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March 14, 2018updated 15 Mar 2018 10:48am

ITN reveals ‘disappointing’ gender pay gap of 19.6 per cent, more than double pay difference at BBC

By Charlotte Tobitt

ITN has revealed that it has a mean gender pay gap of 19.6 per cent, which is more than double the pay gap at rival national broadcaster the BBC.

The high pay gap is attributed to the fact there are “fewer women than men in senior leadership roles across ITN”, chief executive John Hardie has said.

He has today set a target to halve the pay gap within five years and said the company was “committed to tackling the root causes” of the pay difference.

The pay gap data covers the broadcasting division, Channel 4 News, ITV News and Channel 5 News, as well as private company ITN Productions.

When you remove ITN’s top 20 earners from the data, 17 of whom are men, the average pay gap almost halves to 10.8 per cent.

The national mean pay gap in the UK is 17.4 per cent, while the BBC gender pay gap is 9.3 per cent.

Staff were also briefed today that there is a mean gender bonus gap of 77.2 per cent.

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More women than men received bonuses – 38.5 per cent compared to 31.4 per cent – but on average these were of a lower value.

The number of people receiving bonuses has increased over the past ten years due to the growth of ITN Productions, where a number of employees are on incentivised contracts.

Hardie said: “In common with many companies our gender pay gap is mainly caused by having fewer women than men in senior leadership roles and we know that we have to work even harder to address this.

“We are putting in place tough targets, including halving our pay gap within five years, alongside initiatives that will empower and support women in order to progress their careers.

“Solving these long-term issues will not happen overnight but ITN is committed to tackling the root causes in order to provide a culture in which everyone’s voice is heard and the path to the top is open to all.”

Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman (pictured) called the bonus gap “staggering” on Twitter, adding: “Shows just how pervasive inequality is. I’m very fortunate to be fairly paid but I will continue speaking out for the many colleagues who aren’t.”

Channel 4 health and social care correspondent Victoria Macdonald also tweeted, calling the figures “very disappointing to say the least”.

A woman working at ITN told Press Gazette: “Part of the problem is that there has been no transparency around pay up to this point.

“You would never know whether people who were doing the same job as you were paid more than you, in part because we don’t have salary bands.

“I’ve heard rumours that people doing the same job as me are paid up to £10,000 more – but it’s impossible to know what you’re worth because you don’t know what other people are getting paid.”

She told Press Gazette that when previously applying for a broadcast role at ITN there had been 150 rival candidates, adding: “If you aren’t happy with what salary you’re offered, there are literally 100 people willing to walk into that job. It’s so competitive.”

She said that when asking for a pay rise in the past she had been told that “there is no money” and that management “treat it like it’s a privilege to get paid at all”, adding of the company’s pay gap that “its fair to say that the women at my level are outraged”,

ITN has said it wants to ensure 33 per cent of the top-earning roles are occupied by women within three years, and 50 per cent within five years.

The company plans to introduce a transparent pay structure, including publishing salary bands for all roles, publishing the eligibility criteria for bonuses and commission and reviewing the salaries of all women returning from maternity leave.

It will also introduce a more flexible working culture, ensure there is at least one female candidate on the shortlist for every job and have women represented on all interview panels.

The ITN gender pay report, released to Press Gazette and seen by staff, says: “We’re putting in place a comprehensive and achievable plan to support the attraction, retention and progression of women, particularly into senior roles.

“We also want to be more transparent about our pay and bonus structure so that everyone can understand how different roles are remunerated.

“Discussions with our people on our gender pay gap revealed that family commitments are often a key factor is making it difficult for women to progress, so we also need to make it easier for everyone to balance their family commitments with achieving everything they want from their careers, and we believe these measures will ultimately help us achieve gender diversity at all levels of ITN.”

ITN reported a median pay gap of 18.2 per cent and a median bonus gap of 50 per cent.

The figures are due to be published on the government’s website tomorrow. Companies with more than 250 employees have been given a deadline to publish their gender pay gap data for the first time by 4 April.

Picture: Channel 4 News

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