An internal BBC investigation into what the network’s top talent is paid revealed a seriously staggering wage gap. BBC Radio 4 Today program presenter Mishal Husain is not taking the finding lightly. She took her own organization – and boss – to task on a live broadcast over the gender imbalance. On the show’s morning segment on July 19, before the report was fully available, BBC Director-General Tony Hall went on the air to address the disparities. Husain continuously asked Hall how he planned on addressing these issues and didn’t let him skirt the question.
The report, which only examined the salaries of employees who were paid more than £150,000, showed that two thirds of those who earned more than that amount were male. The report also revealed that 25 men on the list were paid more than £250,000 pounds while only nine women made that much. Naturally, Husain had some questions. She asked Hall how he planned on remedying the gender pay gap situation, which he responded to by talking about how he wanted to fix the balance of men and women who host shows – essentially evading Husain’s question.
Husain pressed on until Hall promised, “By 2020, we’ll have equality between men and women on air, and we’ll have the pay gap sorted by then too.” Husain asked if that meant men would take a pay cut; Hall said they’d determine that on a “case by case” basis. Husain wondered if that statement would mean pay would go up for about 100 people who are paid unequally. Hall responded with, “We’ll have to manage within our means,” suggesting that perhaps pay won’t increase for those on the lower end.
At that point, it was time for the segment to end. But bravo to Husain, who didn’t back down for a second while trying to get Hall to give much-needed answers to questions about the gender pay gap.