It’s to the court with BBC’s ‘good old boys’ network’
Martina Navratilova gets paid '10 times less' than her co-host John McEnroe
Martina Navratilova, the tennis player and broadcaster, has accused the BBC of running a “good old boys’ network” that pays John McEnroe at least 10 times more than the amount she receives for Wimbledon commentary.Navratilova said she was “shocked” to discover the discrepancy after McEnroe appeared on the list of top-paid BBC talent. She claims the corporation had assured her she was being paid the same amount as the men.
Admitting she was “not happy” with the situation, Navratilova said: “The bottom line is that male voices are valued more than women’s voices.”McEnroe’s pay packet, which falls between £150,000 and £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 to commentate at Wimbledon.
“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.
The tennis star thought she was being 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 her agent will ask for more money in future.BBC Sport told the programme 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 this; gender isn’t a factor.”
Panorama 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.
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 editors, now works for the BBC in London but told the programme she may yet have to leave over the dispute.Former BBC news presenter Maxine Mawhinney also 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 doing the same job, probably (with) the same experience or I might have been more experienced, and 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 for the 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% gender pay gap — but “no evidence of gender bias in pay decision-making”.
– © The Daily Telegraph