The Media in Figures: Pay rates, getting a job, etc in TV

WOMEN working in the television industry are more likely to be paid less than men, a survey – conducted by Future Thinking for Edinburgh International Television Festival – has revealed.

Says the survey – ‘of 205 industry professionals’ – it found that women are more likely to be on a salary under £35k (F=36 per cent, M=27 per cent), while more males report salaries of £75K+ (F=23 per cent, M=31 per cent).

And males are significantly more likely to be in £150k-plus bracket (ten per cent versus two per cent).

The survey also found a feeling of being underpaid is higher among females (F=62 per cent, M=56 per cent). And when males and females who feel underpaid were asked by how much, males said a figure of £22k would bring them in line with others in a similar role – which is approximately £10k more than females asked the same question.

The survey was published to coincide with a festival session, ‘How to negotiate a pay rise’.

The survey additionally found that being promoted internally ranks top as the most influential factor for getting a pay rise (82 per cent) – this was consistent for males and females.

This was followed by ‘My line manager’s recommendation and support’ – ranked second overall (total =81 per cent).

Among the survey’s other findings:

* ‘Ability to network effectively with senior management’ was perceived to be more influential than ‘taking on work that is outside my remit but for the company’s benefit’ (79 per cent versus 71 per cent);

* Embarrassment about talking about pay was higher for women compared to men – with only 35 per cent of women believing ‘there are loads of work opportunities available to people if they just ask’ (F=35 per cent, M=41 per cent); 40 per cent claiming that ‘there are work opportunities open to me to help me improve my current situation’ (F=40 per cent, M=51 per cent); and 71 per cent feeling embarrassed to talk about pay with their line manager (F=71 per cent, M=60 per cent);

* Males are more likely to have negotiated a pay rise during the last three years (F=49 per cent, M=64 per cent);

* Fear of losing a job was the common factor in why women would not consider negotiating their pay. Additional factors include worrying that their job would be at risk and that the company would employ alternative personnel;

* Younger people working in the industry are also significantly more likely to be embarrassed asking for a pay rise (18-30=74 per cent, 31-45=66 per cent, 46-60=51 per cent);

* There is fairly high job satisfaction with two thirds (66 per cent) giving a rating of seven-ten. Females were more satisfied compared with males (70 per cent versus 60 per cent) and job satisfaction increases with age (18-30 =62 per cent, 31-45=69 per cent, 45-60=71 per cent);

* A quarter of respondents got their first break into the industry by applying for a publicly-advertised job (25 per cent), or approaching a company directly for work experience (23 per cent). Younger age groups are significantly more likely to have directly approached a company for work experience (18-30=32 per cent, 31-45 per cent=19 per cent, 46-60=14 per cent);

* Among those who did complete work experience, just over a quarter supported themselves by working part time (26 per cent), while around a fifth received financial help from their parents (22 per cent) or using personal savings (20 per cent);

* The largest proportion of television industry employees grew up in London (27 per cent), followed by the Midlands (18 per cent), 81 per cent are from England, 13 per cent from Wales, Scotland or Ireland and only seven per cent grew up outside of the UK (compared with roughly 13 per cent of the UK population, ONS 2010);

* Over half attended a comprehensive school (58 per cent) with 26 per cent attending an independent school and 11 per cent a grammar school. Males are significantly more likely to have attended a comprehensive school (F=52 per cent, M=67 per cent);

* From those who received financial support from their parents during their work experience, 42 per cent attended an independent school (comprehensive schools=22 per cent, selective grammar schools = 17 per cent);

* Those who attended comprehensive schools are most likely to have supported themselves through working a part-time role (42 per cent) while doing work experience in the media industry;

* The findings show that those who attend independent school are most likely to gain their first break into the media industry through being offered work experience via a family friend or personal contact (33 per cent); and

* The results show that those who attended independent schools are more likely to get their break unofficially (‘official’ – applying for an advertised position, applied for an official work placement, head-hunted from a different industry; and ‘unofficial’ – through directly approaching a company or being offered work experience through a family friend or personal contact) (53 per cent), compared to 41 per cent from comprehensive schools and 27 per cent from selected grammar schools.

Source: Future Thinking for Edinburgh International Television Festival, August 26 2016.