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In Reversal of Norm, Viacom’s U.K. Channel 5 Reports Gender Pay Gap in Favor of Women

With British broadcasters and media companies revealing yawning gender pay gaps in favor men, Channel 5 has bucked the trend and reported that, on average, its female employees earn more than their male counterparts.

The Viacom-owned free-TV channel – which airs local show “Celebrity Big Brother” and U.S. imports including “Will & Grace” and “The X-Files” – said that the women in its ranks earned 2.85% more than the men. But the situation was reversed when it came to bonuses, with men receiving 21.3% more, on average.

The average earnings differential makes Channel 5 the only British broadcaster to report a gender pay divide where the women come out on top. Its commercial TV peers have reported double-digit gaps in favor of men: 28.6% at Channel 4, 16.4% at ITV, and 11.5% at Sky. The BBC, which is at the center of a gender pay storm, pays men 10.7% more on average.

Employers with more than 250 employees in the U.K. are legally bound to report gender-based pay data. Viacom has seven U.K. subsidiaries, two of which are obliged to publish figures.

Viacom International Media Networks U.K., the other division required to report, had an 11.7% gender gap in favor of men, rising to 37.6% for bonuses.

U.S. media giant Viacom has also gone beyond the legal requirements and put out gender pay details for its entire 1,050-strong U.K. workforce. That revealed that men earned 2.8% more on average, and 33% more in terms of bonuses.

“Our performance compares well with the national average, but we still have areas of marked imbalance, particularly on bonuses,” said James Currell, president, VIMN UK, Northern and Eastern Europe.

“We are evolving our employment practices with a view to eradicating our gender pay gap over time,” he said. “Making further progress against this objective will be a key performance indicator for our senior management team in 2018 and beyond.”

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