Let this be a lesson to all employers.
If you want to hold on to great female talent, you need to pay them accordingly.
And you especially need to pay them as well as their male counterparts.
News broke last night that Lisa Wilkinson is leaving Nine’s Today show after salary negotiations broke down. She’s been in the job for ten years, and has co-anchored Today to see it become the most popular morning show in Australia.
According to Fairfax reports, Wilkinson had pushed to receive the same pay as her co-host Karl Stefanovic, but the pay negotiations broke down. Wilkinson was rumoured to be earning significantly less than her male co-host earlier this year.
Wilkinson tweeted a statement from Nine last night saying: “We have been unable to meet the expectations of Lisa Wilkinson and her manager on a contract renewal for a further period. We express our gratitude to Lisa for her 10 years with the Today show and are disappointed we find ourselves in this position.”
Wilkinson then expressed her gratitude to Nine and the team she worked with, including Stefanovic.
Stefanovic told viewers this morning on Today that the news “came as a bit of a shock yesterday”, while going through the morning papers — with many of them featuring Wilkinson. He promised to reveal more about his “friend” during the morning’s show.
Ten, soon to be owned by US corporation CBS, seems to have seen Wilkinson’s worth differently to her former employer. Fairfax reports a rumour that Wilkinson will be the highest paid woman on Australian TV when she starts in the job in January 2018. CBS believes Wilkinson has major ‘star power’, comparable to prominent US names like Diane Sawyer and Katie Courie.
Ten’s chief content officer, Beverley McGarvey, said: “Lisa Wilkinson is one of the most respected journalists and television presenters in Australia and we are thrilled that she has agreed to join Ten’s fantastic stable of on-air talent.
Wilkinson’s extraordinarily talent for connecting with people was spotted early, when she was appointed the youngest ever Dolly editor at at 21, during the 1980s, later going on to become editor in chief of CLEO. She started her television career in the 1990s as a panelist on Channel Ten’s, Beauty and the Beast, before later joining Seven’s morning program for a number of years and then later again, being snapped up to anchor Nine’s Today with Stefanovic.
We hope Wilkinson takes a very well-earned break in preparation for a massive year.