Articles From the Team

The BBC, Gender Pay Gaps and Recruitment

So, it would appear from the BBC’s reporting of how much it pays its top talent, that presenting TV and radio shows and are things which men do much better than women. Similarly, just having some indefinable “star quality” is something men have in spades, whilst women are a bit short of sparkle. The report revealed that seven of the Corporation’s ten highest earning stars are men and only a third of its 96 highest earning stars are women. As much I like Gary Lineker, I’m scratching my head in an attempt to understand why he is paid around ten times more than Clare Balding. Perhaps it’s his tweets.

On the same day as the BBC report was released, I was talking to a colleague here at BCL Legal about the challenges the recruitment industry faces in attracting talent. You see, recruitment has some image problems and I believe one of those image issues is gender related. Whether it be that image of recruitment being full of young men in ill – fitting suits, high fiving each other over Jaegerbombs, or that of members of the old boy network, clinking whisky glasses in a Mayfair gentlemen’s club, recruitment can be perceived as being a bit, well,” blokey “

Not necessarily so. Yes, I have worked with consultancies where the you’d almost be bowled over by the scent of testosterone as you walked in each morning. However, it is my experience that many, if not most, recruitment consultancies have an even gender split. Whether it was the first recruiter I worked for in retail recruitment in London, the global multi sector recruiter I worked for in Leeds or here at BCL Legal in Manchester, women and men are equally able and as equally represented in recruitment. And what’s more, in recruitment women can and do earn as much, if not more, than their male counterparts. As I look around me now, I am the only man on a bank of ten desks (I know, it is a hard job, but someone does have to do it). Furthermore, this bank includes three other Directors of the business – all of whom are women.

So here’s my point: recruitment is an industry where the gender pay gap is smaller than it is in most other walks of life. It is an industry in which women thrive and prosper.

Personally, I don’t think it’s as simple as saying there are female traits or male traits which make one or other gender better or worse at recruiting; rather I think there are traits one needs to succeed in recruitment and those traits can be found in both men and women in equal measure.

I’m always interested to talk to people from either the Law or sales - led commercial backgrounds who would like a career in recruitment (I’m also interested in talking to people currently in recruitment). However, as stated, in some quarters there may be the perception that the average recruitment consultancy office makes the Wolf of Wall Street look like a Tuesday afternoon tea party round at Mary Berry’s house. Well, that’s not often the case and it’s certainly not the case here at BCL Legal, so if you’d like to have a chat about us, about recruitment and about equal opportunities, please give me a call or drop me a line – it simply isn’t like the rough, tough men only world of media!

Rob Barklamb, Director of Talent, BCL Legal 0161 0161 819 7479,

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