Journalists at the Financial Times are holding an emergency union meeting on Wednesday to demand action from management over the fact women are paid considerably less than men at the title.
They are also seeking greater transparency over salaries paid to top executives – chief executive John Ridding and editor Lionel Barber – which are currently secret.
Women journalists are believed to paid 13 per cent less, on average, than men at the FT.
Members of the National Union of Journalists at the title are seeking more information from management so that they can assess whether the pay gap extends to women and men doing the same work.
Depending on the outcome of Wednesday’s meeting, and the response from management, industrial action is one of the options on the table.
An FT source told Press Gazette: “This has been bubbling up for some time, but the story at the BBC has pushed it to the top of the agenda. We have decided to try and break the log jam.
“There is a lot of anger over this and the fact they haven’t given us enough figures to work out if this a problem at all levels of the company.”
Insiders believe it may be that highly paid men at the top of the company are skewing the averages. But lack of transparency from management means they do not know this for a fact.
Under new legislation the FT must publish average pay levels of men and women at the company before next April.
The source said: “Anecdotally you hear of individuals in mid career who are doing worse than male counterparts.”
The source said the company has set a target of addressing the pay gap by 2022.
They said: “That has infuriated everyone. They are just going to wait for longer standing men to leave the company and do nothing else about it other than that.”
A statement is expected to be agreed at Wednesday’s meeting asking for a reasonable time frame to address the issue and more transparency.
The source said: “Industrial action is a possibility if we don’t get any response.”
The situation could be worsened if the FT’s official gender pay disclosure shows the gap has widened.
An FT spokesperson said: “We take the matter of gender pay seriously and welcome the government’s move to make all large UK companies report on the issue.
“We have a 50/50 female-male split among our workforce and there are more women in senior roles across the newsroom and commercial teams than ever before. We have a long list of active initiatives in place to further that progress.
“We will be reporting on pay in due course, in line with the UK government timetable. From benchmarking we have seen we compare favourably to the industry.”
Privately-owned Japanese company Nikkei bought the Financial Times in November 2015 for £844m.