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Equal pay & gender pay gap

Equal pay & gender pay gap

© red engine

22 March 2018

A yawning gender pay gap favouring men has been revealed by media companies forced to publish data under new regulations.

An analysis by Press Gazette showed that 91 per cent of UK-based media companies paid men more than women on average, based on the mean hourly rate, and 85 per cent paid men more in mean bonus pay. At Condé Nast, publisher of  Vogue, GQ and Vanity Fair,  the women’s mean hourly rate was 36.9 per cent, meaning women there earned 63p for every £1 that men earned (median 23.3 per cent). The Telegraph and Economist were also among the worst offenders.

According to the PR and Communications Census, produced by the PR and comms body PRCA in association with PRWeek, the gender pay gap in the industry has grown from 17.8 per cent in 2016 to 21 per cent and is the equivalent of £11,364 - or £2,253 more than it was two years ago. The widening gap comes despite the seven per cent increase in female MDs since 2016.

While the BBC first made headlines for its gender gap (mean)  of 10.7 per cent (median 9.3 per cent), other companies proved they had a worse record including ITN, which produces news for ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. It revealed it pays men an average of 19.6 per cent more than women and on bonus payments the gap jumps to 77.2 per cent. The company said the pay disparity was mainly due to having more men in senior roles, with 17 of its 20 top earners being men.

Channel 4 reported a  28.6 per cent mean gender pay gap, with a 47.6 mean bonuses gap. Women make up 59 per cent of the workforce. The public-service broadcaster said it was targeting a 50:50 gender balance in the top 100 earners by 2023. Currently men make up 66 per cent of this group. Sky Television Ltd had a mean gender pay gap of 22.8 per cent (median 17. 3 per cent), a mean bonus gap of 56 per cent and in the top pay quartile 70 per cent were men.

At the leading indie company UKTV, owner of channels including Dave and Gold, the women’s mean hourly rate was 17.9 per cent lower than men’s (median 12.4 per cent), more than half (54 per cent) of women are in the top pay quartile and 73 per cent in the bottom and women's mean bonuses are 52 per cent lower than men's.

At Telegraph Media Group women were paid 35 per cent less than men on average. Almost three-quarters of the Telegraph's highest-paid staff are men with women making up 61.6 per cent of the bottom quartile. Men received bonuses of almost twice those paid to women on average. Chief executive Nick Hugh said he was committed to reducing the disparity to zero by 2025.The Guardian's editorial staff had a mean gap of 7.4 per cent (8.8 per cent median), the gap was wider among non-editorial staff, and 64 per cent of employees in the top half of the organisation are men (495 men compared with 284 women). 

The median hourly gender pay gap for the FT’s 1,400 UK staff was 19.4 per cent and the mean was 24.4 per cent. The gender pay gap for bonuses was 28.3 per cent (median} and 37.9 per cent (mean). The chapel has launched a pay survey for staff and has called on the management to have meaninglful targets to close the gap. The Express had a 17 per cent mean pay gap (19 per cent median), 39.4 per cent bonus gap and 78 per cent in the top pay quartile were men.

News UK, which includes The Times, Sunday Times, TLS, the Sun, Sun on Sunday and the organisation's commercial operation reported a mean gender pay gap of 15.2 per cent (22 per cent median).  Men make up 72.3 per cent of the top pay quartile. Men were slightly more likely to get bonuses (66 per cent/60.6 per cent), but the average gender bonus gap is 11 per cent. At the Sun, the pay gap was 24.8 per cent (mean) and men occupied 83.6 per cent of the top quartile. At talkSPORT the mean gender pay gap was 15.1 per cent, with 71.4 per cent of men with the best-paid jobs.

The Evening Standard has a mean gender pay gap favouring men by 12.8 per cent. When calculated in the median, taking the middle value of all employees’ hourly pay, women are ahead by 5.8 per cent. Men’s bonus pay was 51 per cent higher on average. At the Mail and Metro titles, women’s mean hourly rate is 19.6% lower than men’s. In other  words when comparing mean hourly rates, women earn 80p for every £1 that men earn (median 15.4 per cent).  Fewer than a third of the best paid were women and while more women received bonuses, their mean bonus pay was 61 per cent lower than men’s.

The Economist Group has revealed a mean gender pay gap of 32.5 per cent. In its top quartile for pay there are 76 per cent men and 24 per cent women.The publishers Hachette published a 30 per cent pay gap (mean) between men and women. See list of publishers' pay results.

At Trinity Mirror, women earned 18 per cent less than men on average, with 69 per cent of the top-paid workers being men. But at its national titles, the gap was wider, 17.8 per cent (mean) and 20.7 per cent (media) with 76 per cent of the top pay quartile being occupied by men.

At Johnston Press  women’s mean hourly rate was 15.1 per cent  lower than men’s; that is women earn 85p for every £1 that men earn (median gap, 13.9 per cent).  Two-thirds of those in the top quatile for pay are men. Ashley Highfield, chief executive officer said as part of the company's report:  "Of our 30 editors, 13 are female and 17 are male. However, we can do much better and I  want us to be better." He pledged to achieve a 50/50 gender balance in the senior leadership team within 5 years.

