CNN's Christiane Amanpour Confronted Exec About Gender Pay Gap

Posted: Apr 09, 2018 2:45 PM
CNN's Christiane Amanpour Confronted Exec About Gender Pay Gap

CNN is guilty of a gender pay gap - one that didn't go unnoticed by one of the network's biggest stars. Last weekend, Christiane Amanpour confronted CNN International executives demanding to know why they had a 2.8 percent mean gender pay gap in favor of women, but a 23.5 percent median gap in favor of men. 

"First and foremost the statistics are shocking not just here but around Great Britain," she said. "One of the things they're saying about this moment of legal requirement, it allows employees to get more of an insight, to get more transparency into the pay structure of their companies."

The exchange was recorded at a London staff meeting last week and leaked to BuzzFeed News. During the discussion, CNN International managing director Tony Maddox admitted they "hadn't been paying attention" to the issue.

"To be absolutely candid with you, this survey has prompted us to do something we weren't doing," Maddox told staff. "I was surprised by this, shocked and disappointed.

"When you look around, you see senior women here, you see senior women there, you don't realise until it's portrayed in this stark kind of way that you need to take a look at it.

"We did this because we were instructed to do it. Now we're responding to it." 

CNN International suggested that the pay gap was partly to blame because they had hired more male camera operators and engineers. In those two areas, Maddox explained, "we massively over index for men."

Still, Amanpour was joined by other female reporters in the room who insisted "they're not being rewarded for what they're doing."

The British government mandated that private organizations with more than 250 employees had to disclose their salary data by last week. The Guardian posted a list of the worst offenders. Boux Avenue, a lingerie chain, had the biggest gender pay gap, with women earning 75 percent less per hour than men on a median basis.

These statistics prompted a Labour MP to start the #PayMeToo movement "to give working women advice on how to tackle the gender pay where they work." A group of prominent male BBC reporters took their own stand earlier this year by announcing they'd be taking pay cuts after one of their female colleagues resigned over a network pay gap.

CNN admitted they "need to do better" in response to BuzzFeed's exclusive report. "And we will."