Meet Samira Ahmed – The woman who fought and won the BBC gender discrimination case

Engaging in a legal battle against a firm under which you ply your trade is not a regular occurrence but the records now have it though that Samira Ahmed, a 51-year-old British writer, journalist and broadcaster who works for News and Media powerhouse, the BBC has not just engaged in one, but also come out victorious in the case against the corporation.

Reports had been swirling around insinuating that the BBC have a payment structure built to favour male workers in the firm as against the female counterparts and obviously, Samira thought it was just enough. “Audience Feedback Show” is just one of the programs she happens to be a host of and also earns £440 from but she figured she should be earning more since her male colleague, Jeremy Vine earns a whopping £3,000 (for each episode) for hosting a show (Points of View) which seemingly is a similar one to what she handles.

The suit filed against BBC demanded that the company pays Samira an estimated amount of £700,000 which she significantly claimed she is being owed by the network; something that has been agreed to by a judge via an announcement that was made on Friday, the 10th. The detail of the judgment according to The Guardian is as follows:

“Her work on Newswatch was like Jeremy Vine’s work on Points of View under section 65(1) of the Equality Act 2010.” It added that the corporation “has not shown that the difference in pay was because of a material factor which did not involve subjecting the claimant [Ahmed] to sex discrimination.”

The BBC were, however, weren’t short of words for their defence as they claimed that the contrasting difference between the payment structures has nothing to do with discrimination whatsoever and further explained that their reason emanated from the fact that Vine pulls more crowd with his show and that he is also more recognized by, according to a poll, a massive seventy-one percent (71%) of viewers which beats Ahmed’s twenty-nine percent (29%). 

This case brings back rather bitter memories of another fall-out that BBC had in 2018 with Carrie Gracie, who before her resignation was a China Country editor for the organization and filed complaints about a similar case and because the company has had to disclose the details of salary payments to its employees since 2017, the affairs surrounding the earnings has somewhat been thrown public for transparency purpose.

A publication instead of this action showed a statistic of payment policy which included that among its (BBC) ninety-six (96) top earners, only a third were women while the top seven (7) contained just men. Theresa May, who was the Prime Minister at the time also had her say as she condemned the corporation for “paying women less for doing the same job as the men”, and as a follow-up to this, a fraction of the BBC’s top-dog female employees had to contact the Director-General, Tony Hall, calling for prompt action. Tony swiftly responded to this call by reiterating and confirming that the company has no reason to promote such structure and that they’re working efficiently to ensure that situations like this cease to arise. 

BBC would be eager though that issues like this stop materializing and bursting onto the scene because they pose a rather potent threat to the establishment’s reputation, public image, and what they stand for. Hence, they would now want to double their efforts in ensuring that they handle internal disputes more privately, thereby sorting them out before they erupt and make waves in public, whilst giving prying eyes what to feed on and their mouths what to talk about. 

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