Saturday 16 December 2017

Former RTÉ news anchor Doyle backs female broadcasters over pay gap row

Anne Doyle. Picture: Mark Condren
Anne Doyle. Picture: Mark Condren
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Former news anchor Anne Doyle has commended female presenters at RTÉ for speaking out about the station's gender pay gap.

The issue of pay has become a contentious one after it emerged broadcaster Sharon Ní Bheoláin earns up to €80,000 less than her co-anchor Bryan Dobson.

Anne Doyle joined RTÉ as a newsreader in 1978 and worked with the national broadcaster for 33 years.

She said anyone who feels they are being "short changed" should air their grievances.

"Like any right-minded person, I believe in equal pay for equal work," she said.

"I think if anyone is being short changed then they are quite right to make their views very plain. I think fair play.

"People have a point to make and now is the time to make it."

Speaking about her own broadcasting career, Doyle said she didn't believe she was paid less than her male contemporaries. She never felt she had been "short changed".

"My dim memory of my career is that I had a pretty damn good idea what people were being paid. I personally didn't ever feel short changed."

She added: "To the best of my knowledge, I never had the experience of sitting beside a person who was doing the same job and getting paid more.

"Had that been the case I would have been very cross indeed."

She acknowledged her male co-workers may have earned more than her but believes this would have been because "they would have been in a somewhat different role".

Doyle also stressed that she never had "any personal grievance [when I was at RTÉ]".

"I was well paid for the job I did, and I did it to the best of my ability," she said.

Doyle's comments come amid reports that morale at the national broadcaster is low as a result of the 200 impending voluntary redundancies and reports of disparity in pay between male and female employees.

Last week, RTÉ categorically denied there was disquiet in the station.

Several female presenters, including Martina Fitzgerald and Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh, have spoken about the need for the pay disparity to be addressed.

"Fair is a simple four-letter word that we have forgotten to use; fair is not charity or a kind gesture, or a token - it's a human right to expect all genders to be treated equally," Ní Chofaigh said.

Irish Independent

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