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October 22, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:29am

BAME pay gap at ITN widens as gender disparity improves

By Charlotte Tobitt

The pay gap for black, Asian and ethnic minority staff at ITN has worsened in the past year, which the news production company has put down to the recruitment of more junior BAME staff.

But ITN, which produces Channel 4 News, ITV News and Channel 5 News, improved its gender pay gap for the second year in a row, according to new figures for 2019 (which include ITN Productions).

Anna Mallett, who replaced John Hardie as chief executive in May this year, said they showed the company’s diversity and inclusion policies were “mostly moving us in the right direction”.

But she added: “There is still a lot that we need to do”.

Ethnicity pay gap

The median ethnicity gap at ITN has risen to 22.9 per cent for 2019, up from 20.8 per cent last year. The mean gap grew 3.5 per cent, from 16.1 per cent to 19.6 per cent.

ITN said it has made “solid progress” on increasing BAME representation by 20 per cent year-on-year. It now has 121 BAME employees and 558 white members of staff.

The company said the pay gap had widened mainly because of its success recruiting BAME staff into entry level roles, while some BAME senior staff left the company.

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Mallett said the widened pay gap “clearly isn’t good enough” but that a long-term approach with “renewed focus on progression and opportunity” was needed to retain staff.

ITN has pledged to halve its ethnicity pay gap by 2022 and said its initiatives to do so include diverse candidate shortlists and recruitment panels, and a range of training and coaching schemes.

ITN’s bonus ethnicity pay gaps fell by 50 per cent to 33 per cent in the median and 66 per cent to 56 per cent in the mean.

Gender pay gap

The company’s median gender pay gap fell from 18.1 per cent in 2018 to 16.8 per cent, favouring men, while the mean gap went from 16.7 per cent to 15 per cent.

Mallett said these figures showed “steady and sustained progress”.

The median bonus gender pay gap grew from nothing to 33 per cent, while the mean bonus gap fell by a quarter from 60 per cent to 46.6 per cent.

Just two years earlier ITN had the second highest median bonus pay gap between men and women of any UK news media organisation (50 per cent) and the highest mean bonus gap (77.2 per cent).

It was so high that Hardie, Mallett’s predecessor, pledged in April 2018 that he would “not receive a penny” until strict gender and diversity objectives were hit. He left the company at the end of last year.

Mallett said: “We’ve also made progress towards having a 50:50 ratio in the top-earning roles, with women now in a third of these positions.

“Clearly, we still have a long way to travel, but it’s good to see the continual progress we are making.”

ITN has also set targets to have half of its 20 highest-earning roles occupied by women, and to have a fifth of these roles occupied by BAME employees, by 2022.

Mallett added: “Working to improve both our gender and ethnicity pay gaps will remain a major priority for ITN over the coming years. It’s vital that we reflect the audiences watching our programmes.

“For us, inclusion is not just a moral duty, it’s key to our creative and commercial success.”

Picture: ITN

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