The NUJ condemned Newsquest, the UK's second largest regional news publisher, for not providing a company-wide figure, nor commenting on how it will close the pay differential between the sexes on its staff. Newsquest Media Group, which has the bulk of employees in the group and includes those working on the Northern Echo, Bradford Telegraph & Argus, Bolton News and Lancashire Telegraph, reports that women are paid 12 per cent less on average than men. It shows that women make up the majority (55 per cent) of the lowest paid jobs and 52 per cent of the next lowest. Women paid less than men across most regional press groups

The education magazine TES had a mean gender pay gap of 24.7 per cent with 61.8 per cent of men being in its top quartile for pay. The Press Association published a gender pay gap (mean) of 0.8 per cent, but revealed that only a third of its workforce were women, and men got the lion's share of the bonuses.

Reuters reported a mean gender pay gap of 20.23 per cent favouring men (23.6 per cent median) and a mean bonus gap of 41 per cent, with 76 per cent of men receiving a bonus payment compared to 66 per cent of women. Reuters is a division of global information and technology company Thomson Reuters, which revealed a much lower mean gender pay gap at 2.43 per cent (8.7 per cent median) but a higher bonus gap of 51 per cent.The UK gender gap figure for full-time employees is 9.1 per cent (April 2017) and the median including part-time workers is 18.4 per cent.

At Hearst UK, which has 23 brands with a reach of more than one in three women and one in four men, the women’s mean hourly rate is 17.2 per cent lower than men’s (median 17.2 per cent). Two-thirds of the top pay quartile are women, but men get higher bonuses.

.Michelle Stanistreet, NUJ general secretary said:

"The gender pay gap figures revealed so far for news organisations and broadcasters make for very sober reading."
"They show the benefit of having greater transparency in order to combat unfair wages and the exploitation of women in the workplace. The act of companies being forced to reveal the true respective positions of men and women in their workforce has shed a light on pay inequity, a scourge in the media industry.
"Women are realising in many workplaces that they have been short-changed and with the NUJ’s support are setting about righting that wrong. The NUJ is now providing information to reps so they can challenge and work with their employers to reduce the pay gap and put in place workplace and recruitment policies which will help women win promotion and get the pay they deserve.  We are calling on companies to take on more women on their boards."

Any organisation with 250 or more employees must publish and report specific figures about their gender pay gap. The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of men and women, expressed relative to men’s earnings.  Employers must publish their gender pay gap data and a written statement on their public-facing website and report their data to government online - using the gender pay gap reporting service.

Employers are not required to publish an explanation of the gap nor publish an action plan outlining how they intend to narrow it. The gender pay gap regulations do not require employers to identify where women are doing work of equal value to men, but not being paid the same.

When the BBC was forced to publish the salaries of those who earned more than £150,000, only one third of the list (which did not include people who work for the corporation, but are paid through independent companies) were women and only 10 of the 96 were non-white. It soon became clear that many women believed they were being paid less than their male counterparts and the NUJ is now dealing with almost 150 claims of unequal pay.

This greater transparency forced upon companies has proved useful for unions to challenge employers on their gender pay gap and seek to work with them to put in place policies to eliminate it. Even If your company has fewer than 250 employees, your NUJ chapel should ask for the information to be made available.

Ask for the different gender pay gaps by workforce, by pay grade, job description, in starting salaries, by ethnicity, using both the median and the mean, and also to measure the full-time and part-time gaps separately. The NUJ is encouraging chapels to organise pay audits to provide them with their own information on pay. 

The Equality Act 2010 gives men and women the right to be paid the same for carrying out:

  • Like Work – work that is the same or broadly similar
  • Work Rated as Equivalent – under a job evaluation study
  • Work of Equal Value – equal work in terms of the demands made on both the claimant and comparator by reference to factors such as effort, skill and decision-making.

In the case of a female complainant she would need identify a male comparator who is or who she suspects is being paid more for doing like work, work rated as equivalent or work of equal value (or in the case of a man, a female comparator).

The TUC's gender pay gap reporting guide gives more information on the regulations and tips for unions in negotiating with employers, pay bargaining strategies and a checklist of the elements required for a good pay system.

The latest TUC Equality Audit provides some great examples of union campaigns and collective bargaining which have led to the gender pay gap being narrowed.

The NUJ will be writing to some media employers to ask them for an explanation of their gender pay figures and what they intend to do. But it is an ideal time for the chapel to call for a meeting with their employers to discuss the gap and make it a recruitment issue.

An analysis of official statistics published by the TUC shows that the gender pay gap is at its widest when a woman hits 50, when the average woman working full-time will earn £8,421 a year less than the average full-time working man.

Huge gender gap revealed in the media industry: NUJ calls on chapels to challenge their managements.
Angry about your company’s gender pay gap? Here’s what to do next


Tags: , equality, equal pay, real lives, gender pay gap, pay audit, equality act 2010

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