A popular radio personality in Australia volunteered to take a pay cut to ensure he and his female co-host received equal wages. Dave Hughes, a well-known comedian and presenter of a national drive show, found out that he was receiving about 40 per cent more than his co-host Kate Langbroek after she raised it with him on-air.
“I had no idea what we get paid, now I feel terrible,” he responded.
She replied: “You don’t need to feel terrible. It wasn’t your fault that you were born with two oranges in a string bag.”
Langbroek reportedly discussed the issue in 2016 with the management of their broadcaster, KIIS FM, which agreed to pay her as much as her co-star.
However, Hughes had already locked in a pay increase for 2017. When he learnt of the disparity, he reportedly went to management and offered to have his salary reduced to ensure their pay was equal.
The pair plan to move to a new radio station next year and have ensured their pay will be equal.
“When we go to our new job, we get pay parity. And we’re on parity now,” Langbroek said.
Hughes responded: “And I couldn’t be happier, obviously. You deserve it.”
The incident follows the dramatic decision by a prominent morning television presenter, Lisa Wilkinson, to quit the show – reportedly due, in part, to her concern about receiving substantially less pay than her male co-presenter.
Langbroek said male stars will need to follow the lead of Hughes and “stand up” to combat pay disparities.
“If you’re going to have a working partnership with someone, if you really care about women not being paid the same, men have to stand up and make it happen,” she said.
Hughes added: “Sometimes that might mean men might get paid less than what they might have, to make sure what’s fair is fair.”