The deadline for reporting gender pay disparities between men and women in the U.K. has passed, and early reporting shows that the country’s two largest concert promoters pay men substantially more than their female counterparts.
The Gender Pay Gap study ordered by UK Equality and Human Rights Commission found that on average, women working at Live Nation U.K. earned 54p for every £1 that men earn (a 46% gap) and that when comparing only the middle tier of employees, women earn 69p for every £1 that men earn (a 31% gap).
AEG UK employees did not fare much better — on average women earn 57p for every £1 that men earn (43%) and when comparing only the middle tier of employees, women earn 59p for every £1 that men earn.
The brighter spot in the report was SMG, which manages Manchester Arena and several other venues in the country. The report found that on average, women earn 88p for every £1 that men earn and when comparing only the middle tier of employees, women earn 96p for every £1 that men earn.
While SMG has a substantially smaller gap than Live Nation and AEG, the discrepancy is “embarrassing and uncomfortable” wrote Music Business Worldwide Contributing Editor, Rhian Jones in a piece attacking discrepancies at record labels that were far lower (about a 30% difference) than concert promoters.
“As women progress through the music business, they are simply not reaching the professional statuses of their male counterparts with nearly enough regularity,” Jones wrote. “One anonymous source who has previously worked at a UK major told me: ‘I requested several pay rises over my time and was consistently told the amount I was on was ‘standard’, yet I was made aware of male colleagues with equivalent experience on 50% more [pay] than me. When I flagged this, I was told they were ‘just better at negotiating’ and that I shouldn’t discuss private information.’”
The study also looked at how pay was allocated by different tiers at the company, dividing companies into four even-groups according to their level of pay. Below are screen grabs from the report for each company.
So far, Live Nation is the only company of the three to outline plans to fix their pay gap disparity. According to a report issued by Live Nation, the company is planning to create 17 new apprentice positions “targeting gender balance throughout” and identify role models at the company to “create highly visible development paths.” They are also planning unconscious bias training, enhanced family benefits including six months of paid leave “for all primary carers” and gender balance in leadership development.
“We are committed to increasing women and diversity in our workforce, and being an inclusive environment where everyone can succeed,” the company said in a statement.
Last November, Live Nation scored 100 percent on the Human Right’s Campaigns corporate equality index for LGBTQ and in February, the company announced it had signed on as a partner for the Evolve Entertainment Fund which aims to assist women and people of color build careers in entertainment.
And last month, AEG celebrated International Women’s Day by recognizing all the women across the global AEG family with their ‘Like A Girl’ video, inviting employees and the public to participate in the #WomenStrong photo sharing initiative sponsored by AEG.
More than 10,000 companies in the UK with 250 or more employees participated in the study. About 312 companies in the “arts, entertainment and recreation” sector including the popular Manchester City soccer club, where on average women earn 12p for every £1 that men earn and its rival Manchester United, where women earn 62p for every £1 that men earn.
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