BBC editor quits over equal pay row
(5 months ago)
London, Jan 8 : A BBC editor has resigned from her post, citing pay inequality with male colleagues, a media report said on Monday.
In an open letter, BBC China's editor Carrie Gracie, accused the corporation of a "secretive and illegal pay culture".
Gracie, who has been at the BBC for more than 30 years, said it was facing a "crisis of trust", after it was revealed that two-thirds of its stars earning more than 150,000 pounds a year were male.
She said she would return to her former post in the TV newsroom "where I expect to be paid equally".
In the letter, Gracie, a China specialist who is fluent in Mandarin, said "the BBC belongs to you, the licence fee payer.
"I believe you have a right to know that it is breaking equality law and resisting pressure for a fair and transparent pay structure."
Last July, the BBC was forced to reveal the salaries of all employees who earnied more than 150,000 pounds a year.
Gracie said she was dismayed to discover that the BBC's two male international editors earned "at least 50 per cent more" than its two female counterparts.
US editor Jon Sopel earned 200,000-249,999 pounds while Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen earned 150,000-199,999 pounds.
Gracie was not on the list.
"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," she added in the letter.
In a statement, a BBC spokesperson said "fairness in pay" at the corporation "is vital".
"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."