Carrie Gracie said she has been “very moved” by the scale of support after she quit as BBC China Editor over pay inequality.
The journalist and broadcaster was in the bizarre position of presenting Radio 4’s Today programme while her open letter challenging the BBC of presiding over a “secretive and illegal pay culture” led the agenda.
While Gracie could not directly discuss the story with co-presenter John Humphrys, she did say that the response “speaks to the depth of hunger for an equal, fair and transparent pay system”.
Gracie will be interviewed later this Monday 8th January on BBC Woman’s Hour.
"The support that I've had speaks to the depth of hunger for an equal, fair and transparent pay system."
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) January 8, 2018
Gracie was appointed the BBC’s first China Editor in 2014, but resigned last week citing pay inequality with male colleagues.
In an open letter published on her website, she accused the BBC of “breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure.”
Gracie, who has worked for the BBC for over 30 years, wrote, “In the past four years, the BBC has had four international editors – two men and two women. The Equality Act 2010 states that men and women doing equal work must receive equal pay. But last July I learned that in the previous financial year, the two men earned at least 50% more than the two women.
“Despite the BBC’s public insistence that my appointment demonstrated its commitment to gender equality, and despite my own insistence that equality was a condition of taking up the post, my managers had yet again judged that women’s work was worth much less than men’s.”
The BBC salary reveal in July 2016 revealed that US editor Jon Sopel earned between £200,000 and £249,999, while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned between £150,000 and £199,999. Gracie was not included on the list, meaning her salary was less than £150,000.
Gracie explained she was leaving her post as BBC China Editor and returning to work in the BBC TV newsroom.
Many listeners messaged to praise Gracie for her professionalism in presenting Today while also being the subject of the main BBC news bulletins.
— sophieraworth (@sophieraworth) January 8, 2018
Radio 4 Today, hosted by Carrie Gracie, handling her public resignation as China editor very delicately. Segment by @amolrajanBBC in 7am bulletin, featuring quotes from Gracie on how’ she’s been overwhelmed by response to letter in @thetimes. Very W1A.
— Matthew Moore (@mattkmoore) January 8, 2018
Journalist Mariella Frostrup appeared on the programme to discuss the BBC gender pay row with Gracie’s co-presenter Humphrys.
BBC rules mean that Carrie Gracie can't discuss Carrie Grace if Carrie Gracie is presenting the programme discussing Carrie Gracie. So she is sitting in silence while Mariella Frostrup talks about Carrie Gracie on the Today programme
— Matt Chorley (@MattChorley) January 8, 2018
Scenes on Today, Mariella Frostrup being interviewed about Carrie Gracie’s bombshell letter, points out the elephant in the room, telling John Humphrys: “I probably earn a tenth of what you do, John”
— Mark Di Stefano ?? (@MarkDiStef) January 8, 2018
More than a hundred BBC colleagues backed Gracie’s stance on equal pay, with the campaign group BBC Women releasing a statement calling on the BBC to “resolve her case without delay, and to urgently address pay inequality across the corporation”.
— lucy manning (@lucymanning) January 8, 2018
In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said that “fairness in pay is vital”, adding, “A significant number of organisations have now published their gender pay figures showing that we are performing considerably better than many and are well below the national average.
“Alongside that, we have already conducted a independent judge led audit of pay for rank and file staff which showed ‘no systemic discrimination against women’.
“A separate report for on air staff will be published in the not too distant future.”
Read Carrie Gracie’s letter in full here.