27th July 2017

There has been a lot in the media recently about how much the BBC pays its stars.

The figures shocked many but not least for the gulf between what the male and female stars earn. For instance, the figures published in an article by The Guardian show that the top earning woman, Claudia Winkleman, earns £450,000 – £499,999 in contrast to the top earning man, Chris Evans, at £2.2m – £2.25m. That is almost a 2 million pound difference!

Furthermore, Claudia Winkleman didn’t even get in the top five high earners at the BBC – barely making it into the top ten at number eight – and The Guardian also reveals that a whopping two-thirds of the BBC’s top 96 earners are men.

I’m sure most people know, however, that this pay discrepancy is far from confined to the BBC. We only have to think how much male footballers are paid in contrast to their female counterparts. This is true even in England where the women have performed far better in international tournaments than the men.

So why is there this discrepancy? Clearly, there’s not much evidence – if any – that women are worse at their jobs. Rather, I would argue that employers tend not to value women as much as they do men. Furthermore, an article published by The Independent states that, regrettably, women often don’t help their cause.

Apparently, research has found that ‘nasty women’ get far better rewards than women who are perceived as ‘nice’. In our defence, I would say that my experience has found that this is complicated by the amount of flack women get when they’re assertive. Afterall, it’s not easy to be assertive when you’re going to be attacked and labelled a ‘bitch’ for being so.

However, whilst the article makes clear that it is not the whole solution – as the most assertive women are still paid less than their male colleagues – being assertive does help. So where can women learn to be assertive? Step forward WHISC…

WHISC’s ‘Do It’ Project helps women to set goals, and increase their confidence and self-esteem. The course is for women over 18, who are unemployed, eligible to work in the UK, and looking to return to employment. It also includes voluntary opportunities at WHISC and the opportunity to gain an NVQ Level 2 in Customer Service Skills, or attend WHISC’s accredited Women’s Health Training Course.

If this is not quite the thing you’re looking for, WHISC has many other confidence building workshops. So please do enquire if you want to know more.

Whatever you decide to do, please don’t be patiently waiting the 118 years the World Economic Forum reckons it will take to close the gender pay gap.