30 October 2019

BBC presenter Samira Ahmed has taken her employer to tribunal this week, arguing she was paid just 1/6 of what her maile counterpart, Jeremy Vine was paid doing a similar job.

Fawcett Society Chief Executive Sam Smethers said: 

Samira Ahmed should never have had to bring her equal pay claim.  But like so many other women, she has found that her work is not valued equally with that of her male colleagues, earning just 14% of her male comparator’s salary. Yet on any objective measure such as audience figures, her programme has actually performed better than that of Jeremy Vine, her male comparator.   We understand that he has been very supportive of her in bringing this case. Women having the support of male colleagues is extremely important.

“At the Tribunal hearing the burden of proof is on the employer to justify why they have paid her less than him.  We suspect that race discrimination may also be a factor here, but our equal pay law is based on sex, so that is the grounds for the claim.  Once the hearing concludes the Tribunal judge and panel will take some time to consider the evidence before making their judgement some weeks later. So many women will be willing her on to succeed and inspired by her to challenge pay discrimination in their own workplaces.” 

This week, Fawcett has announced Equal Pay Day will fall on November 14th.

The latest data shows that progress to close the gender pay gap is dismally slow and at this rate it will take 60 years to eradicate it. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act women have waited long enough.

Despite the busy news cycle, pay discrimination cases of women - including BBC presenter Samira Ahmed - are making the headlines. But for every woman who goes public, there are many more still experiencing unequal pay. This November, we are going to speak out against this injustice, and we need your solidarity.

Help bring us one step closer to ending workplace discrimination once and for all - buy your pin badge to show your support for equal pay. We're going to launch a vital new campaign on Equal Pay Day - look out for further information on ways to get involved.