BBC apologises to former China editor Carrie Gracie over unequal pay

Offer comes after journalist resigned over higher salaries of male colleagues

Peter Stubley
Friday 29 June 2018 17:05
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Carrie Gracie statement on BBC pay agreement

The BBC has apologised for paying one of its senior journalists less than her male colleagues.

Carrie Gracie had accused the broadcaster of discrimination and breaking equality law when she resigned from her role as China editor in January.

She was offered the job on the basis she would receive the same as her fellow international editors – but later discovered the men received at least 50 per cent more.

The BBC has now agreed a financial settlement with its former China editor.

Ms Gracie, who still works for the corporation, is donating her back pay to The Fawcett Society to set up a fund for women who need legal advice on equal pay claims.

Speaking outside the BBC’s New Broadcasting House, Ms Gracie said: “This is a huge day for me. I love the BBC – the BBC has been my work family for 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.

“After all, today, at the BBC I can say I am equal, and I would like women in workplaces up and down this country to be able to say the same.”

The BBC admitted that Ms Gracie was offered the job on the basis she would be paid in line with the North America editor, Jon Sopel.

It said in a statement: “The BBC acknowledges the specific circumstances relating to Carrie’s appointment, apologises for underpaying Carrie, and has now put this right. Carrie is donating the full amount received to a charity of her choice.

“The BBC is committed to the principle of equal pay and acting in accordance with our values.

“Carrie has made, and will continue to make, an important contribution to the BBC. During her tenure as China editor, Carrie delivered reports, analysis and work that were as valuable as those of the other international editors in the same period.”

Director-general Tony Hall said: “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.”

Last year it emerged that two-thirds of the corporation’s best paid stars were men after the BBC was forced to publish details of salaries above £150,000.

The BBC revealed that men were paid 9.3 per cent more than women across the corporation but a review claimed there was no systemic discrimination.

Additional reporting by PA

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