With the UK's biggest employers having to reveal the average wages they pay men and women, Jane Corbin travels the UK to meet the workers who are fighting for equality.
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Every day, Britain's discovering
just how much more men
are earning than women.
The gender pay gap's been
revealed at hundreds...
Female employees earning up
to 43% less than male
employees at Barclays.
Nearly 50 years after equal pay
became the law, could this be
the year that things finally change?
We're not little ladies any more,
we do just as much hard work.
"What do we want?
When do we want it?
The BBC, my own employer, has found
itself at the centre of the row.
I felt somebody had to do it,
somebody had to call management out.
When you're in a talent business,
there are many, many reasons
as to why people might be
paid slightly differently.
Now I'm off around the country,
and beyond, to find out what's
behind Britain's Equal Pay Scandal.
The glitzy enclave of Monaco might
seem an unlikely place to begin
a story about equal pay in Britain.
I've come to Monte Carlo,
to meet someone who wants to speak
to me about the BBC and equal pay.
She's a world famous sports star
and she's spent years
appearing on the BBC.
The BBC reveals the pay
of its top stars.
Of the list of 96 best paid,
only a third are women
and the top seven are all men.
Guest of honour here at a sports
awards, but she isn't one
of the BBC's best paid stars...
I left my country,
which was a totally terror regime,
Czech Republic, communist country -
I left that country
because I couldn't speak out,
so I'm speaking out because it
affects so many, so many
women across the board.
The BBC's published one
tennis pundit's pay.
John McEnroe is getting £150-200,000
for his Wimbledon fortnight.
Good evening to you,
I'm looking forward to discussing
and dissecting this match.
We're going to...
His earnings were news to his fellow
It's hard to really compare exactly,
because some people work
a little longer days,
maybe fewer or more
But overall, it was a shock
because John McEnroe
makes at least £150,000.
I get about £15,000 for Wimbledon,
and unless John McEnroe's doing
a whole bunch of stuff
outside of Wimbledon,
he's getting at least ten times
as much money.
For very comparable
work, so, yeah...
At the moment, that's what I know.
How do you feel about that?
Not happy, needless to say.
I mean, it's shocking.
It's extremely unfair and it
makes me angry for the other women
that I think go through this.
The BBC might say, well
John McEnroe does more hours
or he's on air longer.
Ten times as much?
I don't think so.
dream has come true!
A pioneer, an activist, an icon...
has won Wimbledon more
times than John McEnroe.
As a pundit, last year Panorama
estimates he made about three
times as many appearances
during the tournament as she did.
You cannot be serious, man,
you cannot be serious!
Did you ever say to theBBC,
"Am I earning a comparable amount
to a man doing a similar job?"
Absolutely, and we were told yes,
I was getting a compatible amount,
so we were not told the truth.
That's for sure.
Because it's 50 years now
since the Equal Pay Act in Britain.
Yeah, 50 years since equal pay.
So it's the law!
And BBC is a public corporation.
Yeah, they've got to do better.
Bbc sport told Panorama the two
pundits are simply not compatible.
John McEnroe is contracted to be
on call throughout the tournament.
His role is of a different scale,
scope and time commitment
to Martina Navratilova.
# I want to spend my life
with a girl like you...#.
The fight for equal pay in Britain
is as old as this Ford Cortina.
Made in Dagenham, the same year that
women's sewing machinists here went
on strike to establish
they were as skilled as the men
and should be paid the same.
How far are you prepared to go
in striking to insist
on being skilled labour?
As far as it takes.
It seems incredible that it's
50 years since women
here at Ford Dagenham fought
for equal pay.
That's half a century, and women
across britain are still fighting.
Do you believe in
this women's strike?
No, I don't, they should
get the same as lads.
You don't believe in equal pay?
No, no, no.
The Ford women were laughed
at when they demanded their rights
and equal pay, but they united,
fought back and took
their case to Parliament.
Our legislation will provide,
therefore, that by the end of 1975,
it will at last be illegal
to discriminate against
women in rates of pay.
The Equal Pay Act
established that women and men must
be paid equally for equal work,
even if the jobs are different.
But how you establish
that is complicated, and,
to this day, it's been
open to argument.
