Tubridy on RTÉ’s gender pay gap: ‘Whatever is broken, needs to be fixed’

The broadcaster is the station’s most highly-paid presenter earning €495k in 2015

New Season photo session at Donnybrook from left Mairead Ronan, Ryan Tubridy, Amy Huberman, Daniel O Donnell, Ray D’Arcy, Jennifer Zamparelli. and Lorraine Barry at the launch of RTÉ’s new season programming .Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

New Season photo session at Donnybrook from left Mairead Ronan, Ryan Tubridy, Amy Huberman, Daniel O Donnell, Ray D’Arcy, Jennifer Zamparelli. and Lorraine Barry at the launch of RTÉ’s new season programming .Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

 

RTÉ must address its gender pay gap, according to its best-paid presenter, Ryan Tubridy.

Tubridy, who according to recently released figures was paid €495,000 in 2015, was speaking at the launch of RTÉ’s new television season on Thursday.

In July, RTÉ announced it would conduct a review of “role and gender equality” across the organisation following controversy over the pay differential between men and women it employs.

Tubridy said the report arising from that review had to be put into action.

“In every field of life, whether it’s the workplace, home, finance, that gap has to be closed,” he said. “Whatever is broken, needs to be fixed. There’s no question for me and it’s very obvious, there shouldn’t be a disparity.”

“I’ve got two daughters, two sisters and a mother that I love. My feeling would be that on anything to do with gender and disparity and any gap, in that regard, needs to be closed. It’s as simple as that.”

Asked about his own pay, he said the question was asked periodically and “people are entitled to know”. But he said the issue is a question for management. “The reason I say that is that they are the ones who decide what somebody is worth and not worth, not me. It’s up to them to decide.”

RTÉ announced a range of new factual series, dramas, comedies and documentaries at the Montrose event.

The broadcaster is under financial pressure having posted a significant financial loss in 2016.

Earlier in the summer, Minister for Communications Denis Naughten rejected a call from RTÉ director-general Dee Forbes for an increase in the licence fee from €160 to €175 in line with inflation.

Asked whether this imposed constraints on programme-making resources for the new season, controller of RTÉ One and RTÉ2 Adrian Lynch acknowledged that they had some impact.

“It is tight,” he said. “But the job of the organisation is to get every cent we can into content and we’re absolutely focused on that.