Friday 23 February 2018

'Women are moving up within RTÉ' - Keelin Shanley believes women are now getting the roles they deserve

New ‘Six One’ co-host Keelin Shanley. Photo: Tony Gavin
New ‘Six One’ co-host Keelin Shanley. Photo: Tony Gavin

Sean O'Grady

New 'Six One' host Keelin Shanley believes women are finally getting the roles they deserve in broadcasting.

This week it emerged that two-thirds of RTÉ employees making more than €90,000 a year are male.

A report found that while the gender pay gap in RTÉ is lower than the national average, the company would benefit from moving women into pay grades that have traditionally been occupied by men.

Shanley, who will co-host the news alongside Caitriona Perry from January, said the broadcaster has plenty of women and thinks changes to make the company more equal are "happening".

"The gender pay gap is out there.

"I saw someone tweeting the other day, 'women of Ireland, you're working for free until Christmas'. I think if you actually look at RTÉ at the moment, women are going up.

"A lot of the senior producers and more and more of the presenters are female," she said.

Shanley pointed to people like RTÉ's director general Dee Forbes and chairwoman of the board Moya Doherty as women in powerful positions at the station.

"I do think it's happening. Dee Forbes is at the helm of the organisation.

"We have other senior female managers in there. It's happening," she said.

Shanley believes it is significant that she and Perry are the two lead anchors of the 'Six One' as it sends out a positive message to younger generations.

"It's good because 'If you can't see it, you can't be it'," she said.

Meanwhile, Ryan Tubridy, who emerged as the station's highest paid broadcaster earlier this year with earnings of €495,000, said he flagged the issue of gender pay with Montrose earlier this year.

The 'Late Late Show' host added that he is happy to see it is actively doing something to narrow the pay gap.

"I think RTÉ is looking to fix the problem," he said.

"In fairness to it, I said it during the summer that I felt this was a situation that needed to be dealt with and to be fair to it got on it immediately.

"The report came out and it is going to act on it so in fairness to it, job done."

Irish Independent

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