BBC's China Editor, Carrie Gracie, Quits Over Pay Inequality
The former BBC China Editor, Carrie Gracie, has explained why she's chosen to quit over pay inequality.
As one of the company's most senior journalists, Gracie claims that she's chosen to make this stand as the BBC has a 'secretive and illegal' pay culture.
In an open letter, she outlines that she's worked for the BBC for over 30 years, but there is now a 'crisis of trust' and that it is 'not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty and accountability'.
She now plans to return to her old post at BBC, becoming a co-presenter of the Today programme on Radio 4, where she 'expects to be paid equally'.
In her letter, first published by Buzzfeed, she says: "In the past four years, the BBC has had four international editors - two men and two women. The Equality Act 2010 states that men and women doing equal work must receive equal pay. But last July I learned that in the previous financial year, the two men earned at least 50% more than the two women."
She continues: "Despite the BBC's public insistence that my appointment demonstrated its commitment to gender equality, and despite my own insistence that equality was a condition of taking up the post, my managers had yet again judged that women's work was worth much less than men's. My bewilderment turned to dismay when I heard the BBC complain of being forced to make these pay disclosures. Without them, I and many other BBC women would never have learned the truth.
"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. It said there were differences between roles which justified the pay gap, but it has refused to explain these differences. Since turning down an unequal pay rise, I have been subjected to a dismayingly incompetent and undermining grievance process which still has no outcome."
Other prominent female BBC employees have been sharing the letter on Twitter.
Sophie Walker, leader of the Women's Equality party, told The Guardian: "The BBC cynically manipulated its equal pay audit in an attempt to hide its discrimination against women such as Carrie. Carrie has shone a light on the BBC's treatment of women and highlighted the urgent need for pay legislation that calls dishonest work practices to account.
"Equality legislation has consistently failed to stamp out discrimination. It must now be redesigned so businesses cannot hide discriminatory practices."
The BBC responded: ""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."
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