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Discovery Finds Gender Pay Gap of 13% for Salaries, 49% for Bonuses at Its Largest U.K. Unit

Media giant Discovery has reported that male employees earn 13.5% more on average than female staff at its largest operating unit in the U.K. The proportion of men and women receiving bonus payments is almost the same – 88% of women and 87.8% for men – but the size of those bonuses is 49% larger for men on average, Discovery said.

The numbers are the latest to be issued by a major media company in the U.K. under a law requiring all firms employing more than 250 staff to report gender pay figures.

Discovery has had a longstanding presence in Britain, which remains a key international market for the U.S.-headquartered company. The gender pay figures are for its Discovery Corporate Services unit in London. If its other U.K. operations are factored in, the pay gap is 6.7% and the bonus gap 32.3%

Discovery said a small number of very top-level U.K.-based executives skew the figures. “If we remove our president & CEO of Discovery Networks International [JB Perrette], who happens to be based in the U.K., from the analysis and instead compare 99% of the organization, then the mean bonus gap drops to just 4.8%,” it said in its report.

“We are pleased, but not surprised, with our results, which are significantly smaller than the U.K. average pay gap of 18.4%, and don’t believe there are any particular areas of concern,” Amy Girdwood, executive VP of human resources, said. “However, that doesn’t mean we don’t have work to do….We will continue to analyze our gender pay data, track trends and take action where needed.”

The figures put Discovery somewhere in the middle in terms of the U.K. media companies that have reported their gender pay figures. Viacom surprised industry watchers yesterday when it said female employees earned more than men, on average, at its Channel 5 operation. At the other end of the scale, Channel 4 has reported a 28.6% gap in favor of men.

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