From the newspaper front pages to the phone-in radio shows, Twitterstorms and countless websites, the one story which seemed to get everyone talking in the last few days has been the revelation that BBC bosses pay their male “stars” far more than their female counterparts.
But were any of us really surprised by this divulgence of inequality? The fact that men presenting the TV news, or radio shows, or reporting from war-torn countries are paid vastly more than women doing the same jobs is hardly “news”. We all know it’s a basic fact of too many workplaces for the vast majority of women.
Of course it’s hard to feel a lot of sympathy for women earning £150,000 a year or more for being paid less than the bloke sitting on the breakfast telly sofa beside them, but the inherent unfairness is the same whether you’re a weather presenter or a school dinner lady.
It was, of course, the Labour Party which introduced the ground-breaking Equal Pay Act in 1970 which “prohibited any less favourable treatment between men and women in terms of pay and conditions of employment”. But 47 years on we know that simple statement is still not the reality for hundreds of thousands of women. The question now is what are we actually going to do about it?