BBC reports a 10.7% mean gender pay gap


Media organisation the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has reported a mean gender pay gap of 10.7% as at 31 March 2017 for its public service staff.

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. In addition, the organisation’s BBC statutory gender pay report 2017 also includes voluntary disclosures, such as its ethnicity pay gap.

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.

The median gender pay gap for hourly fixed pay is 9.3% as at 31 March 2017.

The mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 31 March 2017 is 20.3%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 0%. Over this period, 8.6% of men received a bonus or a voucher, which forms part of the organisation’s recognition scheme, compared to 9% of women.

Over a third (38%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at the BBC are women, compared to 42% in the second quartile, 50% in the third quartile, and 58% in the lowest pay quartile.

The organisation reports that 48% of its overall public service staff, which excludes employees working for its commercial subsidiaries such as BBC Worldwide, Global News Limited, BBC Studioworks, Children in Need and Media Action, are women.

More than half (58%) of the BBC’s female employees are in its lowest pay grades, compared to 42% of male employees. This shows a -2.4% gender pay gap. More than two-fifths (41%) of female employees are in pay grades 10 and 11 and senior managers, compared to 59% of male employees. This relates to a 5.9% mean gender pay gap for pay grades 10 and 11, and a 5.2% mean gender pay gap for senior managers.

The mean black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) pay gap is 5.7%, and the median BAME pay gap is 0.4%. The mean disabled pay gap is 5.2%, and the median disabled pay gap is 3.3%. The BBC has also reported its pay gap between part-time and full-time staff, which has a mean pay gap of 4.9% and a median pay gap of 3.4%.

The BBC attributes its gender pay gap to the structure of its working demographic, because more women are employed in the lower pay quartiles. It also states that the residual pay difference could arise from market factors, as well as where employees have differing levels of skills and experience yet otherwise perform similar jobs. The BBC has published an independent equal pay audit to further analyse the causes of pay differences for staff in pay grades two to 11.

The equal pay audit, which was conducted independently by law firm Eversheds Sutherland and professional services organisation PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), was published alongside the BBC’s statutory gender pay gap report. It found that there is not a systemic gender discrimination at the organisation. Out of 575 distinct job roles, 123 have a median pay gap of more than or equal to 5% in favour of men, 100 job roles have a median pay gap of more than or equal to 5% in favour of women, and 162 job roles have a pay gap in either direction of less than 5%.

The BBC has also published a set of management actions detailing how the organisation plans to tackle its pay gaps. These include consulting on the creation of ‘fair pay principles’, making pay data accessible to employees, the introduction of formal fair pay reviews, where managers and their HR lead will have a twice yearly one-to-one meeting to discuss team members pay, providing specialist pay advice for employees, and committing to complete another pay audit in two years’, which will then be continued on a regular basis.

To specifically tackle the gender pay gap, the BBC will be looking into its recruitment and selection processes, as well as how the organisation can better champion talent, for example by using mentoring.

The BBC has committed to having 50% of its leadership roles filled by women by 2020, as well as 15% of leadership roles filled by BAME staff by 2020.

Pay differences at the BBC were brought to light after the organisation published its BBC annual report and accounts 2016-17 and BBC pay disclosures July 2017 reports in July 2017. This highlighted the pay gaps between male and female on-air staff, with presenter Chris Evans listed as the highest paid on-air talent at the BBC, earning between £2,200,000 and £2,249,999, and presenters Claudia Winkleman and Alex Jones, listed as the highest paid women, earning £450,000-£499,999 and £400,000-£449,999 respectively.

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Following the publication of these reports, the BBC committed to consult with staff over the gender pay gap, as well as complete the aforementioned reviews in order to analyse pay differentials.

Tony Hall, director general at the BBC, and Anne Bulford, deputy director general at the BBC, wrote in the BBC’s gender pay gap report: “The analysis of our gender gap figures shows that the majority of the gap has arisen because we have a lower proportion of women in leadership and senior roles in our organisation.”