BBC editor resigns position over gender pay gap

BBC editor resigns position over gender pay gap

BBC China Editor Carrie Gracie resigned her position last week, accusing the network of illegal pay discrimination in a letter posted to her personal website.

Gracie, who has been with the BBC for three decades, wrote that the BBC is “not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty and accountability” when it comes to pay for men and women in similar positions.

Gracie wrote that when she took the job as China editor four years ago, she demanded equal pay with other male international editors. After the BBC publicly disclosed salaries over the summer, Gracie discovered that the two male editors were making at least 50 percent more money than herself and the other female international editor.

“This is not the gender pay gap that the BBC admits to,” Gracie wrote. “It is not men earning more because they do more of the jobs which pay better. It is men earning more in the same jobs or jobs of equal value. It is pay discrimination and it is illegal.”

Gracie left her position as China editor, but will remain with the network, writing that she expects to be paid equally at her former post in the TV newsroom.

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Gracie wrote that managers at the network have not been receptive to complaints about pay discrimination, denied the existence of a problem and have even complained about having to make the salaries public.

“This bunker mentality is likely to end in a disastrous legal defeat for the BBC and an exodus of female talent at every level,” Gracie wrote. “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 called for the BBC to “admit the problem, apologize and set in place an equal, fair and transparent pay structure.”

“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.”

Gracie is not the first high-profile media figure to step down over pay discrimination. In December, E! News host Catt Sadler left the network after learning that she made just half of her male co-host’s salary.