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BBC's Carrie Gracie 'could not collude' in pay discrimination

BBC's Carrie Gracie 'could not collude' in pay discrimination
From BBC - January 8, 2018

Carrie Gracie has said she resigned as the BBC's China editor because she could not "collude" in a policy of "unlawful pay discrimination".

She quit, citing pay inequality with male international editors earning more than her 135,000-a-year salary.

She said she had refused a 45,000 rise as it still left a "big gap" between her and her male counterparts when all she wanted was to be "made equal".

The BBC has pledged to close the gender pay gap by 2020.

BBC broadcasters including Mishal Husain, Lyse Doucet, Clare Balding, Emily Maitlis and Sarah Montague voiced their support for Ms Gracie; while Channel 4 News presenter Cathy Newman, and Labour MPs Harriet Harman and Jess Phillips and Conservative MP Nadine Dorries have also reacted positively to the move.

The BBC's Europe editor Katya Adler, tweeted: "Huge loss to BBC international news. I will miss @bbccarrie by my side as only other female editor in foreign news."

Many expressed their support using the hashtag #IStandWithCarrie.

Meanwhile, a tweet by #BBCWomen, a group of more than 130 broadcasters and producers at the corporation, is being widely shared.

Neither Ms Gracie, nor Ms Adler appeared on a list issued by the BBC last July, listing the salaries of all employees earning more than 150,000 a year.

The US editor, Jon Sopel, earned 200,000-249,999, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned 150,000-199,999 - in Ms Gracie's words, "at least 50% more" than herself and Ms Adler.

Ms Gracie told Woman's Hour on Radio 4 the BBC had offered to raise her annual salary to 180,000, but she did not see that as a solution and there would still have been "a big gap between myself and my male peers".

Asked whether those male workers should receive a pay cut, Ms Gracie said: "I believe in public service broadcasting and I do think salaries at the top are unacceptably high... but I do not have the information to say this needs to happen or that should happen."

She added: "I could not go back to China and collude knowingly in what I consider to be unlawful pay discrimination. I could not do it, nor could I stay silent and watch the BBC perpetuate a failing pay structure by discriminating against women."

Earlier, co-presenting the Today programme with John Humphrys, Ms Gracie said: "The support I have 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."

How Chinese media see the row

Influential media in China have given prominent attention to Carrie Gracie's resignation as China editor, but have made no comment on her work.

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