4000 women have taken the region's
biggest council to an employment
tribunal in a fight to get the same
pay as men.
I'm on my way to Birmingham,
this city at the centre
of a landmark case.
It was here a decade ago
the principle of equal pay for work
of equal value was established.
Women council workers,
carers and cleaners argued
they should be paid the same
as binmen and they won.
It's been three years
in the planning, hasn't it?
We've been trying to get it
through and it's a milestone
for all the ladies who work
for Birmingham City Council.
Jobs that were done predominantly
by men were getting generally bonus
payments that were substantially
greater than the women were...
I mean, the women didn't get any
bonuses, so they had men
and women on the same grade,
where the men were getting 100-200%
more than the women for jobs that
were rated as equivalent.
Winning their equal pay case meant
six years' backpay for the women.
It cost Birmingham Council
more than £1 billion.
It had to sell off
the National Exhibition Centre.
I was at the opening of the NEC
when the Queen came,
back in the '70s, and to see it
being sold off was a very
sad day in my life.
Do you think that people
realise how expensive,
how ruinous - potentially -
equal pay cases could be
across the country?
No I don't, no I don't,
and I don't think that we really
have started to see the full
the equal pay claims.
Councils would say that you're
an ambulance chaser,
you're making a lot of money out
of these equal pay cases
and councils are suffering
and services are suffering,
and you're making money.
Well, I'll only make money if I win
and I don't get paid until I win.
And you've won quite a lot of cases?
Well, then I'm good at what I do.
Chanting: "Equal pay
or we walk away!"
Glasgow council workers mark 100
years since the suffragettes won
women the right to vote.
These women, cleaners and carers,
have also been fighting for more
than ten years to be paid the same
as street sweepers and binmen.
We're still fighting in Glasgow,
as we were in Birmingham.
It's like deja vu all over again.
They fought the litigation,
the cases were resolved,
they changed their pay system,
we have to sue them all over again.
Amongst the glasgow protesters
was Amanda Green, a home carer.
It's just quite sad that the women
risked their lives back then
for voting, and I think
they would be very disappointed
if they knew it was happening today,
that women were still doing the same
stuff and trying to fight for equal
pay against a man.
Days later, as snow brought
the city to a standstill,
Amanda was preparing to go out
in subzero temperatures.
She walks five miles daily to care
for 15 housebound people.
We work with machinery,
we're going to people who have
dementia and that is a hard job.
We're sort of like counsellors,
you could say, just trying
to make them feel better.
Some people don't even have
family, so we're the only
people that they see.
Does anybody want a cup
of tea or coffee?
All the women in this
family are carers.
Amanda, her mother Nancy
and sister Samantha.
Nancy's been involved in the equal
pay fight right from the start.
The money must be there
because they found the money
for the gentlemen, how are they not
finding the money for the ladies?
Nancy's husband, Michael,
used to be a bin man -
the very job she thinks is of equal
value to hers.
Nancy used to work 50-60 hours
a week, just to get a decent wage.
And I worked for another council
and I could work a lot less hours
and still bring home more money.
I'm staying with my
mum and dad, I'm 26.
I am trying to save for a house,
and I've been saving up
up but if I had more,
like obviously the same money
that the men were getting,
then that meant that
I could have been saving more,
I could have bought a house quicker.
The women say the Labour council
and the trades unions fought
against their equal pay claim
for years, but now the SNP
is running Glasgow City Hall
and the mood has changed.
But there's no deal, yet.
I've come to meet the leader
of Glasgow City Council; a woman.
She was elected last year
on a pledge to put right the equal
pay issues facing the city.
The spectre's been raised,
Glasgow could face a bill
of half a billion pounds,
that could impact services and mean
selling off valuable property.
Essentially the message that has
been given to these women doing
these essential jobs is, "You don't
matter as much as buildings".
I believe that the historic assets
glasgow owns are phenomenally
important for this city,
and we will do everything to avoid
having to sell them off.
We need to do the right thing
by our women workers.
It's going to be a difficult
process and the resolution
is going to be difficult,
but difficult isn't an excuse.
Across the country, now
the principle of equal pay for equal
value has been established
in the public sector,
women in the private
sector want the same.
