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.

_97006893_bbc_annual_report_pay_top_earners624

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.

Advertisements

How offensive is the word pikey?

Today on the Radio 1 breakfast show Orlando Bloom, a British actor famous for playing  Legolas in Lord of the Rings, and paddle boarding nude with his then girlfriend Katie Perry, said “I’m still a pikey from Kent, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of me.”

orlando-bloom-as-legolas-in-the-lord-of-the-rings-the-return-of-the-king-8d1ebc65-934c-4063-bb9e-c51269993169

Firstly Orlando Bloom went to England’s oldest private school and his dad owned a language school. Secondly the word pikey is highly offensive.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its first use in print was in the Times in 1837, referring to strangers who had come to the Isle of Sheppey island to harvest. Later that century it meant a “turnpike traveller” or vagabond. But in more recent years it has become a term of abuse and in the eyes of the law using it can even be deemed a racist offence, given its association with Irish travellers and Roma Gypsies. In December 2007, at Lewes Magistrates’ Court, Lee Coleman, 28, admitted using racially-aggravated threatening words and behaviour after a row with a nightclub manageress. He had told her: “I’m not paying you, pikey.” Charlotte Brewer, Oxford University lexicographer, says the OED clearly labels it as an offensive term that came from the word “pike” meaning a road on which a toll is collected.

The BBC have been forced to apologise for Orlando Bloom’s use of the word. It is not the first time broadcasters have got in trouble for presenters or guests using the word. In 2008 Martin Brundle the Formula 1 commentator said: “There are some pikeys out there putting down new tarmac at Turn 10. Are they out of the way yet?” Whereas in 2015 the BBC defended then Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson for his use of the word Pikey in a long running gag with Richard Hammond.

top gear

Slang expert Tony Thorne says “pikey” was being used as far back as the 16th Century but has only become more offensive in the mainstream in the past four or five years.
“Teenagers have been using it for the last few years to replace ‘chav’. It’s used pejoratively as someone who is sub-proletariat like ‘gypsy’ or ‘gyppo’ was used in the 1940s and 50s.” Pejoratively means expressing contempt or disapproval, and sub-proletariat means working-class people all together (often used with reference to Marxism).

My advice? Don’t use the word. It has far too many offensive qualities. It is better to steer clear of.

 

#allemannenhandinhand

There are so many different ways of protesting or trying to bring about change.

To protest (verb) – express an objection to what someone has said or done

If you decide to go out and protest then you can consider: signage, shouting, sit-ins, petitions, silence, marches, boycotts, putting your body in the way, mock awards, vigils, silliness, singing, praying or flash mobs. There are hundreds of other ideas on non-violent protest and sometimes you can do something specific to the cause you are protesting about.

This is what has recently happened in the Netherlands, where men are showing their support for gay men being able to hold hands and openly express their relationships. Over the weekend in the Dutch city of Arnhem there was a vicious assault of two gay men.  Ronnie Sewratan-Vernes suffered four missing teeth and a severed lip, whereas Jasper Vernes-Sewratan was left with injured ribs. Jasper said they usually hide their relationship, but had decided to hold hands as they walked home after a night out. Dutch politicians as well as celebrities are joining with other Dutch men to show their solidarity to the gay men who were attacked – by holding hands.

Alexander-Pechtold-Wouter-Koolmees

The politician Alexander Pechtold attended a meeting at The Hague with Wooter Koulmees a financial specialist.

hand in hand

hand in hand 3

Imagine you’re on a school trip and your Muslim teacher isn’t allowed to get on the flight because he’s Muslim

On 16th February Juhel Miah a teacher from a Welsh school was flying with students and other teachers to the USA via Iceland. Already one week earlier a court had upheld the decision to suspend President Trump from the US’s executive order temporarily banning the travel from seven mostly Muslim countries. So why was Mr Miah, a British citizen with only a British passport removed from the flight in Iceland and not permitted to fly to the US? Was it simply because he is Muslim?

A spokesperson from the Maths teacher’s employer Port Talbot council said: “Juhel Miah was with a party from Llangatwg comprehensive who travelled initially to Iceland en route to New York last week. Mr Miah boarded the onward flight in Reykjavik on 16 February but was escorted from the aircraft by security personnel. Whilst the school trip proceeded as planned, Mr Miah’s removal from the flight left pupils and colleagues shocked and distressed.”

The spokesman continued: “We are appalled by the treatment of Mr Miah and are demanding an explanation. The matter has also been raised with our local MP.”

It’s not all fine for people in the LGBT+ community

When Jeremy Corbyn leader of the Labour Party in the UK said that people ‘chose’ to be LGBT+ he was criticised, but a journalist writing for the Independent says Corbyn wasn’t being offensive. In fact after being called obscene names and given dirty looks for showing affection to his partner in public, he wonders whether many of the LGBT+ community would argue it is easier in the closet.

“The truth is, I have no idea why I’m gay, and while it would be nice to think that I was “born this way”, and genetic studies strongly suggest this may well be the case, it shouldn’t matter if it’s a “lifestyle choice”, to borrow a phrase that’s been thrown at me by religious friends.  Denying that it cannot be a choice devalues the experiences of those that have made such a decision, and adds an extra layer of discrimination that the LGBT community does not need. I’ve never met anyone that claims to have consciously decided to be gay, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.”  Zak Thomas in the Independent.

Loving

Based on a HBO documentary called The Loving Story a new film at the cinema calling Loving tells the story of how on June 2, 1958, a white man named Richard Loving and his part-black, part-Cherokee fiancée Mildred Jeter travelled from Caroline County, VA to Washington, D.C. to be married. At the time, interracial marriage was illegal in 21 states, including Virginia.

loving

Back home two weeks later, the newlyweds were arrested, tried and convicted of the felony crime of “miscegenation.” To avoid a one-year jail sentence, the Lovings agreed to leave the state; they could return to Virginia, but only separately. Living in exile in D.C. with their children, the Lovings missed their families and dearly wanted to return to their rural home. At the advice of her cousin, Mildred wrote a letter to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, who wrote her back suggesting she get in touch with the American Civil Liberties Union. From there the story of the Lovings became public news.

“I wasn’t involved with the civil rights movement … only thing I know was what everybody saw on the news. … I wasn’t in anything concerning civil rights. We were trying to get back to Virginia. That was our goal—to get back home.” —Mildred Loving

The new film Loving has some good reviews  and reports on both sides of the Atlantic. It provides young people with both a lesson in the history of racism in 20th century America as well as a reminder of how modern intolerance and hatred can leave people in unfair situations, away from the home and loved ones.

Are boys getting more pocket money than girls?

I wonder if you ask your friends how much pocket money they get whether you notice a difference between the amounts boys and girls tell you. You should try it! Researchers at Childwise have found that in the UK boys aged 11 to 16 were on £17.80, while girls of the same age were on £12.50, a gap of £5.30.

The researchers also found that girls were given less financial freedom, “They are more likely to have things bought for them, including expensive items such as clothes and footwear, and lower cost purchases such as toiletries, hair products and makeup,” said Ms Ehren from Childwise. These extra purchases might help to bridge the income gap between boys and girls, but the approach to managing money matters was “noticeably different”, she added.

This all seems to show that the gender gap in pay starts young and that parents are educating boys and girls differently about financial matters.