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Today’s Sarah Montague: Pay gap professionally damaging

The 51-year-old said she was surprised to learn of the pay disparity.

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Sarah Montague

Sarah Montague

Sarah Montague

Today presenter Sarah Montague has said she was surprised to learn about the gender pay gap at the BBC as she “didn’t know how unfair it was”.

There was an outcry this summer when documents setting out the pay for staff on more than £150,000 showed a sizeable gap in the earnings of the corporation’s best-known male and female presenters and actors.

Montague, 51, failed to make the list of those on salaries of £150,000 or more.

Her fellow presenter John Humphrys was revealed to be earning between £600,000-£649,999.

Montague told Radio Times: “There were some things that I found very surprising. I get paid very well for a job I love, but I didn’t know how unfair it was.

“Also I didn’t realise how professionally damaging it was. Mishal (presenter Mishal Husain) and I took the uncomfortable step of going public after the pay disclosures, and what that opened up was the scale of the problem.

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“Hopefully, it will lead to change. There is an underlying pay gap that there should not be. Why should somebody be paid less for doing the same work?”

She continued: “The BBC should not be doing things unfairly. We sit in that studio and challenge people over being unfair, so the BBC, of all places, should be fair.

“In terms of whether something is morally the right thing to do, then the BBC should be way ahead of the curve.”

:: The Radio Times is on sale on Tuesday.


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