BBC Director General, Tony Hall, hopes to close the BBC gender pay gap by 2020, following a letter signed by 40 of the BBC’s most high-profile female stars (including the One Show’s Alex Jones, Newsnight presenters Emily Maitlis and Kirsty Wark and broadcaster Claire Balding).
However, Hall was keen to highlight the significant steps undertaken by the BBC in the last four years to improve the gender pay gap. These measures included a corporation-wide aim of achieving gender parity on all presenting and lead roles by 2020, and a 36% increase in the number of women on local radio breakfast shows in the last four years. To accelerate change further, Hall pledged to introduce wider consultation meetings on pay disparity, but remained confident that when the BBC publishes its gender pay gap figures next year, “they will look very different”.
In response to the letter, Sir Phillip Hampton, has said that female staff at the BBC allowed the gender pay gap to happen as “they weren’t doing much about it”. He said that he attributed the gender pay gap partly to a lack of ambition on the part of female staff, suggesting that in his experience, women were less proactive in asking for improved salaries when compared to male colleagues.