Female employees at the British Broadcasting Corporation are outraged after an outside accounting firm found “no evidence” in gender discrimination after reviewing pay decisions by the company.
A PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report found evidence of pay discrepancy between men and women, but these differences were “typically driven by material and justifiable factors unrelated to gender,” the report said, specifically for “market influences” like experience.
PwC did criticize BBC for a lack of transparency in its compensation practices, but did not find any bias when deciding employees’ salaries. Instead, financial difficulties have led to a culture where younger employees have not seen the kind of pay that older staff members enjoy.
Despite these findings, several women’s groups slammed the report:
“The BBC has chosen who to compare with whom, and what factors justify any gaps in pay. The only mention of equal pay in the letter of engagement with PwC refers to an ‘assessment of equal pay risks,'” BBC Women, an organization made up of over 170 female employees, said in a statement.
The Women’s Equality party went as far as to call for the Office of Communications, the U.K.’s communication regulator, to open an investigation into BBC. “The latest claim that there is no gender bias in the BBC’s pay system flies in the face of the experiences of women who work at the corporation,” a spokesperson said.
Just before the release of the report, the BBC announced a cap on employee salaries in an attempt to rectify any perceived gender biases.
“The BBC believes in equality. No one should be paid differently because of their gender,” BBC Director General Tony Hall said. “The BBC has a special role representing Britain. That is why we need to be and want to be an exemplar on gender pay, and equal pay.”
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