Hypocrisy of BBC as China Editor Carrie Gracie exposes pay double standards

Jeff Overs via Getty Images                   Carrie Gracie with BBC News colleague Simon Mc Coy in 2008

Jeff Overs via Getty Images Carrie Gracie with BBC News colleague Simon Mc Coy in 2008

Gracie, who has been with the BBC for 30 years and described leading its China coverage since 2004 as "the greatest privilege of my career", stated her concerns in a letter addressed to the BBC Audience.

"I believe you have a right to know that it is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure", she continued.

The now-former China Editor Carrie Gracie explained her reasoning behind leaving the editing position in an open letter posted on her website, explaining that her departure was not due to a personal pay check but had to do with the women who aren't being fairly compensated at the state sponsored company.

Using the hashtag #IStandWithCarrie, many took to Twitter to show their support for the journalist.

United Kingdom correspondent Rod Liddle told Tim Dower the BBC's dug a deeper hole.by banning their employees from talking about the issue on air, if they've already publicly supported Ms Gracie.

The news that women in the BBC are going through formal internal grievance procedures is significant because it is widely regarded as an essential precursor to employees launching legal proceedings.

Gracie said she learned that two of the BBC's four worldwide editors - both men - made at least 50 percent more than their two female counterparts.

"And the other thing I'd like to say is that what is lovely for me is that people are mentioning my China work, because I would not wish to be remembered forever as the woman who complained about money".

It was revealed that the highest-paid man at the BBC was Radio 2 presenter Chris Evans on more than £2million a year, while the best-paid woman, Strictly's Claudia Winkleman, got between £450,000 and £499,999.

Gracie accused the BBC of a "divide-and-rule botch solution" by offering pay rises that do not guarantee equality and "locking down women in protracted complaints process". It is men earning more in the same jobs or jobs of equal value. Gracie was not on the list, meaning her salary was less than £150,000. It is not men earning more because they do more of the jobs which pay better.

Gracie's suggestion that the BBC sets up an independent arbitration to settle individual cases is fascinating but also sensible.

The list published previous year showed that two-thirds of the BBC's highest earners were men, with the highest-paid woman earning less than a quarter of the highest-earning male star.

In a withering letter, Ms Gracie said she was not seeking more money - "I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally" - and that the BBC's "bunker mentality" will lead to "an exodus of female talent at every level". Many BBC men were also found to be receiving far higher salaries than women in comparable jobs.

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