‘We still have work to do’: ARN addresses gender pay gap after Jackie O’s KIIS walkout

ARN has responded to a walk-out staged by Jackie ‘O’ Henderson yesterday, after it was revealed that KIIS FM had the worst gender pay gap in the radio industry.

On Tuesday during their daily show, Kyle Sandilands confirmed the news, saying: “Southern Cross Austereo has a disgraceful 5.9% pay gap. At Nova and Smooth FM it is even worse, 6%. But, unfortunately, the number one spot is at KIIS FM – at the top of the tree with a 12% pay gap disparity.”

Sandilands then brought on one of the show’s producers (labelled ‘Intern’ Pete Deppeler on the show, due to his initial role on the programme) and another female KIIS staffer, who revealed that Deppeler was paid double what his female colleague took home.

“Are you freaking joking?” Jackie O asked. “Why is Peter getting that much money? I’m so angry about that, it makes my blood boil.”

Jackie O then staged a live walk off with other female workers. “We have all gone”, she declared.

In a statement given to Mumbrella this morning, ARN chief people officer, Angela Ewers, conceded that the network has some work to do.

“ARN is active in creating an inclusive workplace, as recognised in the Diversity Council of Australia’s 2023 Inclusive Employer Index,” the statement reads.

“Over the past three years, ARN has made progress in reducing gender pay disparities by implementing a robust, companywide remuneration framework that ensures individuals doing the same role are paid equally.

“Like many companies, our gender pay gap is primarily driven by structural factors and we acknowledge we still have work to do to improve the gender balance within senior leadership, executive and board positions.”

It comes after the Workplace Gender Equality Agency published the gender pay gap for more than 5,000 Australian companies for the first time in history this week. The base salary pay gap between the sexes was 14.5%, while the total pay gap was 19%, once super, bonuses, and all those extras were included.

Meanwhile, Kyle and Jackie are slated to debut on Melbourne radio next month. Although no date has been set, ARN chief Ciaran Davis told Mumbrella last week that the show will launch in the Victorian city “sooner rather than later”.

“We have started the pre-marketing down there,” Davis revealed. “We have started the on-air promos, we have introduced them, in terms of some of the content that they do.”


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