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U.K. Pubcasters Close Gender Pay Gap; BBC and Channel 4 Record Improved Figures

U.K. pubcasters are making progress on closing the gender pay gap. The BBC said Wednesday it had reduced pay disparity between the sexes, and fellow U.K. pubcaster Channel 4 has already put out new figures showing its gender pay gap has fallen.

The BBC’s 2018 gender pay gap is 8.4%, down from 10.7% in 2017. Channel 4’s 2018 gender pay gap remains much wider at 22.7%, but that is a reduction on the 28.6% recorded in 2017. The BBC bonus gap, which does not include bonuses paid to staff at its production and distribution arm BBC Studios, was 2.5%. At Channel 4 it was 39.4%, down from 47.6% in 2017.

Women now comprise 43.3% of senior management positions at the BBC, which has committed to an even gender split in its leadership teams by 2020. It has already implemented a new system for paying correspondents and presenters after a widely publicized pay dispute with former China editor Carrie Gracie.

The BBC also published its review, Wednesday, into how it can become a better place to work for women. It said the report aims to “sweep away any barriers to women progressing, fulfilling their ambitions and reaching the top.” The main recommendations in the review, led by the BBC’s Scotland boss Donalda MacKinnon, are to support flexible working, rethink the recruitment processes, and introduce better training for managers.

Tony Hall, BBC director general, said: “The BBC must do everything it can to ensure that everyone working for it can fulfill their potential. Today’s report will help us to achieve that. On gender pay the BBC boss added: “We must lead the way. Today’s figures show we are making good progress, but we are not there yet and that is why we will keep pressing to deliver change.”

Channel 4 put out its gender pay numbers late last month. It said the reduction in the 2018 gap came after chief executive Alex Mahon set a strategy to boost the progression of women at senior levels. Channel 4 has targeted a 50:50 gender balance among its top 100 earners by 2023.

“I’m pleased that our focus on the progression of women to senior levels of the organisation has already had an impact, but there remains much more for us to do and I’m confident we’ll see the gap get smaller still in the coming years,” Mahon said.

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