Channel 4 has revealed a gender pay gap of 28.6% – three times higher than the BBC’s.
The disparity was due mainly to the “majority of employees in the highest-paid quartile” being men, the broadcaster said, even though more women than men (59% of the total) work there. Channel 4 also reported a mean bonus gap of 47.6%.
Alex Mahon, Channel 4’s first female chief executive, admitted the pay gap figures made for “uncomfortable reading” and revealed plans to target a 50:50 gender balance in the top 100 earners at the company by 2023. Currently, men make up 66% of this group.
“There is no quick fix, but identifying the complex and multiple reasons behind our gap is the first step towards tackling the fundamental issues at play,” she said.
“While we employ significantly more women than men there is an imbalance in the ratios at the higher and lower-earning parts of the business. We have more men in higher-paid roles, and more women in lower-paid roles.
“It would be perverse for us to reduce the number of women in lower-paid roles and we want to continue to be an attractive place for women to work. Instead, we must reduce the gap by focusing on increasing the proportion of women in higher-paid roles.”
A review by external counsel, commissioned by Channel 4, found no evidence of a “systematic equal pay problem”. Channel 4’s owner, ITN, revealed a mean gender pay gap of 19.6% last week.
A report into gender pay imbalance at the BBC, published in October 2017, found that women were earning 9.3% less than men on average. Channel 4 said it aims to boost career progression for women at senior levels by supporting more than 200 women over the next few years with a ‘Women’s Development Programme’.
The report added: “We are fully committed to increasing the representation of women in our upper quartiles through targeted actions. This will help to reduce our gender pay gap significantly.”