Women in their 50s face bigger gender pay gap


Samira Ahmed  (Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images)
Samira Ahmed (Photo by Tabatha Fireman/Getty Images)

THE average salary of a woman over the age of 50 is 28 per cent lower than men’s, figures released on Saturday (26) show.

Salaries of women drop by 8 per cent in their 50s while that of men’s drop by 4 per cent, analysis by Rest Less, a jobs, volunteering and advice site based on data from the Office for National Statistics showed.

While the mean average salary of a woman in her 50s is £32,052, that of a man’s is £44,561.

“Women in their 50s are facing a tough time in the workplace,” Stuart Lewis, founder of Rest Less, was quoted as saying. “Our latest research shows that women in their 50s are taking a double hit when it comes to their salaries, caused by both gender and age discrimination,” he added.

These findings come as BBC presenter Samira Ahmed, 51, becomes the first prominent female presenter to take her employer to court demanding equal pay.

Ahmed is arguing that she was paid “a sixth” of what Jeremy Vine earned in “a very similar job”.

She said: “On the back of my BBC ID card are written the BBC values which include ‘we respect each other and celebrate our diversity’ and ‘we take pride in delivering quality and value for money’.

“I just ask why the BBC thinks I am worth only a sixth of the value of the work of a man for doing a very similar job.”

In response to Ahmed’s claims, the BBC insisted it “is committed to equal pay”. The broadcaster said the pay difference occurred due to the fact Vine’s show is “entertainment” and Ahmed’s programme was “news”.

“Points of View is an entertainment programme with a long history and is a household name with the public. Newswatch – while an important programme – isn’t.

“Samira was paid the same as her male predecessor when she began presenting Newswatch. Gender has not been a factor in levels of pay for Points of View. News and entertainment are very different markets and pay across the media industry reflects this.”