Economy

BBC's China editor quits due to 'secretive and illegal' gender pay gap

BBC's China editor quits due to 'secretive and illegal' gender pay gap

In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said "fairness in pay" at the corporation "is vital".

Michelle Stanistreet told BBC News that equal pay legislation needs to be developed as many employers continue to flout it and there should be punitive sanctions on employers who do.

Rebecca Pow, another Conservative, said: "Questions need to be asked about why the BBC has suppressed coverage of this story". But after a BBC senior news editor left her job because of the huge pay gap in the newsroom, it's time we actually started doing something about this instead of simply rolling our eyes at these "crazy feminists". Equal pay is about whether a man and a woman doing the same (or comparable) job earn the same.

Gracie, who will move to the BBC's newsroom after claiming she was paid significantly less than fellow worldwide editors who are male, said the broadcaster was facing "a crisis of trust" and accused it of "breaking equality law".

The equalities watchdog is to investigate the BBC over Carrie Gracie's claims of unlawful pay discrimination against women.

Due to impartiality rules, as Humphry interviewed Mariella Frostrup about equal pay and Gracie's own resignation, the now-former China editor was made to sit in silence, disallowed from joining the discussion. Gracie famously revealed her salary on air during the MPs' expenses scandal: a measly £92,000 a year when compared to Humphry's swelling coffers. This is largely because women in the NHS dominate lower-paid roles such as catering assistant, health care support worker, domestic assistant and other clinical support staff.

Mine is just one story of inequality among many, but I hope it will help you understand why I feel obliged to speak out.

Given her fearless and determined reporting, providing viewers and listeners with fantastic and unparalleled insights into China over the past four years, it's no surprise that NUJ member Carrie Gracie is not prepared to stay silent about the injustice wrought upon her by her own employer.

It is believed that up to 200 women at the BBC have made a formal complaint about pay. I no longer trust our management to give an honest answer.

Carrie Graci
Carrie Gracie

"We will be writing to the BBC and requiring them to provide us with information on their pay policy and the facts in this individual case".

Others don't believe women should be paid the same if they aren't playing for as long as men, which is true in some cases.

The BBC was forced to publish pay details for its 96 highest-paid staff last summer, and has spent the past six months urging presenters to be patient as it examines the problem.

Meanwhile we are by no means the only workplace with hidden pay discrimination and the pressure for transparency is only growing.

It is painful to leave my China post abruptly and to say goodbye to the team in the BBC's Beijing bureau.

"I don't want their generation to have to fight this battle in the future because my generation failed to win it now", she wrote.

With top law firms now advising women who work at a senior level within organisations, it might be possible that the first wave of discriminative legal action is seen before the April deadline.

We'd like you to share your thoughts and experiences of equal pay.

The BBC has since been accused of censorship after presenters who expressed their support for equal pay were barred from covering the story around Gracie's resignation.

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