Women’s Hour host Jane Garvey, 55, complains about BBC gender pay gap

‘I’d earn more if I had balls and talked balls’: Women’s Hour host Jane Garvey, 55, complains about BBC gender pay gap despite earning a £121,000 salary in the wake of the row

  • Radio 4 Woman’s Hour host Jane Garvey says being a white man is ‘lucrative’
  • She added: ‘I’d certainly earn more if I had balls and talked balls’ in her column
  • The BBC are ‘doing a good line in nothing-to-see-here’ and there’s still pay gap 

Woman’s Hour presenter Jane Garvey says she would earn more if she ‘had balls and talked balls’ as she described being a white man as ‘a lucrative business’.

The Radio 4 host, now on a salary of £121,000 a year, says women are still being paid less than men at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). 

Ms Garvey made the comments in a column in the Sunday Times. 

Despite a ‘pay revision’ boosting her salary for working on Woman’s Hour Ms Garvey wrote: ‘I’d certainly earn more if I had balls and talked balls.’

The Radio 4 host, now on a salary of £121,000 a year, says women are still being paid less than men at the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). Pictured on 5Live

Men and women are still not being treated equally and the BBC are ‘doing a good line in nothing-to-see-here’, according to the presenter. 

To illustrate her point she says Karen Martin, a female BBC manager, turned down a promotion because she was offered £12,000 less than a male colleague.

In their response the BBC said her male colleague had different levels of experience.

‘One of the things he hadn’t experienced was two periods of maternity leave,’ Ms Garvey says.

The BBC’s gender pay gap is ‘an impressively low’ 6.7 per cent but women are ‘still weeping in to our soya flat whites’, she adds.

‘One of the things he hadn’t experienced was two periods of maternity leave,’ Ms Garvey says. Pictured with Adrian Charles and their daughter Evie in 2000

‘Women’s work is not valued in the same way as work by men. It’s mowing grass versus wiping bottoms,’ she says.

It comes as nearly half of all major British companies failed to reduce their gender pay gap over the last year – despite rising government pressure and public scrutiny.  

The BBC’s gender pay gap is ‘an impressively low’ 6.7 per cent but women are ‘still weeping in to our soya flat whites’, Ms Garvey adds

Of the organisations which met April’s deadline for reporting gender pay figures, 78 per cent had a gap in favour of men — despite Theresa May vowing last year to tackle the ‘burning injustice’ of unequal pay.

The gap actually became bigger in 45 per cent of companies – mainly due to men’s earnings rising faster than women’s.

Among the worst offenders was garage chain Kwik Fit, where the difference was 14 per cent in favour of men – meaning that for every £10 paid to a man, women earn £8.60.

Other high-profile organisations which reported large pay gaps for 2018/19 were Ryanair (64.4 per cent), health provider Intrahealth (57.4 per cent) and Sheffield United football club (48.2 per cent).

Employers whose gender pay gap increased in size year-on-year also include Huddersfield Town FC (20.9 per cent to 39.6 per cent), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (up from 8.2 per cent to 22.9 per cent) and Dyfed-Powys Police (from 8.0 per cent to 22.5 per cent). 

Of the 10,450 organisations who had reported their figures by Friday, April 5, 78 per cent (8,128) showed a gender pay gap in favour of men while 14 per cent (1,427) showed a gap in favour of women, with the rest reporting no difference. 

The BBC’s biggest earning stars don’t represent good value for money, survey finds 

The BBC’s highest paid stars are not worth their salaries’, according to a new survey.

The corporation’s annual list of its biggest earning talent, with Match of the Day host Gary Lineker topping the list on £1.75million a year.  

But when Britons were asked whether they thought the highest profile, best-paid stars were good value or a rip-off, every celebrity was given a negative score.

Chris Evans, who has now left the BBC but was most recently paid £1.25 million for his stint at Radio 2, had a value-for-money rating of minus 58.

He beat Lineker to top spot in the OnePoll.com survey, with the big-earning Match of the Day host handed a score of minus 54.

BBC radio host Vanessa Feltz had a minus 49 rating, while Lineker’s TV partner Alan Shearer – who earns £440,000 as a pundit – was fourth with a negative score of 38

Of the highest paid stars, Question Time host Fiona Bruce fared the best, but she still had a minus eight rating.

OnePoll surveyed 1,930 UK adults, asking if they thought the biggest earners were either good, reasonable, poor value or a rip-off.

The stars were then given a score by taking poor value ratings away from good value ratings.

However, there is support for one BBC stalwart.

