BBC China editor quits role after gender pay gap battle

Sean Reid
January 10, 2018

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

Carrie Gracie, a veteran reporter who served as BBC News' China editor, caused a storm after accusing the news agency of gender pay gaps.

But Ms. Gracie and Katya Adler, the Europe editor, did not make the £150,000 threshold to have their salaries made public.

In her letter Gracie said she had learned last year that of the four global editors in the past four years at the BBC, two males had earned more than their female counterparts.

Yesterday BBC news director Fran Unsworth warned staff impartiality rules meant they could not report on the issue if they tweeted in support of Miss Gracie.

After learning the truth via the publication of the salaries, Gracie said she told her bosses the "only acceptable resolution would be for all the worldwide editors to be paid the same amount".

The BBC has come under fire recently for paying male employees more and has pledged to close the gender gap by 2020. So although in higher-paid medical and senior roles there is a more even split of men and women (something the NHS should be rightly proud of), the overall average pay for women is significantly less.


In the pay disclosure a year ago, North America editor Jon Sopel was listed as having a salary of between £200,000 and £249,999, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned between £150,000 and £199,999.

In response, Gracie demanded that all four worldwide editors receive equal pay however, she felt that the pay raise that the BBC offered her still fell short of her male counterparts' salaries.

The BBC's China editor Carrie Gracie has resigned from her post, citing an apparent pay gap with male colleagues.

Carrie Gracie spoke out following her resignation from the BBC.

Aside from the fact that all of this is ridiculous on BBC's part, it's also illegal according to the United Kingdom's Equality Act 2010, which states that "men and women doing equal work must receive equal pay".

Gracie continues by explaining the nature of her specialist role as the BBC's China Editor, including working away from her teenage children and in a "heavily censored one-party state I would face surveillance, police harassment and official intimidation".

The BBC's audited gender pay gap stands at 9.3 percent compared with the United Kingdom national average, 18.1 percent.


Why were you willing to offer a pay raise to Gracie, yet still refuse to give her equal pay? Having a gender pay gap (which most organisations will have) is not.

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

Today programme host John Humphrys has admitted he took a pay cut shortly after the BBC rich list revealed he made up to £650,000 a year.

"I think the scale of feeling, not just among BBC women but also just more widely across the country and also internationally, the support that I've had in the last few hours over this, I think it does speak to the depth of hunger for an equal, fair and transparent pay system".

It said a new requirement for thousands of firms to report on gender pay gaps would "do more to end discrimination" in the workplace. "Let us honour that courageous generation by making this the year we win equal pay".

"Many have since sought pay equality through internal negotiation but managers still deny there is a problem".

Could Carrie Gracie take BBC to tribunal?


"The BBC must admit the problem, apologize and set in place an equal, fair and transparent pay structure", Gracie wrote.

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