Media release: Employers must work with female staff to identify pay gaps, says Women in Journalism Scotland


WOMEN in Journalism Scotland (WiJ Scotland), the body set up to represent women in the media across Scotland, has applauded the actions of women journalists who have spoken out about their negative experiences in securing equal pay.

Former BBC Scotland health correspondent, Eleanor Bradford, is understood to be the only BBC employee named in a list of 14 cases put forward to the Digital Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee ahead of its questioning of the BBC director-general tomorrow over the Corporation’s gender pay gap.

She is widely quoted, as saying: ““I was BBC Scotland’s health correspondent from 2001 – 2016. I discovered I was one of the lowest-paid correspondents at BBC Scotland, despite regularly appearing on UK-wide news and delivering exclusive stories. I regularly asked for a pay rise, and eventually cited equal pay legislation. This led to an immediate increase of £5,000 but it was not backdated. I remained around £10,000 below some male colleagues who were doing identical correspondent jobs. In one of my annual appraisals I was told I was a ‘model correspondent’. I left the BBC.”

A spokesperson for WiJ Scotland said: “If a publicly-funded and heavily-regulated organisation like the BBC struggles to pay men and women equally, then the reality is that, in these challenging times for anyone working in the media, the situation is even worse for women working in newspapers and agencies, and as freelancers.

“The experience of many of our members bears this out. Female journalists are routinely paid less than male colleagues for doing exactly the same work, and those who complain and demand equal pay are often fobbed off or told they are being aggressive. Some receive veiled threats over their jobs.

“Employers across the media must act now to work with female staff to identify anomalies and rectify them. Women in the media and other industries are no longer willing to endure the humiliation and economic damage caused by unequal pay.”

WiJ Scotland welcomed a statement by Ken MacQuarrie, director, BBC Nations and Regions, today which presented a five-point plan, including greater pay transparency and a review of career progression and working practices for women.

The WiJ Scotland spokesperson added: “We applaud the BBC’s pledge to accelerate its target to achieve 50:50 representation across the BBC by 2020 and encourage other media organisations to set up similar plans. But we must now see action rather than just words on all of these issues. That is the only way that true gender equality will be achieved.”


Notes to editors:

Contact Jan Patience

07802 427207

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Contact: Jan Patience