Jane Garvey: Women across the BBC have been deceived
Broadcaster Jane Garvey has criticised comments from the BBC’s director of content on the gender pay gap as “classic … management speak” and said women across the organisation had told her they had been “fobbed off”.
Charlotte Moore said the corporation had been attempting to deal with the issue before salaries were publicly revealed and urged other broadcasters to address their own pay discrepancies.
But Woman’s Hour host Garvey, who organised a letter from some of the BBC’s most prominent female stars calling on the corporation to “act now” on pay, told the Press Association that the BBC should focus on getting “its house in order”.
And she said women across the organisation had told her they had been “fobbed off” or “deceived”.
Speaking at the Edinburgh International Television Festival, Moore had said the BBC had to address “diversity in a broader sense”.
And she said: “It was something we were doing already and something we were aware of but you can’t say ‘by tomorrow we will have sorted it’.”
Garvey told the Press Association: “Charlotte’s done a great deal to get more women in prominent positions on television, and I respect her for that. But this is a classic bit of BBC management speak.
“It seems the top management’s good intentions haven’t filtered down the organisation, or I wouldn’t have heard from women right across the BBC who’ve been fobbed off, deceived or told they’ve picked the ‘wrong comparator’.”
And she added: “I wish people would stop lumping women in with ‘diversity’.
“Whether we’re black, white, brown or pink with green spots we’re the majority. And we deserve to be valued in the same way as men. For our brains, our experience and our expertise. ”
The Radio 4 presenter added: “A gender pay gap at the BBC makes it look faintly ridiculous. Why would young women want to work there?”
Moore called on other broadcasters to follow suit in addressing the pay gap, saying: “The BBC are right to be at the vanguard of this, but my God, we need other broadcasters and other institutions to follow suit, this is a big cultural issue, we all need to do it.”
The BBC figures revealed two-thirds of BBC stars earning more than £150,000 are male, with Radio 2 DJ Chris Evans the top-paid on between £2.2 million and £2.25 million.
But Radio 4 host Garvey responded: “ITV is not funded by the licence fee so frankly let the BBC get its house in order.
“The BBC is at its worst a self-regarding, pompous organisation. At its best it’s a wonderful force for good. I’d like it to take this opportunity to do the right thing.”