Channel Ten’s new recruit, Lisa Wilkinson, has spoken about her defection to the network and the media interest it generated around salaries for women in media.
Speaking at the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Of Commerce Christmas lunch yesterday, Wilkinson also revealed that she was aware of the claims made against now disgraced Nine personality, Don Burke, and the “boy’s club” that protected him.
When asked about her salary – said to be half of that of former Today co-host, Karl Stefanovic – Wilkinson said: “Maybe my biggest crime is knowing my value.” Her comments reported on News Corp websites.
“When you’re a woman, sometimes people don’t like it if you know your value,” she said. “I’m living breathing proof that knowing your value will take you places you didn’t think you’d get to.”
Wilkinson added that she was “happy” that her move to Ten had put women’s salaries back on the agenda.
On Don Burke, she added: “It has been an open secret. The stuff on Don Burke I’ve been hearing it for 25 years.
“That was really well known, but it takes bravery to come forward knowing there could be ramifications,” she said.
Wilkinson added that, “The insidious and omnipresent boys’ club (in the TV networks) you can take it from me that boys’ club well and truly exists, but it has to stop.” She added, “Women around the world are rising up. We want change.
“When you come into a culture that’s well established, everybody has this unspoken set of rules, such as this behaviour is acceptable, and there’s not a lot that isn’t, as long as it’s kept under wraps.
“If anybody tries to step outside and tell others about it, you won’t be allowed back in.
“TV stations, media organisations and the film industry are very guilty of that, because there’s a lot of people want to make it,” Wilkinson said.