BBC China editor Carrie Gracie quits in gender pay row

Carrie Gracie

The BBC’s China editor Carrie Gracie has resigned from her post, citing pay inequality with male colleagues.

In an open letter, 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” over a gender pay gap, after it was revealed two-thirds of its stars earning more than £150,000 were male.

The BBC said there was “no systemic discrimination against women”.

Ms Gracie said she left her role as editor of the corporation’s Beijing bureau last week, but would remain with the BBC.

She said she would return to her former post in the TV newsroom “where I expect to be paid equally”.

In the open letter, Ms Gracie 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.”

She said she had called for the corporation’s international editors to be paid equally, after pay levels were revealed last year.

“I told my bosses the only acceptable resolution would be for all the international editors to be paid the same amount.

“The right amount would be for them to decide, and I made clear I wasn’t seeking a pay rise, just equal pay.

“Instead the BBC offered me a big pay rise which remained far short of equality.”

‘Fairness is vital’

She added: “I believe I am very well paid already – especially as someone working for a publicly funded organisation.

“I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally.”

A BBC spokeswoman said “fairness in pay 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.”

BBC China editor Carrie Gracie quits in gender pay row

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