Do the BBC over value men and under value women?

Professor Mark Learmonth from Durham University Business School, has said that the case of the BBC when male presenters are paid far higher than women presenters demonstrates “a phenomenon that social scientists have been going on about for years”, namely “how men are over-valued and women undervalued even when they do exactly the same thing”. On Wednesday the BBC had revealed that its top earner, radio presenter Chris Evans, is paid between £2.2m and £2.25m, which is more than four times the corporation’s highest earning woman Claudia Winkleman.

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Near the top of the list is Radio 4’s Today presenter John Humphrys, who admitted his salary of £600,000 was hard to justify. “What do I do? On paper, absolutely nothing that justifies that huge amount of money, if you compare me with lots of other people who do visibly. If a doctor saves a child’s life, if a nurse comforts a dying person, a fireman rushes into Grenfell Tower, then of course you could argue that compared with that sort of thing I’m not worth tuppence ha’penny. However we operate in a market place.”

Legal teams are saying  that the BBC may be in breach of equal pay laws if it is unable to show that men and women are being paid equally for doing the same or comparable jobs.

What is the gender pay gap? The pay gap is the percentage difference between average hourly earnings for men and women. Across the UK men earned 18.1% more than women in April 2016 according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This figure is calculated on a 1% sample of employees’ jobs. It takes the median for men and women, which is the figure at the mid-point of the range of earnings. The pay gap isn’t the same as equal pay. Equal pay – that men and women doing the same job should be paid the same – has been a legal requirement for 47 years.

The gap between men and women’s earning for both full and part-time work has fallen from 27.5% in 1997 to 18.1% in 2016. With the pay gap getting smaller the unfairness is reducing. What is also quite interesting is that if you only look at full-time workers the pay gap drops to 9.4% whereas for part-time workers the pay gap favours women, who now earn 6% more than men. Statistics are never as straightforward as you think!

pay gap

There are other areas of discrimination which the BBC look to be foul of too, such as racial discrimination, with white employees appearing to earn more than BAME stars (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic background). Trade union Equity said in a statement: “The apparent pay gaps in gender and for those from a black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) background are troubling.” George Alagiah, Jason Mohammad and Trevor Nelson are the highest paid BAME presenters, each receiving between £250,000 and £300,000.

First Female Time Lord

After months of speculation Peter Capaldi’s replacement as Doctor Who is Jodie Whittaker, making her the first female Time Lord.

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Whittaker said: “It feels completely overwhelming, as a feminist, as a woman, as an actor, as a human, as someone who wants to continually push themselves and challenge themselves, and not be boxed in by what you’re told you can and can’t be. It feels incredible.”

She also reassured fans to “not be scared by my gender. Because this is a really exciting time, and Doctor Who represents everything that’s exciting about change,” she said, adding: “The fans have lived through so many changes, and this is only a new, different one, not a fearful one.”

The BBC announced the 13th Time Lord after the Wimbledon’s Men’s Final on Sunday afternoon. You’ll see Whittaker for the first time in this huge acting role when the Doctor regenerates in the Christmas Day show.

Broken – a TV series with plenty of religious content to learn from

The six-part series called Broken, which stars Sean Bean and Anna Friel, first aired on Tuesday 30th May. If you missed the first episode go to BBC iPlayer to catch up (until mid-July). Why? Well for a drip feed of Catholic religious beliefs, teachings and practice for the AQA Component 1 exam, this TV series is a ‘godsend’!

You will be able to see in the first episode the role of a priest in the local community; the preparations for First Holy Communion; the Eucharist; the importance of prayer; the last rites for a dead person and confession. If you’ve never been inside a Christian church before, or it has been a long time, then just by watching this drama by Jimmy McGovern you’ll see how the place of worship is used by a community in Northern England.

To top it off there is also a mention of Food Banks – perfect GCSE content!

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Social Media is a Minefield

There is an interesting story by the BBC about how social media photographs of girls or women which in the West might be completely common place would in other parts of the world be deemed highly inappropriate and could result in harsh repercussions.

All of this makes you wonder about social media decorum here in Britain and how to stay safe. The BBC has a WebWise page with an eye opening video showing a mum and daughter hearing from an online security expert. He had never met them before but just by researching them online knew a whole lot of personal information!

media-minefield

 

7 minutes or less – short videos on belief

BBC Bitesize has some useful short videos for you to watch and learn about religious beliefs. A relaxing way to start your revision before hitting the past exam question trail!

You can start on the contents pages of BBC Bitesize GCSE Religious Beliefs or use the links below to particularly useful videos:

Another BBC series called Matters of Life and Death has some other really interesting programmes lasting approximately 10 minutes, including ones on animal testing, assisted suicide, abortion and the death penalty. However it advises that you are over 16 years old.

 

Sacked for being male and white

BBC presenter Bob Holmes who’d appeared on Radio 4’s the Now Show for 18 years has complained that he was sacked because he was male and white.

“Should I, as a white man (through no fault of my own), be fired from my job because I am a white man?” he asks. “Arguably, yes. You may well think I’m crap on The Now Show, and that’s fine, but to be told it’s because I’m the wrong sex and colour? I’m just not sure that’s helpful to anyone’s cause. If we are now openly giving jobs to people based on the colour of their skin, surely that is only emphasising just the kind of social division that the equality that I was brought up to embrace strives to eliminate?” he writes.

“So what if – and I know this is radical – but what if everything and every job in all walks of life was open to everyone equally, and we all just agree that everyone’s the same, by which I mean – you know – ‘human’?”

The BBC are not completely agreeing with his version of events.  A BBC spokesman said: “While the government’s new charter for the BBC does set us diversity targets, we always hire presenters on merit. We’d like to thank Jon Holmes for his contribution but our comedy shows are constantly evolving and it was simply time to create opportunities for new regulars when The Now Show returns this autumn. Jon’s contract was lapsed and wasn’t renewed and this was a creative not a diversity decision.”

Should some areas of public life such as the media, the police, the NHS and education, have positive discrimination where racial groups or genders which are not fairly represented with an open employment policy, can get a leg up and extra support to succeed in getting a job? Or should it be completely equal chances for all?