Kate Langbroek has caused a stir during an appearance on The Project, revealing the truth about why she and Hughesy went their separate ways, with a hefty pay gap hanging between them.

The 57-year-old TV presenter was there to discuss gender pay gaps with her fellow panellists when she decided the time had come to share her own experience, admitting that she had earned a staggering 40% less than her co-host David Hughes on their shared radio show.

“It’s unusual because in showbiz it’s not a standard situation, but Hughesy and I did a radio show together for 18 years,” she began, referencing their 2001-2019 Hughesy & Kate show.

“[We] had never, ever discussed what we got paid,” she explained. “And then the second last job we did together, it turned out he was getting paid 40% more than I was.”

Kate went on to note that in show business, if someone has a higher profile they’re likely to be getting more, but that crucially “this was the Hughesy & Kate show that we had made together.

“Like, it didn’t exist without Hughesy and Kate.”

She spoke next of how the discovery had changed their relationship, and how she had then left him.

“So then the show ended?” co-panellist Waleed Aly sought to confirm.

“It’s a really hard thing to do,” Kate said, “who’s going to talk about money?

“It’s just not the Australian way. And yet it’s true that women – because we are the ‘breeders’ … we do that, and we take time out of our [careers].”

Sarah Harris, another of the show’s panellists, spoke up then to expand on that, explaining how “often we are drawn to part-time and casual work because we want to make it work with our families.”

She then shared how she’d been doing her taxes the previous night, and how the “deductions for what helped you with your job” brought her thoughts to childcare, and how she “would have loved to [have] put childcare down” but couldn’t, as “you can’t claim it on tax”.

“Until we get those sorts of things worked out,” she said, “I don’t think we’re going to get that close in pay.”

Kate took over again from there, sharing how she believed it was about “much more than just equal pay”, and how she “thought it was illegal to pay someone differently depending on whether they’re male or female. It’s just so nuanced.”

“I think what people don’t understand with the gender pay gap,” Waleed contributed, “is [that] they think it’s people being paid unequally for the same work. And that is part of it, but it’s actually a relatively small part of it, a lot of it has to do with career progression for women being halted because they have babies, things like that.”

Kate, agreeing, chimed in again with a final note to say that “because we’re lovers and nurturers … we’re like, kind of punished for that, at the other end of our working lives as well.”

Images: The Project / Ten 

This article first appeared on Over60.