Comment on Equality

9th August 2017

What does equality mean to you?

The fallout from the BBC publishing the salaries of their earners continues. There is anger, surprise, shock and dismay.

It is 2017, men and women should receive equal pay for equal work so why is the reality so different in 2017 and why is there still a gender pay gap?

Here’s the thing. I am not sure why there is shock or horror with the disclosure of BBC salaries.

You may recall that Jennifer Lawrence in the movie industry raised the issue that female actresses were being paid less than their male counterparts. A classic example of this is with the films that have come out this year and in particular, the breakout hit of the summer which was “Wonder Women” which was directed by a female Director and stared a female in the lead role, Gal Gadot. It was reported that she received hundreds of thousands of pounds for her role. Yet, a male equivalent such as Robert Downey Jr in Iron Man received tens of millions of pounds for their role. Of course we do not know whether Ms Gadot’s pay included box office bonuses.

Further, gender pay gaps have also found its way into sports. It is only in the last several years that Wimbledon Ladies single finalists have won the same prize monies as their male counterparts. Is Serena Williams any less of a powerhouse than Djokovic? No she isn’t, yet in Wimbledon some years ago there would have been a disparity in winnings.

These are examples regarding high profile individuals who work in the entertainment, media or sporting industries. Let’s look at the general working landscape. Whilst there has been an improvement, I suspect there probably are gender pay differences in the banking, legal, accountancy industries as well as other industries.

It seems strange, given that year in year out, girls have consistently outperformed boys in both GCSE and A level results. Women are now doing like for like work like their male counterparts.

Karen Brady, I believe, in one of her columns stated that it is not that men shouldn’t be paid the sums that they are being paid, but that women should be paid the same for the same work. How right she is.

Therefore, hopefully this fallout from the BBC will make companies sit up and consider whether there is a pay disparity between their female and male workers in doing the same kind of work.

Equal pay claims are expensive and as you can see from the fallout with the BBC, the publicity isn’t great.

Recently, the new Doctor Who was announced namely, Jodie Whittaker and again there was an outcry as to whether Doctor Who should be female.

Again, why in 2017 is that even an issue? If a women is capable of doing the job, should it really matter that she is female?

In 2017, we cannot still be saying “we are getting there” in these inequalities.

We should already be there!

If you believe that you have a query or issue in relation to your pay, please do not hesitate to contact Krishna Santra.