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BBC pay: Gender pay gap back in the spotlight

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On Wednesday, the BBC published its annual report on pay for stars earning more than £150,000, and the statistics have been revealing to say the least. As an illustration, the top five highest earning men earn three times more than the top five highest earning women. Whilst the fact of a pay gap may be unsurprising, the scale is still shocking.

Lord Hall remarked that on gender and diversity the BBC is more diverse than the broadcasting industry and the civil service. However, what’s clear is that even the BBC has a long way to go.

It’s worth noting that the BBC has not as yet actually published its gender pay gap. Indeed it’s been reported that only around 30 or so of the 8,000 odd employers caught by the Gender Pay Gap Regulations have reported to date. However, the BBC has pledged to close the gender pay gap between men and women on air by 2020.

Speculation has now commenced as to how that will be achieved. The corporation has indicated that pay cuts will be part of the solution.

As employers prepare to publish their gender pay gap figures, a light needs to be shone not only on the solutions for closing the gender pay gap but also on the underlying reasons for the pay gap and the business case for closing the gap. Whilst there is no legal obligation to publish an accompanying narrative, messaging and communication, both internally and externally, are going to be key in delivering a ‘successful’ gender pay gap report.