Sir David Attenborough, who wasn’t on the list because he was paid through a production company, was given a positive value of 52 per cent.

Just 34 per cent of Brits polled thought that overall the BBC was good or very good value for money, with 61 per cent describing it as poor value or a right rip off.

Two-thirds think it is now time to change the way the BBC is funded.

There also appears to be a lack of trust in the corporation’s impartiality, with 51 per cent saying it is biased and just 26 per cent describing it as impartial.

OnePoll found 46 per cent of those who thought it was biased said it was against Brexit, while 19 per cent it was in favour of leaving the EU.

Name – Salary band – Value for money rating*

Fiona Bruce £255,000-£259,999 -8

John Humphrys £290,000-£294,999 -12

Graham Norton £610,000-£614,999 -18

Andrew Marr £390,000-£394,999 -18

Jeremy Vine £290,000-£294,999 -19

Huw Edwards £490,000-£494,999 -25

Jason Mohammad £355,000-£359,999 -25

Claudia Winkelman £370,000-£374,999 -28

Nick Grimshaw £310,000-£314,999 -32

Steve Wright £465,000-£469,999 -34

Alan Shearer £440,000-£444,999 -38

Vanessa Feltz £355,000-£359,999 -49

Gary Lineker £1,750,000-£1,754,999 -54

Chris Evans £1,250,000-£1,254,999 -58

* Value for money rating: The star’s ‘good or reasonable value’ score minus their ‘poor or rip-off value’ score 

Underpaid, undervalued and undermined… 14 cases of BBC pay inequality that left MPs horrified

MPs published a string of examples of pay inequality at the BBC. They included:

TV news presenter:

Spent three years sitting next to a man who was paid tens of thousands more for the same job. Was offered an immediate pay rise just before the BBC published its ‘rich list’ last summer.  

Eleanor Bradford, former health correspondent for BBC Scotland

Eleanor Bradford, former health correspondent for BBC Scotland:

Paid about £15,000 less than male health journalists – despite being told she was a ‘model correspondent’. Miss Bradford, pictured, complained and got a £5,000 increase, but left as it did not close the gap. She was happy to be named since she no longer works for the corporation.

National radio presenter with more than 20 years’ experience:

Invited on trial for a ‘flagship arts programme’. Two men with ‘no broadcasting experience’ were paid 25 per cent extra for the same trial. She got the job but her male co-host was on 50 per cent more. Her boss told her the ‘BBC doesn’t do equal pay’ and she was being ‘aggressive’ for raising the issue.

BBC reporter:

Earns half the rate her male counterpart does for equivalent programmes, with access to fewer resources. Offered 25 per cent pay rise when she complained, after months of wrangling.

National broadcaster:

Offered 65 per cent rise after the pay row erupted – bringing her in line with the lowest-paid presenter on her programme. BBC said it was ‘satisfied there was no issue of equal pay’ in her case.

News programme presenter:

Spent six months negotiating a salary of £53,600 for a three-day week. Then found she was on £45,000 less than her immediate male predecessor.

Sports broadcaster:

Receives £500 a shift to front a flagship sports radio programme – while her male co-presenter gets £1,200. Was offered £650 per shift after complaining. Says she is ‘at the top of [her] game’ with 30 years’ experience.

‘On air editor’:

The BBC rich-list revealed a male editor on the same programme was paid between 50 and 100 per cent more than she is. BBC said there was no equal pay issue, but offered an ‘on the spot 10 per cent increase’ which she rejected.

Regional presenter:

Is paid half the amount per shift that her male co-presenter receives, despite doing the same job for years.

Sport editor:

Paid up to £10,000 less than her male counterparts. Requested equal pay last year but it is still under review.

Radio 4 reporter:

Paid £7,000 less than her male colleague for doing the same job. When she raised a formal grievance, she was offered a £4,500 rise with no back pay.

National radio presenter:

Gets just one third of the salary of her male co-host, despite doing the same job for the past six years. Was told in 2016 that there was no issue, but was given an increase in 2017.

Presenter on national radio:

Told in 2013 her local radio job was at risk and she could only stay on for half her previous salary – which was also half the rate paid to her male co-host. She could not afford to accept the deal so left. She then got a better-paid job at the BBC, but still earns less than half the amount of her male co-host.

Regional news presenter:

Paid a third less than her male co-host on a TV news programme – despite working the same hours, and regularly being chosen over her colleague for particularly demanding segments. Had equal pay request refused until last year, when she was got a 5 per cent rise.

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