BBC's China editor resigns over gender pay gap dispute

Carrie Gracie has accused the BBC of

Carrie Gracie has accused the BBC of"breaking equality law in how it pays female staff

The BBC did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday night but in a statement to BBC News, a spokeswoman, citing a salary audit, said there was "no systemic discrimination against women" and that "a significant number of organizations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better".

My name is Carrie Gracie and I have been a BBC journalist for three decades.

A high-profile BBC editor has resigned, accusing her employer of presiding over a "secretive and illegal pay culture".

Last July, the BBC was forced to reveal the salaries of all employees who earnied more than 150,000 pounds a year.

Gracie, who has worked for the BBC for 30 years, made clear her protest was in support of the "brilliant young women" she works with.

BBC Director General Tony Hall has come under fire for not closing the gender pay gap quickly enough
SUPPLIED BBC Director General Tony Hall has come under fire for not closing the gender pay gap quickly enough

USA editor, Jon Sopel, earned AU$345,663 - $432,077 (£200,000-£249,999), while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned AU$259,231-345,551 (£150,000-£199,999).

Gracie was not on the list. She said: "My pay is £135,000". New regulations in the United Kingdom have made pay differences between men and women in larger companies such as the BBC more transparent in recent months, leading to a revolt by females in top jobs both here and overseas in the US. "I didn't feel it was a solution".

Gracie points out that this isn't just about the salary she missed out on earning in the last few years.

She wrote: "This is a letter to everyone who loves and values the BBC from one of its finest journalists". The BBC offered to raise that to £180,000; however, I was not interested in more money. I believe I am very well paid already - especially as someone working for a publicly funded organisation.

Ms Gracie told Woman's Hour: "I didn't want more money".

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Gracie, who was interviewed by freelance journalist Jane Martinson due to broadcasting impartiality rules preventing show host Jane Garvey from doing so, said she became frustrated by the pay rise offer made last October.

I knew the job would demand sacrifices and resilience.

She said she was leaving her role in Beijing after learning she earned less than male global editors, despite stressing when she accepted the position "that I must be paid equally with my male peers".

It called for urgent changes to the BBC's culture, which she said routinely led women to be paid less than their male colleagues. Believing that I had secured pay parity with men in equivalent roles, I set off for Beijing.

"For BBC women this is not just a matter of one year's salary or two".

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The gender pay gap is the difference between the average earnings of all women in an organisation compared to the average earnings of all the men.

It's a timely reminder that even when powerful men at the heads of companies are keeping their hands to themselves, they are probably still harming the careers of women in their company by not giving them the same opportunities as men, and not paying them enough.

In an awkward twist, Gracie was scheduled Monday to present the BBC's flagship morning radio news show with a male co-presenter whose $812,000-$880,000 annual income is nearly five times hers and three times higher than the best-paid woman performing the same role.

Female presenters were furious they had not been singled out for pay increases, while others claimed to have been promised bosses would "sort things out" - only to be told their salaries would stay the same.

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