...but actresses still earn 15% less than male stars

Female performers rarely realise that they are being paid less than their male counterparts, it was claimed yesterday, because actors and, particularly, their agents are reluctant to reveal their earnings.

Charlotte Cornwell, who starred in Dressing For Breakfast and Rock Follies, said: "Actors have been far too shy about talking about what they earn. Men in particular should come clean."

She was speaking at the launch of a survey which has found that female actors were still paid an average 15 per cent less than their male counterparts a year, despite working 20 per cent more days.

Women earn an average daily fee of pounds 352 in films, pounds 15 less than men; pounds 302 in television, pounds 30 less than men; and pounds 122 in radio, pounds 22 less than men, according to the survey of 373 "middle-range" performers.

The only areas where women were paid more, or about the same, were in theatre and advertising. Women and men both earned pounds 82 a day in the West End of London, while at pounds 48 a day women earned only pounds 4 less than men in repertory. In fringe theatre women earned pounds 42 a day, pounds 9 more than men, while in commercials they earned pounds 1,089 a day on average, pounds 145 more than their male counterparts.

Ms Cornwell, 46, said one way to right the imbalance was for actors to tell each other what they were earning. But when she revealed details of her pay in various productions in the Independent last March, she had had angry calls from agents.

"Agents will never talk about it, but male actors in particular have a duty to talk about what they are being paid - although they are criminally shy about doing so," she said.

The Equity-supported report by Dr Helen Thomas, a senior sociology lecturer at Goldsmiths University, also revealed that women were paid less than men for equivalent parts in all performing media. For a lead role women earned an average pounds 166 a day, pounds 84 less than men. For a "large" support role they earned pounds 178 a day, pounds 37 less than men. But in small support roles they earned pounds 352 a day, pounds 16 more than men.

Part of the reason why the women earn less is that there are fewer lead roles for them and they have to compete with a pool of talent at least as large as the male one. Ms Cornwell said that it was not enough for employers to point to the women's lead parts which had emerged in recent years - such as female prison governors, psychopaths and football managers.

"We want to start encouraging employers to promote work which sees the world through women's eyes. It's a very different point of view and equally valid," she said. Even Hollywood stars such as Susan Sarandon and Jodie Foster suffered from ingrained sexism when it came to pay, she added.

"If you look at leading actresses in Hollywood they have all been paid less ad infinitum than their male counterparts and they've also complained about the roles they've been given."

The Men Behaving Badly actors Caroline Quentin and Lesley Ash recently gained equal pay to the male stars Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey by threatening to walk out on the successful television series.

8 Unequal Pay For Equal Parts; Goldsmiths University, pounds 7.50.

Sport
FootballGerman sparks three goals in four minutes at favourite No 10 role
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
New Articles
i100... she's just started school
News
news
New Articles
i100
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
football
New Articles
i100... despite rising prices
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Qualified Primary Teaching Assistant

£64 - £73 per day + Competitive rates based on experience : Randstad Education...

Primary KS2 NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Primary NQTs required in Lambeth

£117 - £157 per day + Competitive London rates: Randstad Education Group: * Pr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam