Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

BBC gender pay row out in the open after Carrie Gracie's resignation

BBC gender pay row out in the open after Carrie Gracie's resignation

BBC media editor Amol Rajan said the resignation was a "big, big headache" for the organisation.

She said the BBC is resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure and alleged that there is a crisis of trust at the BBC. It was found that on an average, men are being paid 9.3% more than women at the BBC.

"It is hugely regrettable that an outstanding and award-winning journalist like Carrie Gracie feels she has no option but to resign from her post as China editor because the BBC has not valued her equally with her male counterparts", they said in a statement published by the BBC's Lyse Doucet, chief global correspondent.

The Guardian reported in October that City law firm Mishcon de Rey was working with women at the BBC, with other law firms also thought to be advising staff. "Mine is just one story of inequality among many, but I hope it will help you understand why I feel obliged to speak out".

She wrote: "It has offered some women pay "revisions" which do not guarantee equality, while locking down other women in a protracted complaints process".

A spokesperson for the public body said: "We are aware of claims by Carrie Gracie of unlawful pay discrimination at the BBC".

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The letter says: "My name is Carrie Gracie and I have been a BBC journalist for three decades".

The China specialist, who is fluent in Mandarin, left her role as editor of the Beijing bureau last week, but will remain with the BBC, returning to her former post in the TV newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally".

Gracie wrote that when she took the job as China editor four years ago, she demanded equal pay with other male global editors. Her proposed new salary of £180,000 is still far less than the £200,000 to £249,999 paid to Jon Sopel, the BBC's North America editor.

"To avoid wasting your license fee on an unwinnable court fight against female staff", she added, "the BBC should immediately agree to independent arbitration to settle individual cases".

United Kingdom correspondent Rod Liddle told Tim Dower the BBC's dug a deeper banning their employees from talking about the issue on air, if they've already publicly supported Ms Gracie.

Gracie, who took on the newly created job of China editor four years ago, said women at the BBC were running out of "patience and good will" in the face of what she called a "divide and rule" approach and a continuing refusal by the corporation to admit to discriminatory policies.

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