By Lucy Caulkett
The BBC is effectively addressing every unfair bias in women’s pay, and have devised a system to ensure progression on all levels of pay, the corporation has stated today.
A new report into the corporation by auditors PWC states that there is “no gender bias” regarding pay decisions at the BBC.
However, auditors PWC found that the BBC’s approach to setting pay in general “has been far from perfect”.
The report published on Tuesday found a 6.8% gender pay gap among on-air staff.
The BBC said they plan to make “substantial” pay cuts for some men. The corporation also said it would increase the pay package for some women and some men, but did not state to what extent this will balance the gender pay gap. Director general Tony Hall said “important issues” had to be tackled.
The BBC has also promised to create a new framework to determine the pay of people on air to match those already existing for other BBC staff
Under the new arrangements, the pay range for virtually every job in the BBC will be transparent for everyone to see. Where there are more than 20 people in a job, staff will also be able to see where everyone else is positioned.
The progression of women in the corporation will also be looked, including working practices and support for women returning to work.
The BBC also vowed to accelerate progress towards equal representation of men and women at all levels on air, including towards closing the gender pay gap by 2020.
Last summer, the BBC named on-air staff earning more than £150,000, Tuesday’s report involves those on-air across all pay brackets – a total of 824 people.
The 6.8% pay gap identified in this group was lower than the overall BBC average pay gap of 9.3%. The national average is 18%.
The director general said: “Today’s report does not find evidence of gender bias in decision-making.
“But it shows we have real and important issues to tackle… and I’m determined to get it right.”
He added: “The plans we’re setting out today go further and are more important steps in modernising the BBC and making it fairer”.
“We’ve already made an important start. We’re addressing unfairness in individuals’ pay and want to close the gender pay gap and have women in half of our on-air roles by 2020. Those are big, bold commitments I’m really serious about.”
Lord Hall also said he wanted to “push forward on our goal of getting 50:50 men and women on air by 2020, I now want to do that quicker”.
The median pay gap in the lowest three of the four on-air job levels PwC examined was 12.6 %, according to the report. This was higher than the BBC’s overall pay gap of 9.3%.
In the top level, the gap was 0.4% – but the number of people in this bracket was smaller and the range of salaries was much wider.
This level includes “a small number of individuals, mainly men, who are paid very highly”.
The “most significant under-representation” of women is found in news correspondent jobs.
“Slightly” more women receive pay at the lower end of the salary range for their jobs, while more men are higher up the salary scales.
But, referring to such disparities in the first three job levels, PwC said there are “logical and non-gender related reasons” for the differences.