Martina Navratilova, the tennis player and broadcaster, has accused the BBC of running a “good old boy’s network” which saw her John McEnroe paid at least ten times the amount she receives for Wimbledon.
Navratilova, who said she was “shocked” to discover the discrepancy after McEnroe appeared on the list of top-paid BBC talent, claimed the corporation had lied to her with assurances she was paid the same as men doing the same job.
Saying she was “not happy” at the situation, she added: “The bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women’s voices.”
McEnroe’s pay packet, which falls between £150,000 to £199,999, was revealed in a list of the BBC’s best-paid broadcasters last summer.
Navratilova, 61, told the BBC’s Panorama programme she is paid around £15,000 for her commentator role at Wimbledon.
“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 10 times as much money”, she said.
Navratilova said that she was told she was getting paid a comparable amount to men doing the same job as her, adding: “We were not told the truth, that’s for sure….
“(I’m) not happy… It’s shocking… It’s still the good old boys network.”
Navratilova, who was crowned Wimbledon ladies’ champion nine times, said that her agent will ask for more money in future.
BBC Sport told the programme, to be broadcast on Monday that “John and Martina perform different roles in the team, and John’s role is of a different scale, scope and time commitment,” adding: “They are simply not comparable. John’s pay reflects all of this, gender isn’t a factor.”
Panorama said it estimated that McEnroe, 59, who was crowned Wimbledon champion three times, appeared around 30 times for the BBC at Wimbledon last year, compared to Navratilova’s 10 appearances.
The programme, which explores the pay gap at the corporation, follows damaging claims about unequal salaries paid to broadcasting stars.
Carrie Gracie, who resigned from her role as China editor in protest at being paid less than male foreign editors and now works for the BBC in London, told the programme she may yet have to leave the corporation over the dispute.
Former BBC news presenter Maxine Mawhinney said she is considering bringing a case against the broadcaster over pay.
She had just left the BBC after 20 years when the pay list was published last summer.
She said: “I do know that I have sat beside men on TV doing the same job, probably (with) the same experience or I might have been even more experienced, and I know they were earning more than me.”
Asked if she would take a case against the BBC over equal pay, she said: “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.”
Fran Unsworth, the BBC’s director of news and current affairs, said the BBC is in a “big fight here for the best ideas, the best talent”.
“We don’t think we have acted illegally in regard to equal pay,” she said.
“That doesn’t mean, however, there won’t be instances and cases where there is inequality and we need to address those.”
The gender pay gap has been in the headlines since the salaries of top BBC talent were revealed.
Radio 2’s Chris Evans topped the list on more than £2 million, while the highest paid woman was Claudia Winkleman on between £450,000 and £499,999.
A review commissioned by the BBC found a 6.8 per cent gender pay gap – but “no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making”.
Its conclusions were criticised by BBC Women, a group that includes presenters such as Jane Garvey, Mishal Husain and Victoria Derbyshire.
Panorama: Britain’s Equal Pay Scandal, airs at 7.30pm on Monday on BBC1.
Article Source : https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/03/19/bbc-gender-pay-row-hits-wimbledon-asmartina-navratilova-says/