BBC Boss Says Fixing Gender Pay Gap Is "Personal Priority"

BBC Broadcasting - Getty - H 2016
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Director general Tony Hall responded to a letter sent by the broadcaster's female stars over the weekend.

BBC director general Tony Hall has said that the U.K. public broadcaster needs to do more to fix the problem of the gender pay gap that hit headlines last week after it revealed the salaries of its top stars.

Hall was responding to an open letter from some of the BBC's most prominent female journalists and television hosts sent over the weekend, which demanded that the broadcaster fix its wide gender pay gap immediately rather than in several years as management had proposed.

In his own letter, seen by THR, Hall said that work was "already well underway" to close the pay gap, asserting that he was confident the salary figures next year would "look very different" and that addressing the issue was his "personal priority." He also reiterated his commitment to close the pay gap by 2020.

"And if we can get there earlier then we will," he added.

Documents made public last week showed that male BBC TV and radio personalities make substantially more than their female counterparts. The salary disparity came to light after the publicly funded BBC was forced to publish the salary ranges of its best-paid actors and presenters.

The list showed that two-thirds of the highest earners were men, with the highest-paid woman earning less than a quarter of the highest-earning male star. Many men were also found to be receiving far higher salaries than women in comparable jobs at the BBC.