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BBC Studios reports 20% gender pay gap as union calls for “urgent” discussion

BBC Studios has revealed that its gender pay gap has risen to nearly 20% in its first Gender Pay Gap Report since merging in-house production and distribution business in April.

There was a slight increase in the mean gap in 2018, which rose from 18.9% in 2017 to 19.6%. This is higher than the national average which has a 14.5% mean gap between genders.

The combined BBC Studios median pay gap is 14.1%. This is lower than the national median of 18.4% and 17.4% in the technology and media sector.

Dividing the production and distribution business finds a 10% median pay gap at BBC Studios, while BBC Studios Distribution (formerly BBC Worldwide) reports a 17.2% median pay gap.

The BBC attributes an imbalance in representation in senior roles for the increase in the gender pay gap across the mean and median figures.

“While we are close to equal gender representation in the upper quartile (46.4% female), there remains an under-representation in the most senior positions,” the report states.

BBC Studios has slightly more women than men in the upper quartile at 51.9%, while at BBC Worldwide the proportion of women in the upper quartile fell from 44.4% in 2017 to 41.3%.

Bonus gap nears 50%

The company’s gender bonus gap shows deeper disparity between genders, with a 38.3% median gap and 47.5% mean gap for the combined company.

The proportion of men receiving a bonus was 41.9%, while only 34.8% of women received bonuses in the combined company.

Over at BBC Studios, the disparity is less stark, with 6.9% of men receiving bonuses and 9.9% of women doing so.

BBC Studios Distribution, again, shows deeper differences with 81% of men receiving bonuses compared to 74.2% of women.

BBC Worldwide first launched its Gender Pay Gap report last year. It reported a median gender bonus gap of 21.7% and a mean gap of 33.9% in 2017.

Tim Davie, CEO at BBC Studios, said: “This report shows there is still work for us to do in making sure our company has the right distribution of men and women at all levels. We are actively taking steps to address this, and I am determined that the newly-created BBC Studios will make this a true priority throughout our entire company.”

BECTU calls for “urgent discussion”

The UK’s media and entertainment union BECTU has called for “urgent discussion” with the corporation around BBC Studios’ pay gap results.

BECTU head Gerry Morrissey said the union has been “pushing” to ensure that the gender pay gap is addressed across the entire organisation in a “proper, fair and transparent manner, and this must also apply to BBC Studios.”

“The merger of BBC Studios with BBC Worldwide is a crucial strategic move and the impact it has had on staff must be taken into account for its continued success,” he said. “These gender pay gap results – particularly the bonus payments – will be galling for staff that are seeing staff cuts within the organisation. This is not good enough and urgent action must be taken to address the imbalance of men and women in the most senior roles.”