Harriet Harman

How to close TV's gender pay gap

(Credit: Paul Hampartsoumian)

The huge disparity between the salaries of male and female on-air talent at the BBC has attracted widespread and much-deserved criticism. But recently released figures on the gender pay gap reveal that discrimination exists across television, from the top to the bottom of the industry.

Channel 4 recorded the worst (mean) average pay gap – of 28.6% – of the major UK broadcasters, followed by: UKTV at 17.9%; ITV, 16.4%; the BBC, 10.7%; Sky: 5.2%; and Channel 5, where women are, in fact, paid 2.9% more than men.

Mind The Gap: Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Television | Full session

Following the release of gender pay data from broadcasters, a panel including Jane Corbin, Rt Hon Harriet Harman MP, Sian Kevill, Charlotte Sweeney OBE and Jane Martinson discussed the topic of pay differences received by men and women in television and what needs should and can be done to tackle the issue at RTS event Mind the Gap: Closing the Gender Pay Gap in Television.

Click here to read the event report, or to watch highlights of the event.

"It's just wrong": Harriet Harman and senior TV figures hit back at gender pay gap

The former Minister for Women and Equality was the key architect of the Equality Act 2000, which introduced a requirement to report gender pay gaps.

“We should not be discussing it anymore – we should be setting targets to close [the gap],” she continued. “Year on year, we need to see progress and we need to have stretching targets – these gaps are not there for us to be gnashing our teeth at or for admiring those that have lower gaps, they are there for us to make progress towards equal pay.”