Because everything is on show
and easy to reach, housewives
are finding shopping easier,
quicker and more convenient.
This year, the supermarkets
are strongly contesting
multi-billion pound lawsuits.
I met up with Linda Wong,
a lawyer based in Manchester,
who's handling 20,000 claims
by women against
their employer, Asda.
Asda is the largest private-sector
equal pay claim that's been
brought in UK history.
Tesco is currently following
suit and in Sainsbury's
it's over 1000 people.
But this could cripple
the supermarkets, the costs
and thousands of cases?
Yes, there is a potential
fiscal liability to them,
but you've got to balance that
with the fact that these women have
been underpaid for years.
One of Linda's clients worked
for 16 years on the tills
and displays at Sainsbury's,
jobs mostly done by women.
Christine Trenchard says
she was underpaid compared
to workers in distribution,
jobs mostly done by men.
We were on less than
what the blokes, the men were, yeah.
My maximum wage is £8.50,
and I believe theirs this
possibly £12 an hour.
So that's a £4 difference.
What do you say to people who say
this could be very expensive
for the supermarkets,
if all these women win
their legal claims?
Should have thought of that.
Sorry, but at the end of the day
we're all employed by the same
people and we're all worthy
of the same wage.
Why should men get more
money than what we do?
The information Linda gets
from Christine about her job will be
used by independent assessors
to decide if it's of
the same value as a job
in storage and distribution.
There is a common misconception that
shop floor work is simple
because you are just replenishing
shelves and distribution work
is more difficult because they're
working in difficult conditions
and it's hazardous.
When you're looking at the concept
of equal value, you will look at,
yes, conditions of work,
but so many other factors will be
taken into consideration.
Maybe some thought should be put
to all of the other things that go
on on the shop floor,
aside from the shelf stacking,
because they deal with customers.
They have do assess age restriction
items, whether they can sell knives
or alcohol to people,
that's not easy.
I'm not doing it for myself, for
money, I'm doing it for principle.
We had Dagenham 50 years ago, where
they were fighting for equal pay.
I don't want my daughters,
or my granddaughter that's due,
in 50 years' time to be
fighting the same.
Sainsbury's told us...
I think what's happening
within these supermarkets
in particular is that you're really
seeing how far the hype
around equal pay has gone.
That people are claiming gender
discrimination by not even
comparing jobs like-for-like,
but comparing their job
to a completely different role.
The costs to supermarkets could be
huge and very detrimental.
Who is the knock-on effect really
going to hurt and my suspicion
is that it would hit the employees
of these companies.
These jobs are now at threat.
Achieving equal pay takes
more than lawsuits.
It requires changing
the British workplace,
by being more open about staff pay.
That is why the government is making
all organisations with more than 250
employees publish their average wage
difference between the sexes.
It is called the gender pay gap.
Nationally, on average, men
are being paid 18% more than women.
But the gap is far higher
in places like the city.
Dominated by top earning males.
At Barclays, it is 48%
and at HSBC, it is 59%.
And then there is the airlines.
Thousands of girls in Britain
want to be air hostesses.
It is one of the world's
top glamour jobs.
But you have certainly got to be
a top flight charmer to win a top
airline personality contest.
This was the traditional image
of women in the skies.
And change is proving
a slow process.
The winner was to be presented
with a brand-new car.
And actor Edward Woodward,
TV's Callan, was there to hand over
the keys to the lucky girl.
We are going to Lisbon today.
# Come fly with me.
# Let's fly...
Marnie Munns is one
of easyJet's female pilots,
but there aren't enough like her.
EasyJet has a high gender pay gap,
over 50%, because most
of their pilots are men.
And they are the best paid
employees, so there is a big gap
across the company between what men
and women earn.
EasyJet is trying to
train more Marnies.
The original female intake was 6%.
We then decided to double
the figures from six
to 12% in two years.
We would like to recruit 20% by 2020
and that is what we are aiming for.
At the moment, we are
on target to do that.
But 20% is not 50%, half and half,
men and women, is that enough?
It is not 50% but it is a start
and 20% and we are going to be
looking at other ways that we can
increase that, but we have
got to start somewhere
and it is going to take time.
