The music industry's gender pay back is very real and even worse than many thought. The three major labels today released gender pay gap figures for the UK, this week and they offer a bleak snapshot of how women are devalued in the music industry.
Recent legislation that forces UK companies with more than 250 employees to reveal pay disparities was enforced after news of the BBC’s striking gender pay gap broke in 2017 and sparked outrage across the country. Since then, more than 9,000 companies have complied, and now Sony Music UK, Warner Music UK, and Universal Music UK are following suit.
According to MusicWeek, here’s how the numbers break down:
Sony Music UK
Median pay gap: 4.6%
Mean pay gap: 22.7%
Bonus pay gap: 45% (mean) and 0.2% (median)
What the report revealed: While the report indicated that a nearly equal proportion of women (75.3%) and men (74.3%) received bonuses in 2017, despite making up 45% of Sony’s 359 employees, having fewer women in the most senior roles has impacted the company’s findings significantly.
What they’ve pledged: Sony says it plans to implement learning programmes in an “inclusive environment” and support working parents.
Warner Music UK
Median pay gap: 49%
Mean pay gap:21%
Bonus pay gap: 82% (mean) and 44% (median)
What the report revealed: The report indicated that proportionately 74% of women received bonuses while that number was 85% for men. It was also noted that while women comprise 42% of Warner Music UK’s workforce, only 16% are in leadership roles.
What they’ve pledged: Warner plans to make it an “urgent priority” to help more women progress through the company by implementing measures that include employee-led working groups tasked with tackling diversity, a new code of conduct, more diverse candidate pools, and revised parental leave policies.
Universal Music UK
Median pay gap: 16.7%
Mean pay gap:29.8%
Bonus pay gap: 30.4% (median) and 49.2% (mean)
What the report revealed: While the report indicates that an equal proportion of men and women (74%) received bonus pay in 2017, in the top pay band quartile the gender split is 70%-30% in favor of men.
The reports follow a January announcement by Carrie Gracie, China editor for the BBC, that she was leaving her position to protest unequal pay at the organization. The BBC responded by reducing the salaries of several of its prominent male journalists. That was preceded by a taped conversation between one of those journalists, John Humphrys, host of BBC Radio 4 Today, and a colleague that appeared to make light of Gracie’s concerns.