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Jane Garvey says BBC gave her 'overnight' £40k pay rise after she complained of gender pay gap

Daisy Phillipson

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Jane Garvey says BBC gave her 'overnight' £40k pay rise after she complained of gender pay gap

Former Woman's Hour presenter Jane Garvey has said that the BBC gave her an 'overnight' £40,000 pay rise after she complained about the gender pay gap live on air.

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The radio host was one of many people who were angered by the wage disparity between male and female employees at the British broadcaster when it was revealed back in 2017.

A list of 96 BBC workers who earned more than £150,000 in 2016/17 was released at the time, with Radio 2 host Chris Evans topping the table in a salary bracket of £2,200,000 - £2,249,999.

He was followed by Gary Lineker, Graham Norton and Jeremy Vine, sparking controversy with many claiming the issue exposed a gender pay gap at the corporation as women appeared to be paid significantly less than their male counterparts.

Garvey, who left the BBC alongside fellow broadcaster Fi Glover to host a new show for Times Radio, said she was left shocked at the scandal and decided to 'create a fuss' by speaking about the issue live on air in order to reach a bigger audience.

Jane Garvey (left) and Fi Glover (right). Credit: LANDMARK MEDIA/Alamy Stock Photo
Jane Garvey (left) and Fi Glover (right). Credit: LANDMARK MEDIA/Alamy Stock Photo

Speaking alongside Glover on the latest episode of the White Wine Question Time podcast, the 58-year-old said: "I honestly thought at that point, they cannot sack the presenter of Women’s Hour for making it clear that she thought women and men should be paid equally, because that's kind of what the BBC were - as it turned out - underpaying me to believe."

Much to her surprise, the radio star received a pay increase the next day, adding: "All of a sudden I was worth 40 grand a year more, and I got a letter saying, 'We have decided to give you a pay revision'. I thought, 'A pay revision? Right okay.'"

"And like that, overnight, Jenni Murray and I both got that amount more. That means that we were then earning a ridiculous amount of money for a job we both thoroughly enjoyed doing.

"When I say ridiculous, not by the standards of the media - it was £121,000 a year for a three-day week. That's brilliant money, [it is] absurd to earn that much money.

"But we're talking about an industry where men are earning half a million, a million, and some of them work at the BBC.

"So you can't compare yourself to the woman in Asda, but you want the woman in Asda to be paid as much as the bloke in Asda. It's just preposterous."

But the biggest reward for Garvey wasn't the pay increase which, as she pointed out, was a drop in the ocean compared to some of the other big earners at the BBC - instead it was having a platform to get the message out there.

The gender pay gap at the BBC was exposed back in 2017. Credit: BBC
The gender pay gap at the BBC was exposed back in 2017. Credit: BBC

She continued: "The good thing about us creating a fuss at the BBC was that it wasn't actually even about women at the BBC - it was about us taking advantage of our platform to bring the issue of women's pay to a much bigger audience.

"It was just easier for us to generate publicity than women fighting for exactly the same cause at a council in Birmingham, a council in Glasgow, leading supermarkets - they had been fighting for years but didn't get the headlines."

LADbible has contacted the BBC for comment.

Featured Image Credit: BBC / PA Images / Alamy

Topics: UK News, Money, BBC

Daisy Phillipson
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