Female BBC News editor speaks out against her employer's 'illegal pay culture'

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ONE of the BBC's most senior journalists has resigned from her position, accusing the British broadcaster of a "secretive and illegal" pay culture that discriminates against women.

"Alongside that, we have already conducted an independent judge led audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed 'no systemic discrimination against women, '" the spokesperson said. It sucks that you're getting paid less than men. Equal pay is about whether a man and a woman doing the same (or comparable) job earn the same.

In an open letter, Carrie wrote that the BBC belongs to the licence fee player, who needs to understand the broadcasting house's lack of equality.

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

When the BBC were forced to reveal all of their salaries that were over £150,000 past year, Gracie discovered that the BBC's two male global editors were paid significantly more than their two female worldwide editors.

Carrie Gracie BBC
Carrie Gracie has covered China for nearly three decades and speaks fluent Mandarin

Speaking on BBC Two's Newsnight, employment lawyer Jennifer Millins, who represents several women taking cases against the corporation, said Ms Gracie's case may "give some answers" to other complainants. Numerous women affected are not highly paid "stars" but hard-working producers on modest salaries. When the list of the BBC's top-earners was published it showed that USA editor Jon Sopel earned £200,000-£249,999, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned £150,000-£199,999.

She said she had since had been offered a pay increase that remained "far short of equality" and left her post in Beijing last week, returning to her former job in the BBC TV newsroom.

The BBC says it is performing "considerably better" than other organisations on gender pay after journalist Carrie Gracie resigned citing pay inequality.

Miss Gracie, who is fluent in Mandarin, said she rejected the £45,000 pay rise as she would not "collude in unlawful pay discrimination".

Now it appears BBC bosses have also tried to tackle the gender pay gap by cutting pay for its male stars.

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In her only comments on the Today programme, Gracie said she hoped she wouldn't be remembered as the woman who complained about money, but as a great journalist and China expert.

She goes on to state that she is not "asking for more money" but that she simply wants "the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally". "I was interested in equality", she said during an interview on BBC radio.

"It said there were differences between roles which justified the pay gap, but it has refused to explain these differences", Gracie said.

Sian Kevill, the former director of BBC World News, said she was "quite shocked" at the pay disparity between global editors. Women have to win only two out of three sets to win Grand Slam tournaments, while men have to win three out of five sets. "Let us honour that fearless generation by making this the year we win equal pay", she continued.

But in the meantime, we'll have to rely on strong women like Carrie Gracie to keep the spotlight on the issue.

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According to the Telegraph, the BBC swiftly issued a "reminder" to staff, authorised by the news director Fran Unswoth, that they were bound by impartiality rules and could not report on the story if they had "expressed a view".

However, despite more than 130 female employees signing a statement expressing their support for Gracie and calling for action on pay equality, their attempts to present on-air segments about the dispute were blocked by the BBC.

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

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