The United Kingdom’s Financial Times is facing the possibility of a strike after news surfaced that female journalists are earning 13 percent less than their male counterparts, Sky News reports.
“The gender pay gap in FT Editorial is nearly 13 percent – the biggest shortfall in a decade,” said Steve Bird, father of the FT’s National Union of Journalists chapel, in an email to 600 employees, according to Sky News’ exclusive report. “And the company’s ‘ambition’ to reach equality by 2022 is worse than the BBC’s present target of 2020,” referencing recent news that only a third of the BBC’s 96 top-earning talent are women.
“Working for a private company where even the salaries of the editor and CEO are not disclosed does not inspire confidence in the FT’s commitment to transparency,” the email continued, according to Sky News. “And recent corporate statements seem more concerned about the commercial implications of gender bias than bringing women’s salaries into line with those of male counterparts.”
An unnamed source within the company said, “There is such a lot of anger about this. It’s like a pressure cooker,” Sky News reported.
“We take the matter of gender pay seriously and welcome the Government’s move to make all large UK companies report on the issue,” the Financial Times said in a statement to Sky News. “We have a 50/50 female-male split among our workforce and there are more women in senior roles across the newsroom and commercial teams than ever before. We have a long list of active initiatives in place to further that progress. We will be reporting on pay in due course, in line with the UK government timetable. From benchmarking we have seen we compare favourably to the industry.”
According to the Sky News report, an internal pay audit at the Financial Times said that of employees making between £30,000 and £50,000, the majority were women; of employees making more than £60,000, most were men.
The gender wage gap in the U.K. is currently at about 18.1 percent.