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Female stars call on BBC ‘to sort gender pay gap now’ – BBC News

Image caption Signatories include Emily Maitlis, Victoria Derbyshire, Sue Barker, Alex Jones, Fiona Bruce and Clare Balding (clockwise, from top left)

Some of the BBC’s most high-profile female personalities have called on the corporation to “act now” to deal with the gender pay gap.

Presenters Clare Balding, Victoria Derbyshire and Emily Maitlis are among those who have signed the open letter to Director General Tony Hall.

They urge him to “correct” the disparity over gender pay, which they say has been known “for years”.

The BBC this week revealed the salaries of stars earning more than 150,000.

The salaries, revealed in the corporation’s annual report on Wednesday, revealed two-thirds of its stars earning more than 150,000 are male, with Chris Evans the top-paid on between 2.2m and 2.25m.

Claudia Winkleman was the highest-paid female celebrity, earning between 450,000 and 500,000 last year, while the One Show’s Alex Jones was second, earning between 400,000 and 450,000.

Discrimination

Signatories to the letter also include BBC Sport’s Sue Barker, Today programme journalists Mishal Husain and Sarah Montague, presenter Fiona Bruce and the One Show’s Alex Jones.

Women’s Hour host Jane Garvey, who organised the letter, tweeted that female BBC stars were “revolting”.

In the letter, the women say they are “prepared to meet” Mr Hall to ensure “future generations of women do not face this kind of discrimination”.

The report shows “what many of us have suspected for many years… that women at the BBC are being paid less than men for the same work,” they add.

Pay disparities continue “beyond the list” of those earning more than 150,000, they add, including into areas of production, engineering, and regional and local media.

The letter continues: “Compared to many women and men, we are very well compensated and fortunate.

“However, this is an age of equality and the BBC is an organisation that prides itself on its values.

“You have said that you will ‘sort’ the gender pay gap by 2020, but the BBC has known about the pay disparity for years. We all want to go on the record to call upon you to act now.”

When questioned about the gender gap last week, Mr Hall said there was “more to do”, while BBC director of radio and education James Purnell said male presenters could take pay cuts.

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