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BBC’s Carrie Gracie says resignation reaction shows equal pay ‘hunger’

Carrie Gracie says the reaction to her resignation as the BBC's China editor shows there is a “..

By admin , in UK , at January 8, 2018

Carrie Gracie says the reaction to her resignation as the BBC's China editor shows there is a "depth of hunger" for an "equal and transparent pay system".

The journalist, speaking as she co-presented the Today programme with John Humphrys, has quit her post citing pay inequality with male colleagues.

She said the support she received from colleagues, MPs and the public had been "very moving".

The BBC has said there is "no systemic discrimination against women".

Lyse Doucet, Clare Balding, Emily Maitlis and Sarah Montague were among the BBC broadcasters to voice their support for Ms Gracie; while Channel 4's Cathy Newman, Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Jess Phillips and Conservative Nadine Dorries have also reacted positively to the move.

In an open letter issued on Sunday, Ms Gracie – who has been at the BBC for more than 30 years – accused the corporation of having a "secretive and illegal pay culture".

She said the BBC was facing a "crisis of trust", after it was revealed two-thirds of its stars earning more than £150,000 were male.

Ms Gracie said she left her role as editor of the corporation's Beijing bureau last week, but would return to her former post in the TV newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally".

In the letter, posted on her blog, Ms Gracie – a China specialist who is fluent in Mandarin – said "the BBC belongs to you, the licence fee payer.

"I believe you have a right to know that it is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure."

In July last year, the BBC was forced to reveal the salaries of all employees earning more than £150,000 a year.

Ms Gracie said she was dismayed to discover the BBC's two male international editors earned "at least 50% more" than its two female counterparts.

US editor Jon Sopel earned £200,000-£249,999, it was revealed, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned £150,000-£199,999.

Ms Gracie was not on the list, meaning her salary was less than £150,000.

A letter calling for equal pay – published in the Telegraph – was later signed by both Ms Gracie and BBC Europe editor, Katya Adler.

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In a statement, a BBC spokeswoman said "fairness in pay" at the corporation "is vital".

"A significant number of organisations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better than many and are well below the national average.

"Alongside that, we have already conducted a independent judge-led audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed 'no systemic discrimination against women'.

"A separate report for on air staff will be published in the not too distant future."

Original Article

BBC

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