BBC China editor quits in equal pay protest

BBC journalist Carrie Gracie announced Monday she had quit her post as China editor in protest at an “indefensible pay gap” at the British broadcaster, winning support from dozens of colleagues.

Gracie said she resigned last week over a “crisis of trust” which has engulfed the BBC since the broadcaster was forced last year to reveal the salaries of its highest-paid employees.

The disclosures showed “an indefensible pay gap between men and women doing equal work,” Gracie said in a blog post announcing her resignation.

“These revelations damaged the trust of BBC staff,” she added, stating that up to 200 women employed by the broadcaster had made complaints over pay discrimination in recent months.

Two-thirds of BBC staff earning more than £150 000 ($203 000/ €169 000) were shown to be men, according to the figures published in July.

Gracie warned that a “bunker mentality” by managers so far “is likely to end in a disastrous legal defeat for the BBC and an exodus of female talent at every level”.

Her resignation was widely reported by BBC news programmes, while the broadcaster said there was “no systemic discrimination against women”.

The former China editor has returned to London and will resume her former post within the television newsroom.

On Monday, she co-presented BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, during which she said she was “moved” by the positive reaction to her decision which spoke of a “depth of hunger” for pay equality.

More than 130 journalists who are part of the BBC Women group backed her decision.

“It is hugely regrettable that an outstanding and award-winning journalist like Carrie Gracie feels she has no option but to resign from her post as China editor because the BBC has not valued her equally with her male counterparts,” they said in a statement published by the BBC’s Lyse Doucet, chief international correspondent.

Michelle Stanistreet, general secretary of the UK’s National Union of Journalists, said the body was “determined to hold the BBC to account” and reach settlements on behalf of women who have suffered a salary deficit.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Ubank placed under curatorship effective immediately

Reserve Bank says depositors will still have access to money and the bank will be operational during the process

Academic bullying in the sciences, an international perspective

It is important to support victims of bullying in academic life and help them become less dependent on potential bullies

South Africa’s 1-Minute Film Festival is reshaping the art of...

With the invention of the cell phone, anyone can make a movie. With the creation of the 1-Minute Film Festival, anyone's movie can be seen.

Shireen Abu Akleh’s murder hurts oppressed people

The journalist is among more than 50 reporters who have died at the hands of the Israeli regime and is remembered for bravely giving a voice to Palestinians

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…