BEIJING – The China editor of Britain’s public broadcaster the BBC, Carrie Gracie, announced on Monday that she was resigning from her post because of the existing pay gap between men and women.
Gracie, who has been with the BBC for three decades, said on her personal blog that she was facing a “crisis of trust” owing to gender inequality at the broadcaster and that she will return to her former post in the TV newsroom where she expects to be paid equally.
“I am not asking for more money. I believe I am very well paid already – especially as someone working for a publicly funded organisation. I simply want the BBC to abide by the law and value men and women equally,” the BBC journalist said.
Gracie lamented that the salary disclosures the BBC made six months ago showed that not only presenters and managers earned more than women, but that there was also an “indefensible” pay gap between men and women in the same posts.
In July 2017, the British broadcaster presented a list of employees with annual salaries of over 150,000 pounds ($203,000), which did not include Gracie, and which allowed her to discover that two male international editors earned “at least 50 percent more” than their female counterparts.
After the release of the list, Gracie asked the BBC to make the pay of the four editors equal, but all the broadcaster offered was a pay rise, which was “far short of equality.”
In her blog, Gracie explains that she is a China specialist, a fluent Mandarin speaker and has been reporting on the Asian country for 30 years.
Four years ago, she was offered the post as the BBC’s China editor, which she accepted knowing that it would demand “sacrifices and resilience.”
“I would have to work 5,000 miles from my teenage children, and in a heavily censored one-party state I would face surveillance, police harassment and official intimidation,” she explained.
Despite that, the journalist accepted the challenge but asked her bosses to pay her the same as her male colleagues.
“Like many other BBC women, I had long suspected that I was routinely paid less, and at this point in my career, I was determined not to let it happen again,” she added.
Many Twitter users, including BBC colleagues, have come out in support of the journalist using the hashtag #IstandWithCarrie, which is trending on Twitter.