BBC editor quits China post over pay discrimination

10 January, 2018, 02:15 | Author: Luis Fowler
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In an open letter, BBC China's editor Carrie Gracie, accused the corporation of a "secretive and illegal pay culture".

China editor Carrie Gracie said she resigned because she could not "collude" in a policy of "unlawful pay discrimination" that took advantage of women. It sucks that you're getting paid less than men. By April, companies with over 250 employees will have to publish any differences in gender pay (men and women who do the same job but are paid differently) or face an interview with the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.

They offered her a "big pay raise" that was still short of equality, according to Gracie's letter that she posted on her website.

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

Last July, the BBC was forced to publish the pay levels of its top earners revealing that two-thirds of those in the top bracket were men.

Gracie, as the BBC ought to realise but doesn't, is doing them the service of treating them with just the kind of integrity and forensic reporting skills that she brings to her journalism.

"In the past four years, the BBC has had four global editors - two men and two women".

Gracie claims many women have sought pay equality "through internal negotiation but managers still deny there is a problem".

In the pay disclosure previous year, 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.

Gracie was recruited to the job - and recruited is the word: they sought her out, because she had all the talent and skills the BBC needed to cover the huge, hard worldwide and domestic story of the rise of China.

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After 30-year veteran Gracie revealed in an open letter on her website that she did not trust BBC management to deal with gender inequality, after a proposed pay increase left her still well behind the company's male global editors, she received support on social media from many of her colleagues, including Today presenter Mishal Husain and Newsnight host Evan Davis, with many using the hashtag #istandwithcarrie. "I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally", Gracie wrote. In the case of the USA men's and women's national soccer teams, more consumers are paying to support the men's team than the women's team, even though the women are more successful. Having a gender pay gap (which most organisations will have) is not.

This past year has shown how unfair women have been treated in the workplace.

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.

Calling the current BBC pay system "neither equal, nor fair nor transparent", Ms Gracie said "salaries at top are unacceptably high - for presenters, stars of various kinds and managers".

"It is a century since women first won the right to vote in Britain".

The BBC has given itself until 2020 to close the gender pay gap. "Let us honour that fearless generation by making this the year we win equal pay".

Carrie Gracie has resigned as the broadcaster's China editor. It was not a gender pay row, it was an equal pay row, which is a very different thing. Management have reportedly advised staff in the meeting to enforce the BBC's impartiality existing guidelines in relation to the story.

The Twitterverse was quick to point out the irony of the situation.

The BBC insists that "fairness in pay" was "vital" to the corporation.

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