EasyJet's new male boss has taken
a pay cut to match his female
But it will take years and a change
in culture and attitudes
to reduce the gender pay gap
across all industries.
In the time that I hope that
I retire, we are going to try
and normalise seeing a woman pilot
or a female pilot, so that
eventually, this will be
a completely normal image.
# Pack up, let's fly away!
But the gender pay gap figures
do not tell us the full story.
An organisation only has to declare
the average difference
between what it pays all its men
and all its women.
Not the hard details.
Such as whether it is paying
the same money to a man and a woman
doing equal work or work
of equal value.
Which begs the question,
does gender pay gap reporting
really solve the problem?
I wish it would solve the problem.
But the simple answer is, no.
It will be an important step
forward, but it is not going to,
for example, force employers
to address the pay difference
once that is reported.
One moment, please.
Could you talk to them?
Get me London airport, will you?
The BBC is very different today,
from when virtually all the bosses
and presenters were men.
It's gender pay gap is 9%,
half the national average and half
what its commercial rival,
ITN, has published.
But many BBC women are still angry.
Want do we want?
When do we want it?
Hundreds of them came out
on International Women's Day,
to support the principle
of equal pay at the BBC.
One that I agree with.
There was a hero's reception
for Carrie Gracie, who had
taken a dramatic stand,
resigning her post as China editor.
Carrie, Carrie, Carrie, Carrie!
After four years in China,
Carrie Gracie had discovered
she was earning at least 50% less
than two male international editors.
The BBC offered her a pay rise,
she turned it down,
saying she wanted to fight
for the principle of equality.
I would not go to the wall,
just for myself.
I felt I knew by then that the BBC
was not just doing this to me.
They were doing this,
to many, many women.
It was denying their reality.
It was breaking the law in respect
of their employment.
You resigned your post as China
editor, but you didn't leave
the BBC, you have still got
a well-paid job.
People would say you haven't
really made a sacrifice,
you have taken a stand,
but what does it mean?
In a way, they are right.
I haven't made a sacrifice.
I feel that...
This is not yet done.
I may still have to leave the BBC.
Carrie Gracie's colleagues went
to Parliament to support her
when she and BBC management
were summoned there by MPs.
They wanted to know if public money
had been misused in not paying
men and women equally.
They don't trust management.
They have to put their hands
on the table at all times now.
We need full
transparency in the BBC.
Carrie Gracie's case is astonishing.
There are only five international
editors, so how can it be that one
of them gets underpaid for a couple
of years and no one notices?
This happened because no one
was interested, no one cared.
And they just let it happen.
I do think that it was an oversight.
Absolutely, I do.
And we should have addressed that
case earlier and we admit that.
Why has this happened?
Why are the women not being paid
the same as the men?
Maxine Mawhinney had just left
the BBC after 20 years when the list
of top earning stars was published.
I do know that I have
sat beside men, on TV,
doing the same job, probably
the same experience or I might have
even been more experienced,
and I know they were earning
more than me.
Did they tell you?
I think there is a lot of truth
in the fact that women will not push
themselves forward as much.
We will accept more, probably,
rather than putting our hands up,
but that is changing,
Jane, it is really changing.
And women have had enough.
We have really had enough.
There has been no admission that
the BBC has breached equal pay law.
But after the parliamentary hearing,
there were significant
developments, behind the scenes.
I have spoken to half a dozen women
who appear here on air at the BBC,
who claim they haven't been paid
equally to men doing
Over the past few weeks,
the BBC has begun to offer these
women what it calls pay revisions.
In other words, more money.
In one case, up to 50% more.
That sounds to me as if it is
admitting they have not been paid
equally in the past.
I accept that.
That we are admitting
that we did not pay people fairly
or equally in the past,
yes, which is why we are looking
at all those cases that
people are bringing to us,
going back over a number
of months and years
and we will address them all.
That does not necessarily mean
that we are going to agree
with everybody, in every case
that they bring.
When you're in a talent business,
there are many, many reasons
as to why people might be
paid slightly differently.
It was the BBC News presenters
who grabbed the headlines,
but there have been concerns raised
about BBC Sport and now, tennis.
What is at the root of it do
you think, women don't argue
enough for equal pay?
You can argue all you want,
but we know what is at the root,
it is still the good
old boys network.
