Samira Ahmed, host of the BBC’s Newswatch, has won a pay discrimination case against the network after claiming she was paid significantly less than her male counterpart for the same job.
Ahmed is the host of an “audience feedback show,” similar to another show called Points of View, hosted by Jeremy Vine. One glaring difference, however, is the fact that Vine is paid £3,000 per episode as opposed to Ahmed’s £440. The suit called for the network to make up for the £700,000 Ahmed says she is owed in back pay, and on Friday 10, it was announced that a judge agreed. According to the Guardian, the judgment reads:
“Her work on Newswatch was like Jeremy Vine’s work on Points of View under section 65(1) of the Equality Act 2010.” It added that the corporation “has not shown that the difference in pay was because of a material factor which did not involve subjecting the claimant [Ahmed] to sex discrimination.”
During the proceedings, the BBC argued that the pay disparities were not due to discrimination but the fact that Vine is more recognizable than Ahmed, arguing 71 percent of viewers recognized Vine in a 2017 poll compared to 29 percent who recognized Ahmed. However, this isn’t the first time the BBC has had a public falling out with a journalist over equal pay. In 2018, BBC China editor Carrie Gracie resigned over similar pay disparities.