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Teaching activity

Should we surprised by the gender pay gap?

Sarah Best

31st August 2017

In mid-July the BBC released the salaries of their top-paid stars. Chris Evans is reported as being the best paid star, receiving over £2m in 2016-2017, compared to the highest paid female star receiving considerably less (Claudia Winkleman $450,000-£500,000). Some politicians have described this difference as discrimination and argued that women are being paid less for doing the same job as men.

The Guardian: BBC facing backlash from female stars after gender pay gap revealed

This article could form part of an introductory session to Sociology, where students discuss the reasons why women are paid less than men for similar work. Discussion questions could include: 

  • Do the women ‘deserve’ to be paid less for the same work as men?
  • Is there any justification for this divide? 
  • Should all companies publish their salaries?
  • How does this pay divide link to other areas of views of gender in wider society?

Sarah Best

Sarah is a passionate full-time Head of Sociology and Psychology and has worked in a variety in schools in the UK, and she is currently working in a British international school. She is keen to develop and boost the profile of both subjects.

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