time working in relation in bonus payments.

To address its gender pay gap, Channel 4 has set a target of achieving a 50:50 gender balance in its top 100 earning employees by 2023. To help meet this target, the organisation will focus on its Women’s Development Programme to support women’s career progression, undertake independent qualitative research of its female staff and 4Women network and review its pay practices, job titles and recruitment and selection processes. This will include ensuring that all hiring managers are trained in inclusive hiring practices. The organisation will also introduce pay levels.

Channel 4 will also review whether the factors that make it an attractive place to work are sufficiently applied at all levels within the organisation, including at senior positions. This will be a core project for the organisation’s new diversity and inclusion strategy.

Channel 4 has increased the number of women working as heads of department by 11% between March 2016 and March 2017, to have 41% of the organisation’s heads of department as women.

Alex Mahon, chief executive officer at Channel 4, said in the report: “We must reduce the gap by focusing on increasing the proportion of women in higher-paid roles. In this report, we are setting out the strategy to achieve that, with a goal of a 50:50 gender balance in the top 100 earners by 2023.

“We have also looked at the question of equal pay, not required as part of this formal reporting process, but an area that we felt it was important to assess, and commissioned external counsel to conduct a review of a sample of employees. We are pleased that when assessing whether men and women are paid equally for equal work, this external review found no evidence of a systematic equal pay problem.

“However, that doesn’t mean we’re complacent, and we’re planning a number of steps to ensure that our approach to pay is always as fair and transparent as possible. This process has been valuable in prompting Channel 4 and others to take a closer look at the important topic of women in leadership. We want women and men to be equal in the workplace and we aim to be at the vanguard of that, living up to our aspiration to be a truly inclusive organisation.”