Carrie Gracie receives payout and apology from BBC after gender inequality row

"Today I can say at the BBC I am equal," the presenter said

Former China Editor for the BBC, Carrie Gracie, speaks onstage at the Women of the World Summit on April 13, 2018 in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS        (Photo credit should read ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

The BBC has apologised to news presenter Carrie Gracie for underpaying her, and pledged to give her back pay in order to “put” the issue “right”.

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Gracie resigned from her post as BBC’s China Editor in January, citing pay inequalities with male colleagues. She said that the broadcaster was facing a “crisis of trust” after it was revealed that two-thirds of its stars earning over £150,000 per year were men.

Now, the issue has been resolved – and Gracie has announced that she will donate the full, undisclosed amount paid to her by the BBC to gender equality charity the Fawcett Society.

“I am glad to have been able to resolve this,” she said. “It shows that we can make progress.”

She continued: “Today I can say at the BBC I am equal.”

Read her statement in full below.

“This is a huge day for me. I love the BBC. It’s been my work family for more than 30 years and I want it to be the best. Sometimes families feel the need to shout at each other, but it’s always a relief when you can stop shouting.

“I’m grateful to the director general for helping me resolve this. I do feel he has led from the front today in acknowledging my value as the China editor.

“The BBC has awarded me several years of backdated pay. But this was always about the principle and not the money so I’m giving it away to help women who need it more than I do.

“And today I can say at the BBC I am equal.

“I would like women at workplaces up and down the country to say the same. This has been an enormously long, hard road to get here. It has involved so much work and so many people.

“Cultural change takes time to help people think things through and it’s an enormously difficult issue, not just for the BBC but for employers all over the world. This is a win for me and for the BBC. I’m proud of all of us.”

Director general Tony Hall added: “I am pleased that we’ve been able to move past our differences and work through things together; we can now look to the future. I’m also glad that Carrie will be contributing to Donalda MacKinnon’s project to make the BBC a great place for women to work. That really matters to me, and I want us to lead the way.”

Gracie will now take up to six months of unpaid leave and will take on writing and speaking engagements about both China and gender equality.


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