In the letter, they asked Mr. Hall to meet with them, writing: “You have said that you will ‘sort’ the gender pay gap by 2020, but the BBC has known about the pay disparity for years. We all want to go on the record to call upon you to act now.”
They wrote that the report confirmed a long-held suspicion that “women at the BBC are being paid less than men for the same work.”
The BBC on Wednesday revealed for the first time the salaries of stars earning more than £150,000. The figures, published in the corporation’s annual report, showed that two-thirds of the people who fell into that category were male and white.
The Radio 2 D.J. Chris Evans was the top-paid star, earning more than 2.2 million pounds, or $2.9 million, the report showed.
Mr. Hall has promised to work to reduce the disparity, which has historical roots in what was a male-dominated corporation. Some prominent male journalists, like John Humphrys, have said that they had already had their salaries cut to loosen up more funds. But the women’s letter demanded that Mr. Hall accelerate the reduction.
The highest salaries are made by those who are entertainers or sports anchors, which the BBC said resulted from a competitive marketplace for star talent. Some of the highest paid, both male and female, make even more money than revealed because they are paid by the production companies that make some of the programs purchased by the BBC.
The corporation has been sharply criticized in the past for lavish spending on its top management, and has moved to cut the numbers of top editors and their salaries.
For some, the argument had elements of an elite debate among some of the highest-paid people in the country.
Michael White, who was a Guardian journalist, editor and columnist, said on Twitter that “lazy columnists” were milking a pay dispute “in which highly paid women complain men are paid even more.”
But when the figures came out, Prime Minister Theresa May called on the BBC to pay men and women equally. “We’ve seen the way the BBC is paying women less for doing the same job,” she told LBC radio. “What’s important is that the BBC looks at the question of paying men and women the same for doing the same job.”
The Labour Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, called the gender pay gap “appalling,” according to The Sunday Times of London.
A representative for the broadcaster said that progress had been made but that more “needs to be done,” the BBC said.
While some officials are calling for the release of more details, such as for those who make below £150,000, the plan for next year’s list is not to include the salaries of 34 actors, comedians, factual and entertainment presenters who work for Studios, the BBC’s production arm, or the wages of multigenre employees. That includes Mr. Humphrys’s earnings for the TV show “Mastermind,” according to reports.