And, you know, the bottom line
is that male voices are valued more
than women's voices.
People ask where there days...
John has a more central role
in the whole of the BBC's coverage
of Wimbledon and none of this
is around gender.
This is around what is the role
that these people are actually
performing for the tournament.
But he doesn't do ten times as much
as Martina Navratilova.
How can that be justified, then?
Because time spent doing the work
is only one factor in what might
determine what you pay people.
Parliament thinks that more
transparency, knowing what people
earn, will deliver equal pay.
And that means forcing the BBC
to reveal all its payments.
To stars like David
Dimbleby and Alan Sugar.
And those on Strictly,
Eastenders and many other shows.
Their fees are confidential,
because they work through
independent production companies.
We would be in the ridiculous
situation, for example,
where the pay of the judges
on Strictly Come Dancing would no
longer be declared and I think
the way to resolve it is to make
the salaries public,
whether they are being paid
directly by the BBC
or through a production company.
If the BBC refuses to do
that and they can do,
because the Charter does not require
them, I think we should ask
the National Audit Office to go
in and to order this and to report
back to Parliament.
The expansion of Netflix,
Amazon, Apple TV...
the BBC is in a big fight here,
for the best ideas, the best talent.
If we are going to really make it
difficult for the independents
to come and work for the BBC,
by subjecting all the people
who work on it, to the same level
of scrutiny that our existing stars
are, then I don't think
that we are going to be producing
the best programmes.
On the current battle over
equal pay, the BBC points
to an independent report,
which found there was no
gender bias in on air pay
decisions at the Corporation.
But that won't protect them
from possible legal action
and potentially big bills.
Do you think the BBC have acted
illegally in your case.
Will you take legal action?
That is a very hard question.
I don't want any money.
The BBC is short of money.
The BBC still has time
to do the right thing.
All I am asking of the BBC
is that it can say that for the four
years that I was China editor,
my work was of equal value
to that of my male peers.
Would you take a case
against the BBC for what you believe
to be an unequal pay situation?
If, as some of my other colleagues
are exploring at the moment,
if I find that I was entitled
to have been paid at a different
rate, during the time
I was there, of course I would.
It is a matter of law.
They are required in law to pay
people the same rate
for jobs of equal value.
What we have seen, I think, so far,
is that the BBC are not doing that.
They have to demonstrate how
they are complying with the law,
how they have settled cases people
have brought to them where they have
been treated unfairly,
and what mechanisms they are going
to put in place to make sure that
people are consistently
paid in the future.
Has the BBC acted illegally
in the case of Carrie Gracie
and the issue of equal pay?
We don't believe we have acted
illegally in regard to equal pay.
That doesn't mean, however,
that there won't be instances
and cases where there is inequality.
And we need to address those.
But if there is inequality, it means
they are not being paid equally
and that is breaking the law.
Well, the law says work of equal
value and we need to judge what that
equal value actually means under
the terms of the law.
In my journey around the country,
I have seen a new spirit
and determination amongst the women
I have met.
We are not little ladies any more.
We do just as much hard work.
What is so special about a man,
that he can earn more
money than a woman?
We need more women,
no matter what it is,
to stand up and be, like,
this isn't all right.
I think they have got away
with it for far too long.
What will you do now
when it comes to Wimbledon?
Will you be asking for more money?
You'd better believe it!
I think I will leave it up
to my agent, who is very capable,
but you shouldn't be paying people
more because they have a really
great agent or because they scream
a lot, you should pay them
because it is the right thing to do.
It is only fair.
With the deadline less
than three weeks away,
more than two thirds
of organisations in Britain have yet
to report their gender pay gap.
There may be more shocking
figures yet to come.
Will it take another 50 years before
a woman can know she has
been paid like a man?
MUSIC: Blondie - 'Atomic'.
For the first time, the UK's biggest employers are having to reveal the average wages they pay men and women. At the same time, the BBC and many other organisations find themselves in battles over equal pay. Almost 50 years after the passing of the Equal Pay Act, why are women still not being paid as much as men? Jane Corbin travels the UK to meet the workers, from supermarket staff and council carers to BBC presenters, who are fighting for equality - even if the costs run into the billions.