Carrie Gracie row: Equality watchdog EHRC to write to BBC

Lucy Hill
January 10, 2018

Gracie revealed Monday that her annual salary was $180,000.

Senior sources said bosses were hopeful they could persuade Miss Gracie, who lived 5,000 miles from her teenage children while in Beijing, to remain China editor.

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 believe I am very well paid already - especially as someone working for a publicly funded organisation.

"I didn't want more money, I wanted equality and this was not equality".

On pay, the BBC is not living up to its stated values of trust, honesty and accountability.

A BBC editor has resigned from her post, citing pay inequality with male colleagues, a media report said on Monday. As he is on a permanent staff contract, the BBC needs his permission to cut his pay.

Look at sports. Women are constantly paid less than men, even if they are playing the same sport for the same amount of time.

Veteran presenter Sandi Toksvig tweeted, "Equal Pay for Equal Work?"

"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. 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 am a China specialist, fluent in Mandarin and with almost three decades of reporting the story.

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She was forced into taking a public stand, shaming her employer, and demoting herself back into the BBC newsroom. Refusing a £45,000 rise because it left a "a big gap between myself and my male peers".

Now, though I don't wholeheartedly agree with these arguments, I do believe they are valid and are worth thinking about when discussing the gender pay gap.

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

An insider said: 'This whole thing about equal pay for equal jobs is really hard because we don't work in a toothpaste factory'.

Last July, the BBC was forced to reveal the salaries of all employees who earnied more than 150,000 pounds a year. In some cases, like the US women's soccer team, the women's teams are more successful than the men, but they still are paid less.

I know many people may see this as a pedantic HR point, but it's not.

I told my bosses the only acceptable resolution would be for all the worldwide editors to be paid the same amount. "I was interested in equality and I kept saying to my managers that I didn't need more money, I just needed to be made equal and that can be done in a variety of ways".

Why were you willing to offer a pay raise to Gracie, yet still refuse to give her equal pay?

"It said there were differences between roles which justified the pay gap, but it has refused to explain these differences", Gracie said. Since turning down an unequal pay rise, I have been subjected to a dismayingly incompetent and undermining grievance process which still has no outcome. I can not do it justice while battling my bosses and a byzantine complaints process. Gracie famously revealed her salary on air during the MPs' expenses scandal: a measly £92,000 a year when compared to Humphry's swelling coffers.

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

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